Downtown Renaissance Festival revives Mobile Street cultural tradition
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 01:10
After a hot summer in which days were lazily spent on the porch or inside where the air is cool, fall has arrived, and Mobile Street welcomed it in.
The seventh annual Mobile Street Renaissance Festival brought Mobile Street in downtown Hattiesburg back to life by attracting vendors, jazzy music and dozens of attendees over the weekend.
For many years, Mobile Street was one of the hottest places for live music in the Pine Belt.
Bilal Hadji, a student visitor from France, attended the festival over the weekend.
“One of my biggest interests is American culture, and I think the mixture of downtown Hattiesburg along with the experience I got from the Mobile Street Festival gave me a well rounded view of true Southern American lifestyle,” Hadji said.
C.J, a kindergarten student from Oak Grove, played games with his neighborhood friends during the festival.
“I’m having a fun time playing with friends,” C.J. said. “My favorite part is the food and games.”
The Mobile Street Renaissance Festival is a celebration honoring the heritage of the Mobile Street area of historic downtown Hattiesburg.
The primary objective behind the festival is to keep Mobile Street marked as a destination place for blues and gospel music lovers all over, including freshman broadcast journalism major Ardan Thornhill.
“Good jazz and blues music is hard to find,” Thornhill said. “I enjoy many things downtown Hattiesburg has to offer, but the Mobile Street Renaissance Festival definitely stands out. I like how the music sort of revives the neighborhood. It’s proof that music brings the community together.”
The weekend-long celebration kicked off with a boxing match featuring Hub City Future Champs on the intersection of 6th and Mobile Streets on Friday evening.
Saturday’s events included arts, crafts, art exhibits, a hop contest and the annual Sho’ Nuff Good Barbecue Cook-off.
The weekend wrapped up with a closing gospel performance at 3 p.m. on Sunday.