TUPELO – In less than a week, the Lee County Courthouse grounds will host Tupelo’s 38th celebration of the arts.
About 100 artists from the Southeastern United States and beyond will bring their paintings, pottery, jewelry and more to the Cellular South GumTree Festival.
“We’ll have some of our regulars from past festivals and we’ll have artists who haven’t been here before,” said Tina Lutz, festival director. “It’s a good mix.”
There’s no fee to drop by the festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 10, so everyone’s invited to tour the booths and talk with the artists.
“I would really like to encourage people to come out and support the visual arts,” Lutz said. “You don’t have to buy anything, though the artists would love it if you did and so would we, but just come out and enjoy the art.”
In addition to the visual arts, the festival will include two full days of music on the Broadway Street Stage. Performers will include Rocket 88, Eric Deaton Trio, Afrissippi, Blue Mountain, Balance Jazz Trio and more. The 2009 Songwriters Showcase will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday and continue at 11 a.m. on Mother’s Day.
The Youth Stage will include ballet dancers, show choirs, gymnasts, drummers and improvisational comedy.
“We’re asking people to bring their own chairs for the Youth Stage and music stage this year,” Lutz said.
Kids will get creative, as they make scratch art, tissue paper flowers and bubble paintings.
“We’ll have sack hats, which are a lot of fun,” Lutz said, putting an imaginary hat on her head. “We make them out of paper sacks and tissue paper. The kids love them.”
You can help
There’s plenty of work for Lutz and an army of volunteers to complete before the fun gets started. If you happen to be in downtown Tupelo on Thursday, you can help.
“We will close down Broadway Street, Spring Street and Court Street after 5 p.m. on Thursday,” she said. “We appreciate everyone’s cooperating and getting their cars out of there. It’ll really help us get ready.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal .com.