The second annual Ecru Peach Festival Saturday, June 15, was a big success with good attendance, great fun and perfect mild weather with low humidity. It was the place to be Saturday and Saturday night.
Visitors from around North Mississippi and a few from nearby states made the small former railroad town at the Pontotoc/Union County line the place to be all day and all night Saturday.
Daytime visitors consumed peach ice cream and other delicacies made from that succulent fruit. They enjoyed shopping in the unique specialty shops lining Ecru’s renovated Main Street. Cherry Creek Orchards, of Pontotoc, had a supply of the fruit of the day on hand for those who wished to take some home and make their own goodies.
This being an election year in Mississippi, candidates for county offices and seats in the state legislature spoke to the crowd assembled for the Ecru Peach Festival. The top ranking official to speak was William Waller, Jr., the recently retired Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, who is considered the top Republican contender in the race for Mississippi Governor.
When night came, the gaslights that help preserve Ecru’s old time ambiance came on and helped illuminate the scene as musicians took the stage erected in the middle of Main Street.
The headliner act Saturday night was “The Bouffants” from Memphis, an act that features female singers in dress and hairdos reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s. Backed by an excellent six piece band, the singers performed songs from the hits of Motown and classic Southern Rock and Roll.
Ecru grew up as a stop on Colonel William Clark Falkner’s Ship Island and Ripley Railroad in the late 19th century. It was a prosperous country market town into the twentieth century, but declined in the last part of that century.
It has recently enjoyed a renaissance. The Tanglefoot bicycling and hiking trail was developed on the old railroad right of way, drawing visitors from around the country. Perhaps most importantly, most of the 19th century buildings on Ecru’s Main Street have been renovated, preserving their old time character while repurposing them for 21st century use.
Modern retail stores with specialty merchandise and one of the best health and fitness centers in North Mississippi are now prominent downtown features, drawing visitors from well beyond Ecru. Ecru has become perhaps the most attractive town of its size in North Mississippi.
It showed itself well during the Second Annual Ecru Peach Festival.