USM students and the Hattiesburg community came together yet again for downtown Hattiesburg’s annual Hubfest Saturday, March 29.
Hubfest was created by the Hattiesburg Chamber of Commerce in 1985. It allows for the community to come together for food, fun and fellowship. Throughout the day, local artists performed as people shopped from different vendors and indulged in crawfish, corn dogs and an assortment of sweet treats.
The festival has grown tremendously in the last few years bringing in roughly 10,000 people and over 200 vendors from across the South.
The heart of the festival is the Juried Arts section. Here you will find items ranging from handmade jewelry to birdhouses. Politicians and volunteer organizations were also found handing out pamphlets and voicing to visitors their beliefs and how they want to better the Hattiesburg community.
One of the main attractions of the weekend was the music aspect. The genres ranged from country to classic rock. Different venues in downtown Hattiesburg showcased local musicians and there was also a main stage available for people to enjoy. Hubfest featured USM student Gary Stanton on the Post Office steps during the late afternoon.
Another part that attracted the masses was the excellent food. Plates of crawfish were sold for $15 while visitors could also enjoy corn dogs and funnel cakes from street vendors.
Also, many restaurants downtown had lunch and drink specials throughout the day. The drinks vendors made sure to be fully stocked with beers from Hattiesburg’s very own brewery, Southern Prohibition. Hubfest brings in a lot of income for the restaurants and stores in the downtown Hattiesburg area.
Many Southern Miss students came out to join the festivities.
Heather Chopin, a junior communication studies major comes to Hubfest every year. “I love looking at the different booths and listening to the live music, which is by far my favorite part,” Chopin said. “I also love getting to see everyone there. I enjoy being able to do something different and walking around downtown Hattiesburg.”
Some students attended the event as volunteers for different organizations and vendors. Katie Hogan, a sophomore international studies major, volunteered for the Hattiesburg Lions Club by helping test for diabetes and by giving eye exams to visitors. This year was Hogan’s first time attending Hubfest.
“My first Hubfest experience was great,” Hogan said. “I got to see aspects of Hattiesburg I’ve never experienced before, and I enjoyed interacting with people by volunteering with Hattiesburg Lions Club.”
“This was my third Hubfest, and I felt it was the best so far,” said Elyssa Klipsch, a junior music education major. “There were so many people out enjoying the festivities. It was such a beautiful day to spend downtown.”
Hattiesburg is thriving from the growth of the downtown area. Students and members of the Hattiesburg community are supporting the local businesses. Hubfest is a great way to get involved in the community and to really see what the city of Hattiesburg can offer everyone.
The community of Hattiesburg is already looking forward to celebrating another Hubfest in spring 2015.