Starkville festival continues exapnding with more art, food and music

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

The recession hasn’t hit the Cotton District Arts Festival.
“We have more artists and food vendors than ever – this is our biggest so far,” said festival organizer Emilie Cravens. “We’ve even expanded the festival down the street. It’s going to be really exciting.”
More than 100 artists have signed up to show off their goods at this year’s festival.
Forty of those artists are new to the event, Cravens said.
Replacing the Bully Art Auction is Art Outdoors. Art events have been taking place throughout April, and artists will auction off what they made during those events on Saturday.
As for food, there will be 23 vendors at this year’s Cotton District Arts Festival.
“We’ve got a lot of variety, from ethnic foods to Cajun to classic barbecue,” she said.
The Taste of Starkville competition pits food vendor against food vendor. There’s also a Server’s Race to find the most talented server in Starkville.
The music selections have grown, too, Cravens said.
“There’s everything from funk to bluegrass to rock ‘n’ roll,” she said.
The Flames, who are headlining the main stage, are one of the most popular bands in Starkville.
“They’re a total dance band,” she said.

More goings-on
Besides art, food and music, there will also be an International Village, home to a fashion show and dancers.
A Writers’ Village will feature local writers reading selections, and it also allows aspiring writers to report on the festival.
Following the festival, MSU’s Super Bulldog weekend continues, with the Maroon/White Spring Football game kicking off at 5 p.m. Shuttles will be going between the festival and the campus during the day.
Cravens said no matter what festival-goers choose to do – whether it’s show off a pet, check out some tunes, buy artwork or eat some food – there’s something for everybody.
“It’s such a great day for the whole family, great for kids, and great for pets,” she said. “Bring everybody and enjoy.”

Make a stop
What: Cotton District Arts Festival, with art, music, food, pet, parade, 5K and kid’s events.
Where: Starkville’s Cotton District
When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free
Info: starkvillearts.org or (662) 324-3080.