The Future of the Little Egypt Festival in Salem Appears Brighter
About three dozen people filled the meeting room at the Bryan Bennett Library in Salem Wednesday night to show their support for continuation of the Little Egypt Festival. Many even volunteered to help the event continue.
General Chair Dennis Wilkinson opened the meeting by saying only he and one other member of the committee remained and he didn't there was interest to continue the event. However, those in attendance thought otherwise. Many recalled memories of the festival over the past 41 years.
Salem Mayor John Raymer called the festival a tradition they couldn't let die. He also commended past volunteers. City Councilman Dave Black and Steve Huddlestun also spoke of the need to keep the festival.
Tourism Board Member and Salem businessman Leon Chapman said the tourism board could help with financing if the festival committee wanted to look at re-establishing Friday night entertainment as part of the event.
Wilkinson was pleased with the offers of help. "I think it was great. I think it showed the community support. I was amazed. We had a lot of people express their interest in the festival and how many years they have been going to the parade. They wanted to make sure we kept the whole festival going. We had some business people. They said the same thing, they want the festival to keep going," said Wilkinson.
The next step will be to call a meeting or contact those interested in helping.
Parade Chair Jill Combs who has agreed to assist who ever takes over the parade is concerned that no one specifically stepped up for that position. She's also still concerned of finding the minimum of seven people to work from early morning up until parade time in lining up the parade.
Wilkinson noted while the festival was not a money maker, it was more a lack of manpower than money that was threatening the future of the festival.
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