The 26th Market Street Festival will celebrate the 1980s May 6-7 in downtown Columbus.
This year’s theme is 1980, Main Street Columbus Executive Director Barbara Bigelow said.
The festival kicks off May 6, with 1980-themed karaoke from 6-7 p.m. at the Lowndes County Soccer Complex. Activities include a costume contest and prizes.
Almost Famous, a 1980s cover band, will perform from 7-9 p.m.
“Their song list is all ‘80s songs you can think of,” said Festival Coordinator Amber Brislin.
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blanket to the free concert.
Market Street Festival starts early on May 7 with the Market Street Festival and WCBI 5K Splash of Color run, which will start at 8 p.m. at the Lowndes County Soccer Complex.
The race will take place at the soccer complex and on the Riverwalk.
Preregister online at raceroster.com . Race-day registration and T-shirt pickup will be held from 7-7:45 a.m.
The race will not be timed and festival 1980s-style clothing is encouraged. Brislin noted that prizes will be awarded for costumes.
The festival, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 7, will have two music venues.
Main Stage will be located on Main Street, between the Post Office and City Hall. Performances there will include 9:15 a.m., National Anthem; 9:20-9:50 a.m., Suzuki Strings; 10-10:45 a.m., Flathead Ford; 11:15 a.m. to noon, Three Amigos; 12:30-1:15 p.m., The Hellbillies; 1:45-2:30 p.m., Juke Joint Gypsies; and 3-4 p.m., J. River.
The Leadership Plaza Stage will be at the intersection of College Street and 5th Street South. Performances include: 10-11 a.m., Mississippi School of Mathematics and Science Blue Notes; 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., In Loco Parentis; 12:30-1:30 p.m., T. Marsh; 1:45-2:45 p.m., Ali-Kats; and 3-4 p.m., Mississippi Mason.
There will also be two children’s activities areas, one at the parking lot at the intersection of College and 6th streets and the other at the intersection of Main Street and 4th Street South. Children will be able to participate in activities by purchasing tickets.
The festival itself will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Besides music and children’s activities, there will also be a car show and food and craft vendors.
Downtown businesses will be open and some will host special events, Bigelow said.
Market Street Festival is something the Columbus community looks forward to every year, Brislin said.
“It’s very important,” she said. “Barbara and I can both attest to this, so many people are just so glad that we’re able to finally have the event. It has been missed.
“Not only for that economic impact that we were talking about, and not just what it does for our downtown, but for the community’s quality of life,” Brislin continued.
Bigelow noted that the organizers aim for a family friendly festival in all aspects of the event — from the activities to the band to the food.
“We try to add a lot of fun into it for the kids, as well as something the adults will enjoy. So it includes something for everyone in the entire community,” she said.
Market Street Festival also serves as the largest fundraiser for Main Street Columbus.
“It helps to ensure all of the other events that we’re able to offer throughout the year can take place,” Brislin said. Such projects include other events during the year, revitalization of downtown buildings and beautification projects.
“We want to encourage people while they’re here for the festival, certainly to look around, but not to forget our local downtown shops that will be open that day,” Bigelow said.