They say “it takes a village…” to raise a child. The same can be said for the launching of a festival.
become a vendor
The DeSoto Chamber of Commerce is boldly creating a new signature event for the city of DeSoto – and requesting involvement of the entire community to pull it off.
The new festival traces its roots back two years when the DeSoto Chamber organized a small “Shop Local” event called DeSoto Living! at the DeSoto Civic Center. The vendor show included a health & wellness expo, cooking demonstrations, live music and a fashion show.
Organizers felt that DeSoto Living! had potential for growth but the challenge was in finding ways to increase public awareness and boost attendance. Chamber CEO Laura Terhune explained, “When my co-workers Brittani Washington and Belyne Bland-Xochihua suggested adding activities for families (such as bounce houses, food trucks and other outdoor attractions), I liked their suggestions but immediately knew that a larger venue would be necessary.”
Terhune continued, “One morning about 4 am, I had the idea of moving DeSoto Living! to a school property.” She added, “First, I considered the High School but quickly realized that DeSoto East Middle School would be the perfect location because of its large grassy yard fronting Belt Line Road.” Festivals are allowed by city ordinance so a permit was granted at the end of November 2016.
Early in December, Chamber staff met with DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. David Harris and his leadership team to present the idea of the DeSoto Living! Festival at East DeSoto Middle School. They responded positively to the overall concept and offered assistance with logistics to ensure a well-organized event. In addition, it was decided that two tents with stages would be incorporated into the plans to allow for a variety of live performances throughout the day by student groups as well as local and community talent.
Components of the festival include 8 to 10 designated event areas (“Zones”) such as “DeSoto Drives” featuring a car show, a motorcycle display, and various types of races; a “Kids Zone” with a bounce house, face painting, egg toss and other fun games; “DeSoto Goes Green” highlighting energy conservation, recycling, and xeriscaping; “DeSoto Wellness Zone” featuring health-related vendors, an obstacle / challenge course, the Methodist Charlton Medical Center mammogram vehicle and Carter Bloodcare donation vehicle; “DeSoto Safe Zone” highlighting the DeSoto Police and Fire Departments with displays of the fire truck, the MRAP and demonstrations of the DPD Swat Team’s robotics technology; the “DeSoto Pet Zone” comprising activities such as a petting zoo, a pet parade and a wiener dog race; and “DeSoto Live” featuring continuous live entertainment acts under a large tent.
Festival organizers are encouraging churches, businesses and other non-profit or community groups to participate in the event. Groups may take responsibility for one of the activities listed above or create an activity of their choice with approval by the Chamber’s Vendor Coordinator. Attendance is expected to be at least 2,000.
Businesses and organizations that are interested in sponsoring or participating as an activity host or vendor are encouraged to contact the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce at 972-224-3565 or see the Chamber’s website for more information: www.desotochamber.org.
Setting a new standard for development and growth!
DeSoto Chamber of Commerce
be a volunteer
Starting a new business or looking for ways to promote your business in the Best Southwest Area? The DeSoto Living! Festival was created to not only help small business grow but to push the "Shop Local" Initiatives that the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce and the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation is all about!
The Signature Event
become a sponsor
Need volunteers hours or simply want to be apart of something bigger? This signature event of the year is sure to have a place for you! We are expecting over 2,500 people in attendance and we need as many volunteers as we can get! So be sure to contact the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce or Register Online!
The Chamber is offering an array of sponsoerships to meet everyone's needs! Marketing is key to creating any successful event. If your interested in sponsoring a "Zone" or even an activity, be sure to click the "More Details" Button below.