Gather at the Gumtree Festival

You’ll find downtown Tupelo filled with pleasant surprises on Mother’s Day weekend.
The 40th GumTree Festival of the Arts will transform the area around the Lee County Courthouse on Saturday and Sunday.
More than 80 artists will set up booths, and tempt your eyes with paintings, jewelry, glass sculptures, pottery and much more.
“It’s a juried festival, so they had to earn their way in,” said Kit Stafford, festival director. “We have tried and true GumTree artists coming back. We also have exciting new artists coming.”
As with last year, the artists’ booths will be set up on Broadway and Court streets, off the courthouse lawn.
The music stage will be on Jefferson Street, and it’ll include a performance at 1:15 p.m. Saturday by former Widspread Panic guitarist George McConnell.
“We’ve got some great acts on our music stage this year,” Stafford said. “There’s a lot to enjoy.”
Kids will have access to “bouncy houses” and a climbing wall on Spring Street. In addition, youngsters are invited to unleash their artistic sides at the activities tent.
“We’re going to have a car mural,” Stafford said. “People can come and just add their artistry to the car. That’s something that will appeal to kids and all ages. I hope they make it really lovely.”
In addition, Tupelo Ballet, Elite Gymnastics, North Mississippi Dance Center, Partlow Drummers, Tupelo High School’s Structure and others are scheduled to show off their talents on the GumTree youth stage.
The festival is 40 years old this year. In some ways, it’s a familiar event because people return year after year.
In other ways, every year is new because you never know when you’re going to turn a corner and be surprised and delighted by what you find.
“There’s variety for everybody. You have to come,” Stafford said. “It’ll be the largest collection of artists and art that you’ll be able to find for hundreds of miles.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal