Hillside Festival good for growth

Published 11:04 pm Monday, April 16, 2018

On Saturday, the fourth annual Hillside Arts, Music and Food Festival was held. Hundreds of people attended, and approximately 40 vendors had booths. Musicians performed throughout the day.

The event featured local vendors and cities surrounding LaGrange. The Hillside Festival was brought back by DASH for LaGrange, and appears to be growing. This year saw a smaller crowd than last year, but that was likely only because a 5K was held the last two years.

Hillside was once a mill village, but when the mill closed, the community suffered as a result.

The City of LaGrange is in the midst of growth, but it benefits everyone if all parts of the city are involved in that growth. Hillside is starting to see some growth, thanks to recent developments.

The popular Cart Barn Grill recently opened its location on Jefferson Street and Beacon Brewing Company is set to open in August. Cart Barn has received a lot of business since reopening at its new location.

Beacon Brewing is going to be a brewpub in the Hillside neighborhood and will be run by Chase Hudson, who is a co-owner of Mare Sol and C’sons.

Hudson said they chose Hillside because of his family used to have a mill in the area. He said they wanted to put something back into Hillside to help it grow.

These two new offerings will bring in more locals and tourists to the area. There are other signs of growth in Hillside as well.

The annual Twin Cedars Easter egg hunt partnered with the Roving Listening Project, this year. Both Twin Cedars and the Roving Listening Project held hunts last year, but together this year had one big hunt. A community wide egg hunt brings out families.

The Roving Listeners have surveyed the community to see what it needs. Cabriel Bruce, one of the project leaders, said members of the community would like to see some more park space and safe places for children to play.

The LaGrange College Servant Scholars recently unveiled their first Free Little Pantry in the Hillside community.

The pantry, where community members can leave food, hygiene and household items for those who are in need, is outside Hillside Montessori, at the corner of Murphy Avenue and Wilkes Street.

The pantry was painted and decorated by the children of the Montessori, leaving a mark on the community. Hopefully these new developments are just the beginning of even more growth in the Hillside community.

Festivals like Saturday’s show community pride, but also serve as a reminder of the change that people can create in their community. It’s exciting to see and hear about new business and more activities in Hillside.

We hope the festival continues, and the Hillside community furthers the momentum of its recent growth.