It's no "April Fools" joke. The Whaling City Festival is back on this year.

That's the word from festival president Allen Richard who says after meeting with his planning committee Monday night, they decided to take Mayor Jon Mitchell up on his one-time trial offer of a 9pm closing time. With staying open later, the city is asking the festival to extend police details by one hour, provide better lighting to the festival, and to thoroughly clean the grounds at the end of every night.

Richard tells WBSM News he's taking a more local approach after listening to comments from the public, some calling the festival no more than a glorified flea market.

Richard is offering local crafters spots at the festival at rates of $150 for the entire weekend, July 11-13.

Richard says the committee is looking to catch up on eight months of work with only three months before the festival opens, and is looking for more local sponsorship as well.

Richard adds city councillors have assured him the Park Board will not oppose the later closing time in light of the fact that it was approved by the administration.

The plans may be premature, however. Park Board Chairman Peter Boswell tells WBSM News the board will take the mayor's offer to the festival committee under advisement before voting on the matter Wednesday night, 6pm at the Buttonwood Senior Center.