Two signature Starkville events — Mississippi State University’s Super Bulldog Weekend and the Starkville Area Arts Council’s Cotton District Arts Festival — are set to draw in tourists from across the Southeast this weekend.
MSU’s three-day event features the Maroon-White spring football game, a baseball series against the University of Kentucky, a softball home stand against the University of South Carolina and numerous tennis and volleyball matches, while Saturday’s staple arts festival will feature more than 125 artists’ booths, 20 music performances and other activities.
Admission to the spring football game, softball series and men’s tennis matches is free, while fans can purchase tickets to the MSU-UK baseball series through the MSU Athletic Ticket Office located behind the Dudy Noble Field grandstand.
The MSU women’s basketball team, which recently concluded a historic run to the NCAA Tournament’s championship game, will be honored with events throughout the weekend, including a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Friday at City Hall Plaza. The team’s seniors will also throw out the first pitch of Saturday’s 6 p.m. softball game, sign autographs from 2-3 p.m. at Saturday’s spring football game and be recognized Sunday during MSU’s 6 p.m. baseball game.
Other Friday events include: a pig cooking at the parking lot north of the Howell Building (8 a.m.), men’s tennis match against Texas A&M at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre (3 p.m.), sampling of the grill at the Howell Building parking lot (4 p.m.), MSU baseball versus UK at Dudy Noble Field (6 p.m.), MSU softball versus USC at Nusz Park (6 p.m.) and a 7 p.m. alumni volleyball game at the Newell-Grissom Building.
Saturday’s lineup features: a pig cooking and judging event at the Howell Building parking lot (9 a.m.-noon), volleyball matches against Southeastern Louisiana University (10 a.m.) and Samford University (11:30 a.m.) at the Newell-Grissom Building, sampling of the grill at the Howell Building parking lot (noon), MSU softball versus USC at Nusz Park (noon), the Maroon-White spring football game at Davis Wade Stadium (3 p.m.) and a 6 p.m. MSU baseball game versus UK at Dudy Noble Field.
Super Bulldog Weekend concludes Sunday with a noon softball matchup against USC at Nusz Park, a 1 p.m. baseball game versus UK at Dudy Noble Field and a 1 p.m. men’s tennis match against Louisiana State University at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
For more on Super Bulldog Weekend’s events, visit HailState.com.
Named one of the best events in the state and Southeast, Saturday’s Cotton District Arts Festival features a pet parade and trick competition; Artisans’, Children’s, International and Writers’ villages; a juried art competition and exhibit; the Taste of Starkville food competition; three stages for musical event; and plenty of arts and crafts on sale.
The 9 a.m. pet parade begins the day’s events schedule, and registration for the event starts at 8. Trick performances are scheduled for 9:30 a.m., and an awards ceremony will follow.
The MSU Visual Arts Center Gallery, located at 808 University Dr., will also open at 9 a.m. and feature the winning pieces from this year’s juried art competition.
Culture from across the globe will be on display at the International Village. An international fashion show will take place at noon, and a “World Jam” block party is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The festival’s Writers’ Village will feature contests for aspiring wordsmiths, including the Six-Word Story and Writer’s Block Instagram events. Those wishing to participate in the day’s events can sign up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the village’s tents.
Local cuisine will be on display in the Taste of Starkville food competition. Participants will create unique street food menus and compete for awards including Most Innovative, Most Festival Friendly and Best of Taste.
Three stages will feature a wide range of music and other performances throughout the day. Playing on the West Stage are Brent Varner (9 a.m.); Huge Ghost (10 a.m.); Jake Slinkard & Co. (11 a.m.); the noon Songwriter Competition winners Jonny Hollis, Bill Cooke and Spike Harris; the Girl Skouts (1 p.m.), the Doomsters (2 p.m.); Stagolee (3 p.m.); and Kannawemrz (4 p.m.), while Stormy Monday Blues Band (9 a.m.), the Dips (10 a.m.), Hardluck Chuck (11 a.m.), Blue Matter (noon), Old Memphis Kings (1 p.m.), Tesheva (2 p.m.), Flat Head Ford (3 p.m.) and the Cedric Burnside Project (4 p.m.) will perform on the East Stage.
Reserved for local school groups, entertainers and other events, the festival’s South Stage will feature the pet parade’s award ceremony (9:30 a.m.), the Starkville High School Jazz Band (10:15 a.m.), the Armstrong Middle School musical “Lion King” (11:15 a.m.), the SHS Chorus (11:45 a.m.), SHS’ Mississippi Theatre Association representatives (12:30 p.m.), the Homeschool Co-op (1:15 p.m.), AA of JC Praise Raisers (2 p.m.), Starkville Strings (2:45 p.m.) and a 3:30 p.m. poetry slam.
For more information on the Cotton District Arts Festival, visit CDAFestival.com and StarkvilleArts.org.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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