GumTree Festival weekend kicks off today

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A Tupelo tradition continues this weekend with the 42nd annual GumTree Festival.
The two-day festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, will welcome artists, musicians dancers and more to downtown Tupelo.
“We have right at 100 exceptional artists. There are favorites from last year and there are some who are coming for the first time,” said Kit Stafford, director of the festival and the GumTree Museum of Art. “We have a wonderful variety, and it’ll be a treat for people who want to see something new.”
The festival kicks off with the GumBall tonight at Goodlett Manor, which is $25 to attend.
The GumTree Festival, which is free, opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Artists who will be at this year’s festival include photographer Jason Stoddart, fiber artist Linda Lindale, mixed media artist Tracey Savery Davis, jeweler Juanita Havet and painters John Armistead, Bailey Jack and Frankie Buckley.
Entertainment for the weekend includes bands like The Pollies, Paper Blues and McArthur Trio, as well as performances by Tupelo Ballet, Splash and Judy Ready Dance Studio.
The Gum Tree 10k race is Saturday morning. The race map is the same as last year’s, beginning at 206 West Main St. and running through downtown Tupelo before ending in Fairpark.
There will also be kids’ activities, which will either be free or low cost, Stafford said.
“This is one of the finest traditions of Tupelo,” Stafford said. “It celebrates the arts in the community and how the community celebrates art. It’s remarkable it’s lasted 42 years; it’s stood the test of time.”
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Road Information
• The race course will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m. until the end of the race.
• The race starts in front of Cafe 212 on Main Street headed west. It turns north on Church, west on Jefferson, north on Park, west on Blair, north on Clayton, west on Woodlawn, north on Joyner, east on Marshall,
north on Belk, east on Lee, east on Clayton, south on Chester, east on
Maxwell, north on Clayton, northeast on Country Club Road, east on Mc-
Cullough, south on Front, east on Franklin, south on Commerce and
west on Main to the finish at Fairpark.
• Broadway Street closed on Thursday and remains closed through the
• Today starting at 9 a.m., Jefferson, Court and Spring streets will close
for the weekend.
• Today starting at 6:30 p.m. through noon on Saturday, Troy and Commerce streets will be closed around Fairpark.
• From 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Main Street will be blocked from Fairpark until Church Street.

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