De Soto Days ready to dazzle
De Soto Days Festival Committee Chairman Max Atwell wouldn't mind if last year's De Soto Days weather pattern repeated itself.
Last year, the wet festival weekend closed out a hot and dry summer. Downpours on festival Saturday washed out the event's biggest day. Atwell doesn't want a repeat of thunderstorms but rather a sudden reversal of an established weather pattern.
Atwell was hopeful Tuesday his wish was coming true.
"The forecast changes hourly," he said. "The last I heard, they were talking about (rain) Saturday night into Sunday morning. It would be alright if it held off until next week."
One of the coolest, wettest Augusts on record threatened to cause a headache before this week's two successive rainless days allowed crews to pave the parking lot north of the swimming pool Tuesday and Wednesday. De Soto City Engineer Mike Brungardt said unbelievably the worst-case scenario he laid out when scheduling the work almost came true. The $100,000 improvement is the city's 2004 Community Development Block Grant project.
Atwell said he hoped the completion of the parking lot was a sign a year's worth of effort from the De Soto Days Festival Committee could be enjoyed by the community without any cancellations or rain delays.
"It ought to be a good time," he said. "We have 30 crafters and about 16 food booths serving wide variety of food.
"It will be a good time, and people don't have to go out of town."
The Saturday parade, which was scheduled to arrive at downtown at 10:30 a.m., had 35 entries and counting, parade chairman Kathy Ross said. She was expecting many more because former parade chairman Pat Atchison told her that many entries arrived at the Lexington Trails staging grounds unannounced, Ross said
Parade entrants were asked to be at the school at 8 a.m., she said.
In addition, the owners of 30 old or custom cars and an equal number of motorcycles had already indicated they would participate in the parade, Atwell said. That part of the parade will stage at the De Soto Baptist Church.
"With the carnival, the entertainment, the band Saturday night and good food, we ought to have something for everyone," he said.