A couple of years ago, Terry Gardner told me of his idea for a new festival in downtown Minden. In his words, it would become the “premier festival for the city.”

And it has.

This past weekend, approximately forty cooks – some from across state lines – lined the brick street of downtown Minden. Smoke and live music filled the air, and hundreds of attendees filled the streets, many from out of town, to see what Minden had to offer.

This year, the second-year festival grew even more popular with the addition of the cornhole tournament and fireworks show.

One of the cooks from Texas told me he participates in around 30 grilling competitions a year and Grilling on Main was one of the best.

“This festival ranks pretty high, in regards to the attendance, the promotion of the event and the fireworks show- it was second to none. The attention to detail from the organizers will really make this grow and I really like this,” he said.

I would have to agree with his opinion. While it is only 2 years old, Grilling on Main is already a feather in Minden’s cap.

It’s done what few festivals have accomplished, appealed to all ages and brought hundreds to the streets of downtown and the organizers deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.

Gardner, who chairs the Main Street Board, along with members Thomas and Alicia Adams, Betsy Mathews, Larry Gibson, Cathy Copeland, Deborah Cooksey and Downtown Director Becky White and everyone that volunteered to help did one heck of a job. If you see them, be sure to tell them.
For the last nine months, they have volunteered their time to make sure every detail was perfect.

Johnnye Kennon with the Webster Parish Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau also deserves credit for touting the festival to the region. I
talked to many people as I rode around the festival with my friend Spencer Rexroad and many of them were from out of town.

This year’s title sponsor was MBL Bank and co-sponsors were Minden Medical Center, Minden’s Finest Storage, and Elm Street Dental, along with entertainment sponsors James and Lyda Madden. Gibsland Bank and Trust sponsored the cornhole tournament and Horseshoe Dental sponsored that spectacular fireworks show.

Hats off to these guys as well.

Many people say “Minden is dead,” but I would tell them they are wrong. All it took was a trip to downtown this past weekend to feel the heartbeat of Minden.

Bruce Franklin is editor of the Minden Press-Herald. He can be reached by email at bfranklin@press-herald.com.