Starkville festival packs plenty into seven hours

The city of Starkville could see its busiest seven hours next weekend.
Organizers for the Cotton District Arts Festival have packed in plenty of art, dancing, music and contests into the festival’s seven-hour time span.
“There’s something for everybody,” said Suzy Turner, a co-chairperson for Villages and Events at the festival.
The art is really the star of the show.
“We have about 100 artisans coming to sell products or things that they’ve done,” she said, noting that there will be a variety of artwork available.
Childrens’ villages will also be set up with a variety of activities.
“They’ll have face painting, drumming and all kinds of fun things for the kids to do,” Turner said.
There will also be a dog parade, chalk drawing contest and a 5K run, she said.
Speaking of the run, there will also be wellness activities going on sponsored by the Starkville Wellness Center.
Competitions at this year’s festival include the Poetry Slam, Taste of Starkville, Server Relay Race and student art.

Tunes and more
The music featured at this year’s Cotton District Arts Festival is just as diverse as the other activities going on.
“We’ve got gospel, we’ve got R&B, we’ve got blues, rock, punk, alt-country, folky stuff – we’re all over the map,” said Jim Beaty, co-chairman of the entertainment committee.
George McConnell, who has played with Widespread Panic and the Kudzu Kings, is the festival’s headliner. Nash Street, Soul Gravy, Jeff & Jeff, Graball Freerun are also on the roster for the three main stages.
A fourth stage, the Metrocast Local Stage, will feature native song and dance from the International Village and presentations from school and theatre groups.
Turner promises the Cotton District Arts Festival will entertain anyone.
“Everything’s going on all at once, going on all over the place, plus all these bands are participating at the same time, so it’s really amazing,” she said. “Whatever it is that you enjoy, if it has to do with the arts, it’s here.”

The Starkville Area Arts Council will host the 14th annual Cotton District Arts Festival from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 18 in the Historic Cotton District. (662) 324-3080.

Sheena Barnett/Daily Journal