Festivals are an inexpensive way to experience new cultures and towns. The streets are filled with local food vendors, artists, musicians and shop owners. The town’s economy also receives a boost from the festival-goers supporting local businesses while buying goods from the vendors.
Some festivals are geared towards food like the Crawfish Music Festival in Biloxi or the multiple BBQ festivals across the state. Some are solely music festivals such as the B.B. King Homecoming Music Festival and the Natchez Festival of Music. Cultural festivals such as Frida Fest and CelticFest that bring a cultural experience to the festival goer.
Art festivals such as Day in the Park in Laurel and Art in the Pass at Pass Christian give local artists the chance to share their talents.
Hattiesburg and other local towns host their fair share of festivals and events.
Junior elementary education major Kaylee McLaurin is from Laurel and has attended multiple events held in her hometown. Laurel is known for Loblolly Fest in October, Day in the Park in May and Pancake Day on the first Saturday in December.
Senior interior design major Mary Hannah Clark, also from Laurel, said her favorite events that Laurel hosts are Day in the Park and Pancake Day.
“I enjoy going to local events like Day in the Park in Laurel because I would go every year as a kid, and it’s very nostalgic when I walk through the park,” Clark said. “It leaves me with amazing, good memories.”
Junior Spanish major Elvia Marin said she enjoyed her time at Frida Fest in Bay St. Louis. The day is dedicated to honoring the Mexican artist and feminist icon Frida Kahlo and her many accomplishments in the world of art. The festival also features information about art and Mexican culture. The day’s festivities include taking pictures in photo booths, face painting, eating Mexican cuisine and even a Frida Kahlo look-alike contest.
“I think students would really enjoy the view of the ocean on their left while walking along and seeing all the ladies dressed up as Frida at the festival,” Marin said.
All the girls agree that festivals and local events are the best way for students to unwind from the stress that college brings upon them while being gentle on their wallets. For many, the food at the festivals is reason enough to check out the local food vendors.
“My favorite part of festivals is always the food—the vendors always serve delicious treats,” McLaurin said. “With all the great food at festivals, it’s so hard to choose from, but you can never go wrong with a good corndog.”
Festivals provide festivities interest a wide variety of people from foodies, music lovers and those with an artsy mind. Something happens across the state every weekend of every month.
Some upcoming spring festivals in MS are: Double Decker in Oxford April 26-27, Spring Downtown in Hattiesburg March 2 and Hubfest March 30, Loose Caboose Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Newton March 30, Day in the Park in Laurel May 4 at Mason Park and Frida Fest takes place in Bay St. Louis July 13.
photo courtesy Visit HBURG