It’s a Springalingadingdong!
Go ahead. Say it out loud, because it’s fun.
Then make it part of your plans for Saturday, April 21 because that’s even more fun.
Springalingadingdong! is a European-style street carnival and giant puppet parade in Mountain Brook’s English Village.
It’s a celebration born from another celebration.
In 2009, Carole Griffin wanted to mark the 25th anniversary of her amazing Continental Bakery. She didn’t want the usual anniversary hoopla like a big ad or even a sale. Instead, she wanted a way to break through seasonal gloom and anxiety over that year’s economic woes. Remember those?
“I felt such a burst of hope once spring began appearing, that I had an urge to celebrate,” Griffin says. “Everyone had had such a hard time that year; they seemed so dispirited. I wanted to put all that behind us and show appreciation for our loyal customers with a big shindig. Just like that, Springalingadingdong! was born.”
Fast forward to 2018, and Continental Bakery, Chez Lulu and the merchants of English Village are presenting a Springalingadingdong! that will be bigger than ever. It will be held on April 21st from 10 am to 3 pm in English Village, with Cahaba Road blocked off for the festivities.
“Springalingadingdong! is based on a long human tradition of communally putting winter and its challenges to rest, and, in turn, celebrating Spring’s promise of new birth and hope,” says Griffin. “Springalingadingdong! is about gratitude and delight, the human spirit, creativity, hope and community, not only in the face of hardship, but in response to it.”
Festival-goers can expect a hula contest; a bread toss; a ukulele band and a drum circle; crafts; children’s activities; and a Parisian-style street market with artists, vendors and delicious food.
There’s drama, too, as the cold monarch “Marie Antoinette” (representing Winter and stuffy, mean-spirited times) gets a mock “beheading” before her transformation into the lively, lovely May Queen. The festival culminates as everyone in the crowd is invited to join the May Queen as she leads a walking parade through English Village, accompanied by giant, 12-foot-tall, handmade puppets and a 60-piece Mardi Gras-themed band, Atlanta’s Seed and Feed Marching Abominable.
“We’re hopeful people,” Griffin says. “We believe in the goodness of life, so we’re going to stake our claim on it and have a festival that celebrates joy, rebirth and the pursuit of silliness.” Oui, oui, oui to Spring all that!
Admission is free, and absolutely everyone is invited.
For more information, contact Continental Bakery at 205 870-5584.