It’s beginning to look and feel like fall, y’all. October is gearing up to be a busy one as communities throughout the Golden Triangle are preparing to host festivals.
Columbus and Caledonia will celebrate their communities with the 7th Avenue Heritage Festival on Oct. 1-2 and Caledonia Day on Oct. 16. All things art will be featured at the Cotton District Art Festival in Starkville on Oct. 2 and Downtown Art Walk in Columbus on Oct. 9.
No matter where you end up, organizers are doing their best to ensure a safe and good time.
7th Avenue Heritage Festival
The festival’s Community Impact Awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Sim Scott Park Community Center.
Organizer Kabir Karriem, a state representative, noted that this year’s honorees include Johnny Hampton, Martin Andrews, Lavonne Harris, Nadia Colom, Scott Volland, Leroy Brooks, Jeff Smith, Doug Pellum and Johnathan West.
The festival, which Karriem called the South’s largest free block party, also honors people who have contributed to the Columbus community.
The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Oct. 1 with a concert featuring various artists.
Oct. 2, the festival enters its second day at 10 a.m. with the Seventh Avenue Heritage Festival Parade. Local music, art, food, and a kid’s village will also be featured that day.
This year’s music headliners are Grammy nominee artists Carl Thomas and DJ Mannie Fresh. Karriem said local artists, such as Jeff Floyd and Angel The Songstress and local gospel choirs, will also perform.
The 39th annual festival celebrates the culture and entrepreneurial spirit of the Columbus district in what was an African American business and entertainment district.
Cotton District Arts Festival
Starkville Area Arts Council will host the Cotton District Arts Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 2.
The festival, which is usually held in the spring, was moved to the fall due to COVID, said Emily Corbin Camp, chair of the festival, and Juliette Reid, SAAC administrative support and volunteer coordinator.
A pet parade kicks off this year’s event.
The festival’s juried art exhibit can be visited Saturday at the Mississippi State Visual Arts Center, 808 University Drive.
Over 145 arts and craft vendors will line Cotton District roads. Camp noted that there will be three stages for musicians, an international village and a writer’s village. A children’s village, filled with family friendly activities, will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Over 20 Taste of Starkville food vendors, ranging from restaurants to food trucks, will also be on hand.
“We’ll have all kinds of art vendors — painters, candlemakers, photographers, graphic designers, jewelry,” Reid said. “The festival organizers are selective in curating a unique experience with all the different vendors.”
New to the festival this year is the sale of beer, Camp said. A VIP tent is also being offered for festival sponsors.
Festival proceeds help SAAC host activities, such as Art in the Park and its exhibits. The organization also hosts business skills workshops for artists.
“It helps keep the lights on and helps us support the arts community,” Camp said.
Volunteers are still needed, Reid said. People can sign up to volunteer or learn more about the festival at https://www.cdafestival.com/
Downtown Art Walk
Columbus Arts Council and Main Street Columbus will host the 2021 Downtown Art Walk from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 9. This free, downtown event gives locals and tourists the opportunity to purchase fine art, meet the artists, take advantage of in-store discounts and promotions with downtown Columbus’ unique shops and enjoy music in the streets provided by local entertainers.
First time organizer Danielle Berghuis says Caledonia Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at Ola J. Pickett Park.
The festival started in 2003 as a centennial celebration of the town in Lowndes County.
“A lot of people come back home to visit family and friends the weekend of the festival,” Berghuis said. “Food is always fun and there is a fellowship. People will get to see different arts and crafts.”
The festival will begin with a pet parade, where people can dress up their pet and walk through the park.
A bloodmobile will be at the festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Berghuis said the festival has about 12 food vendors and 75 arts and crafts vendors along with some boutiques.
“Hopefully, we can go back to two days next year,” she said of the festival.
Proceeds are put back into the town of Caledonia.