‘Party in Paradise’ Day1
The Lehigh Acres Spring has started and runs through March 24. at Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres. This year’s big act is country-recording artist JT Hodges, who will perform Saturday. Hodges is a semi-finalist for the New Artist of the Year award with the Academy of Country Music, which will be announced on April 1.
“Anyone who’s old-time Lehigh has been to every festival or almost every festival,” said Karen Hoppe,, wife of Bill Hoppe, a board member. “I remember when they first started out off Beth Stacey Boulevard on a small acre of carnival land.”
That small acre is where the modern flea market is located and horses used to be brought in for pony rides. It was Hoppe’s favorite event. She’s also gotten her share of awards for an afghan and some napkins she made, helped run the contests one year and won second place in the chili contest one year.
“It (the Spring Festival) started out the Turkey Trot… and a way of saying goodbye to the winter visitors,” Karen Hoppe said. “It’s a small town atmosphere that brings people together to raise money for local organizations and businesses.”