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City to host first ever Friendliest City Festival

In the next few weeks, Luverne will play host to something new to the city that is sure to draw a crowd. The first ever Friendliest City Festival, sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association (DMA) in Luverne, will be held on April 16 around the downtown area of Luverne.

“Two years ago, we had the Founders Day, which was kind of a precursor to this. We coordinated with the Chamber of Commerce and found that April would be a good time,” said Gary Mitchell, board member of the DMA.

“We’re hoping to have 15 to 20 vendors, plus we’ll have the merchants to supplement that. I’m hoping we’ll still get more vendors to come. We’ve had a great response for the entertainment; we’re just about full.”

Entertainment will take place in the Pepsi Pavilion throughout the day and will feature performances and demonstrations by drama teams and church groups, Okami Dojo and gymnastics groups. The event will also have karaoke opportunities that night from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“I think it will be pretty diverse entertainment throughout the day,” Mitchell said.

Activities are scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Vendors will be set up along 5th Street and East 4th Street, and a car show will also be held during the day. Currently, there are two divisions of cars, a truck and two divisions of motorcycles that will be featured. The entry fee for the car show is $25 and will take place in the parking lot behind the newspaper office.

Arts and crafts booths will also be set up with the Crenshaw County Arts Council. Mitchell stated that the DMA was encouraging participating merchants to put samples of products out on the sidewalk as well. The entry fee for a booth is $25 for those not located in Luverne; there will be no charge for Luverne merchants.

Vendors are also encouraged to get to their assigned places around 8:30 a.m. that morning to be prepared for guests arriving early.

“Luverne and all of the Crenshaw County and surrounding communities eagerly look forward to the Friendliest City Festival,” said Don Nix, president of the Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber applauds and supports these efforts to bring notoriety and commerce to our county and look forward to this event. The Chamber further encourages other civic minded individuals and organizations to promote DMA activities when they can. That’s why we exist – for growing and fostering a good business climate for all of Crenshaw County.”