By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – More than 55,000 people jammed the Square in Oxford on Sunday to enjoy arts and crafts, music, food and fun at the 15th annual Double Decker Festival.
The one-day event, originally scheduled for Saturday, was postponed because of severe storms that swept the state. Ten people, including three children, were killed in tornadoes that hit Yazoo, Holmes and Choctaw counties.
“I think this year’s event has been, if not as successful, then more successful than last year’s, and last year we had close to 55,000 people,” said Mary Allyn Roulhac, tourism coordinator for Oxford. “From the looks of it, it’s just as crowded.”
Shelby Myrick Young, who has One Eyed Turkey Farm in Florence, Ala., said moving the arts and crafts show to Sunday didn’t hurt her business one bit.
“We always have a good show here,” said Young, who has shown her fine woodworking pieces at the festival for three straight years.
On Sunday, Young’s top-selling items were her handcrafted cutting boards fashioned from domestic and exotic woods.
“I hardly know how one’s going to turn out,” she said. “But I’ve never made an ugly one.”
Young and her husband, Bill, also raise turkeys on their self-sustaining farm.
“We raise our own food, can our own food, kill our own chickens,” she said. “But not my turkeys. They’re our pets – they all have names. I go to the Winn-Dixie to buy my turkeys just like everybody else.”
Young said she likes showing at the Double Decker because it’s a one-day festival.
“I do better at a one-day show,” said Young, as she steadied her tent flaps as a big gust of wind blew through. “People know they only have one day to shop and buy and they bring their pocketbooks. At two-day shows, people look at your stuff and say they’ll be back the next day to buy, but they never show back up.”
Jan Carter, from The Carter Pottery in Gore Springs, was back for his eighth year selling brightly colored Raku pottery.
“Today’s been a little off with me,” Carter said. “It would have been better on Saturday.”
Carter will also be selling his wares at the GumTree Festival in Tupelo on Mother’s Day weekend.
“I wouldn’t miss GumTree,” he said. “That’s always a big one for us.”
Deborah and Stephen Edmonson of Ridgeland and their four children made the trip to Oxford for two reasons: Ole Miss baseball and the Double Decker.
“It worked out well for us,” said Stephen Edmonson, who met up with family members from Tupelo at the festival. “We all got to see baseball on Saturday and then come here today. If everything had been Saturday, the men probably would have gone to the game and the women would have come here to shop.”
And shop they did.
“We’ve picked out several things – artwork and bird feeders,” said Deborah Edmonson. “Now, we’ve just got to go back and buy it.”
Jessica Bruce of Nashville, Tenn., was back at the Double Decker for the first time since 2005, the year she graduated from Ole Miss.
“I had a lot of fun when I came here as a student,” said Bruce, who was standing in line at the Two Stick food booth. “I thought it would be something fun to come back to.”
Contact Ginna Parsons at 678-1581 or firstname.lastname@example.org