Paper took negative approach when covering the ending of spring festival
The article on the front page of the March 11, 2010 St. Charles Herald-Guide contained information on our Spring Heritage Day Events and Civil War Encampment. Instead of representing this as what it is, a positive event, you chose the negative headline of “Destrehan Spring Fest Halted.”
Although the article mentioned the activities of the Spring Heritage Day, you failed to mention that the Spring Arts & Crafts Festival was only started four years ago at the request of our vendors, and had too much competition with other arts and craft events in the spring to be successful.
You further tried to show this event in a negative light, when you wrote the Our View article on the Opinions page. It was obvious that you did not research the Spring Arts & Crafts Festival or you would have known it was only started since Hurricane Katrina and was meant to keep activity going during the slow tourist time until recovery had been accomplished.
It is a positive thing that we were able to keep operating during those times. We still were able to add demonstrations and exhibits to our daily tour, increase the number of out-of-state bus tours, enhance educational programs with more activities for school group field trips, and become a sought after destination for weddings, receptions, parties and other events. These operations alone keep our staff busy throughout the year. Festival activities add much more work and preparation for our limited staff.
The Spring Heritage event has been a one-day school event for the past 13 years. Each year, we have more and more parents attending with their children. Lots of the parents that attend have asked us to extend this to the weekend so that their entire family can attend. It is a history event, but since when is history a bad thing? This event, like our Fall Festival is an event that we are proud of. We want children to know that history is not a bad thing, and learning can be fun. By extending the event to the weekend, we are allowing more children and adults to discover that as well.
Destrehan Plantation’s Annual Fall Festival will continue to take place in November. We pride ourselves on having one of the best Arts and Crafts Festivals in the area. Lots of planning, organization and hard work goes into a festival of this magnitude. In addition, the cost of advertising, entertainment, security and staffing is a major expense. We continue to offer events at our Fall Festival to entertain all that attend and have not decreased the quality of our festival.
It is regrettable that the River Parishes Herald-Guide chose to ignore the success that the River Road Historical Society has made at Destrehan Plantation with such negative reporting. We appreciate the support of the community for all of our events, and invite them to experience the Spring Heritage Day Events and Civil War Encampment on May 14 and 15.
Nancy J. Robert
River Road Historical Society
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