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 three 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-worker Brittani Washington suggested adding activities for families (such as bounce houses, food trucks and other outdoor attractions).
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.
2010 N. Hampton Road, Suite 200, DeSoto, TX 75115