Spring has most assuredly sprung in Webster Parish.
The warming rays, the longer days and the yellow on the vehicles is a sure sign that we have left Old Man Winter behind and are moving toward the Dog Days of Summer.
But before we hit those dreaded 100 plus degree days of June, July and August, we are being treated to a few weeks of rebirth and renewal during the spring season. And though I may be a little congested and sneezy as Mother Nature wakes up from her winter slumber, there's just an undeniable sense of goodwill thanks to the warmer weather and the upcoming celebration of Easter.
While Easter and the annual Spring Arts Festival remain a week away, there are several events in and around Minden this weekend that are great for family and fellowship on these warm, sunny days.
Read on for details of three events occurring this weekend in Webster. Thanks to the Press-Herald newsroom for great coverage of these events.
Spring Fling at the Yellow Pine Inn
The 7th annual Spring Fling will be held this Saturday, March 23 at Yellow Pine Inn, located on Yellow Pine Rd., south of Sibley, beginning at 9 a.m. rain or shine.
"We all look forward to the Spring Fling and the anticipation of gardening weather," said Bill McKinney who helps organize the event held on his families' historic property. "While it isn't quite time to plant, there will gardening advice, plants, outdoor items and anything you could want to get ready for spring."
Piney Hills Master Gardeners will be available at the event as well as several vendors.
Vendor offerings include arts and crafts, birdhouses, vintage collectibles, collectable coins, local honey, iron works, concrete products, paintings, needlepoint and much more.
Vendors will also have plants and flowers for sale including heirloom tomatoes and herbs.
The Minden Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy sponsors Spring Fling, which began as an anniversary celebration for the historic Yellow Pine Inn Bed and Breakfast.
"We wanted to have a birthday celebration for the house, which turned 100 years old that year," McKinney said. "We had around 15 vendors selling that year and it has grown to nearly 50 vendors now and up to 1,200 attendees."
McKinney said the growth can be attributed to Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"They do such a great job getting the word out about Spring Fling and other events," he said. "Their grants have really helped the event out."
Spring Fling has drawn vendors from as far away as Texas and Arkansas and visitors from as far away as San Jose, CA.
Admission is free and parking is $1, which raises funds for a United Daughters of the Confederacy scholarship.
For more information go to www.yellowpineinn.com or call 377-3600. Also, take a look at Yellow Pine's ad on Page 7 of today's paper.
Young Women's Service Club Easter Egg Hunt
The Easter Bunny will make a stop in Minden this Sunday to get children in the mood for spring.
Children from birth to nine years old are invited to participate in the annual Easter Egg Hunt from 2 until 3:30 p.m. at the Farm, located on the corner of East Union and Talton Streets, across from Save-A-Lot.
The hunt is sponsored each year by the Young Women's Service Club of Minden.
"We are a community service organization and want to offer children in Minden as many fun events as possible," said Stephanie Pitman, who co-chairs the egg hunt with Crystal Heard.
"This is such a fun event for the children in our community. We look forward to it every year."
Cost to participate in the hunt is $1, which helps the club defray the cost of supplies.
"We also receive donations from local businesses," Pitman said. "Barksdale Federal Credit Union has supported our efforts with a generous donation for the past several years." Many activities will be available for children in addition to the hunt including crafts, face painting, raffles, bouncers and other prizes.
The Young Women's Service Club was organized in 1942, with a purpose to aid others and provide general community service.
In addition to the egg hunt, other projects and events sponsored by the YWSC are a Yearly Scholarship awarded to a Webster Parish High School Senior in honor of former Miss Minden, Hannah McFarland; the Meadowview Nursing Home Christmas Party; the Town and Country Nursing Home Christmas Party, assisting Civitans with Toys for Tots, the Miss Minden Pageant, Kid's Day at the Annual Minden St. Jude's Auction and other activities and contributions.
And if you want to give your little ones a double dose of Easter Egg hunting fun, EGGstravaganza 2013 is being held Saturday at North Acres Baptist Church in Minden.
EGGstravaganza is a free community-wide Easter Egg Hunt. The event will be held Saturday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The hunt is for kids up to the fifth grade. The grand prize drawing will be held at 2 p.m. North Acres is located at 1852 Lewisville Road.
Next weekend brings even more fun with the traditional Spring Arts Festival. We'll have more about that event next week. For a quick early look, see the Cultural Crossroads ad on Page 2 of today's paper.
So you can see, there's a great deal going on in our community this weekend and beyond. Go out, take your kids with you, and enjoy the season while it lasts.
The old summer heat will be here before long, and then we'll be longing for these fleeting few weeks of rebirth and renewal.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.