HENDERSON, KY, April 19, 2017 – It takes a village – including City government – to pull together the first big outdoor festival of the year in downtown Henderson.
“It’s a true team effort with all the help from the City, the community and everybody,” said Bill Floyd, veteran organizer of the 30th-annual Tri-Fest hosted by the Breakfast Lions Club set for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in downtown Henderson.
The City of Henderson’s work with the Breakfast Lions starts in the City Manager’s office and eventually includes Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Police and Fire departments.
“Without question, they make it possible for us to have the Tri-Fest,” Floyd said, explaining that an annual meeting with key City department heads about 30 days before the festival opens gets everyone on the same page.
The Parks and Recreation Department’s work takes place before the festival begins. Parks Director Trace Stevens said trash barrels and 40 to 50 picnic tables are moved to the Main Street vicinity.
“We make sure the parks are mowed and check all the lighting in the parks,” he added.
Public Works Director Brian Williams said sanitation crews bring a roll-off dumpster to the site and take care of keeping it emptied as the festival progresses. By Sunday evening, everything is cleaned up and back to normal downtown.
“They all do a fantastic job,” Floyd said, noting that every night crews come down and pick up garbage and wash off the streets.
“Citizens and downtown business owners come to work or shop on Monday morning after the conclusion of the three-day event and many are surprised to see the entire area clean and in order,” said City Manager Russell Sights.
Floyd said his organization work closely with the Police Department on safety and security matters, and with the Fire Department on the fireworks show and setting up the carnival.
“The Fire Department officially inspects the booths prior to the start of the event, and periodically throughout the week,” said Fire Chief Scott Foreman. “The shift guys always plan as if an emergency will happen and determine the best places to access (the festival site). We usually respond to a handful of medical emergencies during the event as well.”
Officer Jennifer Richmond, public information officer for Henderson Police Department, said her department’s goal is for everyone attending the Tri-Fest to have a positive, safe experience.
“Officers enjoy it because it gives them an opportunity to meet with members of our community in a relaxed setting,” Richmond added. “Officers normally meet people as a result of a call for service in which that person may be experiencing some type of crisis. The barriers are removed at the Tri-Fest and give citizens an opportunity to meet the officers patrolling the event in a neutral setting.”
Sights said the City made a commitment when the Tri-Fest was in its infancy to support the event and assist however possible.
“The Tri-Fest is a great event involving all areas of our community. It is a wholesome event for everyone,” he said.
“We certainly are grateful for the Breakfast Lions who support so many local groups through the funds that are raised,” Sights added. “We are pleased and excited to be able to provide our various governmental services to help make the Tri-Fest successful.”