This coming Saturday, April 21, 2012 marks the 17th Annual Cotton District Arts Festival in Starkville Ms. This yearly event draws over 42,000 people looking for music, art, and food. The best part? Dogs are not only allowed, they are invited!
The Cotton District is a residential neighborhood interspersed with small restaurants and small houses set close together. The majority of residents are college students who rent the houses fashioned after the French Quarter with refurbished older homes and brand new homes made to look old.
The event kicks off at 8 am with a 5K race at the Old Cotton Mill and the Pet Parade sponsored by Spruill Properties. We never get there this early for several reasons – we are lazy on Saturday mornings and since we run into so many people we know throughout the event Kirby would be exhausted by the afternoon. We do get to ooh and awe over lots of cute costumes the dogs continue to wear throughout the day.
First is the live music by a variety of local and regional performers performed on three stages set throughout the area. It starts at 9:30 am and will include Tupelo, Mississippi native Jordyn Mallory who performed on American Idol last year and Charlie Worsham from Grenada, Mississippi who has opened for Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift.
Next is the original artwork from painters, potters, and sculptors throughout the region. Meandering along booths set up side by side up and down several streets is my kind of shopping. One of my faves are the metal sculptures depicting animals, of course I can never resist picking up another unique piece of pottery, and the jewelry is always so beautiful and whimsy.
The last but not least crucial ingredient is the “Taste of Starkville” a cultural smorgasbord of flavorful cuisine from more than twenty vendors. The choices can be endless from fine dining such as The Veranda and Restaurant Tyler to casual dining such as Peppers and The Grill to the more traditional fair foods. My favorite is always the lamb Gyro from Zorba's Greek Tavern. Kirby actually enjoyed some fried alligator one year.
Kirby just loved visiting with all the children who were well behaved and gentle. The event is free, so if you live near Starkville then grab your comfy shoes and join us!
They say a tired dogger is a happy dogger - he slept all the way home!
**These are pictures from last year's event.