CATEGORY: Lafayette County




By Jane Hill

Daily Journal

OXFORD – From cool blues to red hot jazz, sponsors of the Oxford Double Decker Arts Festival invite everyone to “Be There, On the Square,” for a new spring festival that includes great art, music and food.

Robyn Tannehill, executive director of the Oxford Tourism Council, said though the festival itself will be held only on Saturday, April 27, visitors and residents will have a week to warm up to the idea during the Week of Blues from April 22-27, sponsored by the tourism council and local music venues, and a week to cool down after the festival with the Week of Jazz from April 28 to May 4.

Tannehill said the festival seeks to enhance and capitalize on the many existing attractions on the Oxford Square, including Square Books bookstore and some of the most sophisticated night clubs in Mississippi.

“Using Oxford’s unique history and beauty and relying on its outstanding visual, literary and performing arts community, we will present a combination of music food and the arts that will appeal to families,” said Tannehill. “You will not find a more beautiful setting for a spring festival.”

The festival itself will be filled with activities and art with plenty of opportunities to browse and shop thrown in as well.

All activities will center around Oxford’s picturesque courthouse square, the home of the double decker English tour bus from which the festival takes its name.

The festival will begin at 10 a.m. with the Double Decker Spring 5K Walk/10K Run. Merchants citywide have agreed to participate in a citywide sidewalk sale of their wares and art vendors and food vendors also will be located around the Square during the festival.

The festival will feature two stages of live musical acts that will include R.L. Burnside, Jr. Kimbrough and Dave Thompson.

Other musical acts that will perform April 27 include the Muddy Water Blue Grass Band with the Mississippi Moonshiner Clog Dancers, the Mt. Hope M.B. Church Gospel Choir, the Oxford High Gospel Choir, the University of Mississippi Faculty Jazz Quintet, Casey Lipe and the Bad Oyster Band, the Mississippians, the Steel Drum Ensemble, the Prohibition Jazz Band and Herman Green.

The day will end with with a street dance on the Square with live music from Moonstone, The Red Tops featuring Memphis chanteuse Joyce Cobb, the Jesse Higdon Band and Blue Mountain.

Children can be entertained all day at the “Square Fair” which will include a petting zoo, clowns, a face painter, Steve Thomas Magic Shows, storytellers, a best-dressed pet contest and music.

Other sponsors of the festival who will be hosting blues and jazz artists during late April and early May include Proud Larry’s and The Gin.

Proud Larry’s has announced its schedule of artists for the weeks before and after the festival. During the week of blues the restaurant will feature Rory Block, Second Hand Jive, Chicago blues legend Junior Wells, Eddie Bayton and the Nervous Brothers, and folk rock composer and musician Michelle Shocked.

During the Week of Jazz Proud Larry’s will feature Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, New Orleans guitar legend Leo Nocentelli, and guitar genius Michael Hedges. Proud Larry’s is located off the Oxford Square at 211 S. Lamar Blvd.

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