NEW ALBANY, MS – July 23-Festival organizers are hoping to improve upon the success of last year’s Tallahatchie Riverfest, New Albany’s signature fall festival which generally falls on the last weekend of September each year. This year’s festival will be September 25th and 26th falling on the birthday of William Faulkner (September 25th) the date around which the event was originally organized.
The festival will begin on Friday with the Faulkner Literary Competition Awards luncheon at noon. Awards will be given for novels, short stories, student, one act plays and poetry. Jill Smith, the director of the Union County Heritage Museum and of the competition says that interest in Faulkner brings in entries from all over the world. While the entry deadline for the novels category has passed, entries for the other categories can be submitted until July 31.
Riverfest will continue Friday evening at the Park Along the River in downtown New Albany. The evening will see the Ferris Wheel and a food midway set up as well as a new addition this year…a mobile snake zoo where, for a couple of bucks, interested folks can walk through a trailer and look at a number of different types of exotic and poisonous snakes. The music on Friday night will be a “local music showcase” featuring bands from Union County. Featured in the line-up will be Allison’s Rage (classic rock), Cadillac Funk (blues and funk) and an enduring favorite, The Spunkmonkees (80’s rock).
The local music showcase on Friday night is in response to some founded suggestions after last year’s show. “While we want to draw folks to New Albany for the festival nationally-known acts, we also want to support local musicians,” according to Sean Johnson, the festival’s director. Musicians from North Mississippi will also be playing on various stages throughout the day on Saturday.
On Saturday the festival opens up with BNA River Run, a popular 5K run that has been sponsored by the BNA Bank for a number of years. By mid-morning the arts and vending booths will be opening up. This year the festival has partnered with Tallahatchie Arts Council to manage the booths. There will be three market areas at the festival. The juried arts market will be located at the courthouse lawn; the green market, featuring homemade and craft items will be located at Cooper Park; and the “Market Street” Market, which includes t-shirts, rugs, toys and all manner of items will again be located down the middle of Bankhead street downtown.
In addition to the arts and music during the day on Saturday, there will also be kids’ events including face painting, arts projects, a magic show and other programming ending with a Pet Parade in the afternoon. At 2pm the Tallahatchie River Players will present plays and readings from the 2014 Faulkner Literary Competition’s one act play winners.
The festival will culminate on Saturday evening with free shows by Paul Thorn, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors and Raelyn Nelson (Willie Nelson’s granddaughter) on the River Stage at the park.
“Last year we had a great turnout for the festival and holding the concerts on the decorated banks of the Tallahatchie River with the Ferris Wheel in the background made for a beautiful event that we plan to replicate this year,” says Johnson.
For more information on the festival, including videos and profiles of the headlining acts, there is a website, www.tallahatchieriverfest.com and the festival also has a lively Facebook page with information updated weekly. Simply search Facebook for “Tallahatchie Riverfest” to access it.
A little sample of the many moods of Paul Thorn:
For information on recent updates to the Tallahatchie Riverfest events.
New Albany Marketing & Tourism