Plenty of arts, crafts, music in store today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2003

[4/12/03]Vicksburg’s weekend of activities continues today with the second day of Riverfest and the 34th Annual Arts & Crafts Show and Sale.

The arts & crafts show, where vendors gather at the Old Court House Museum to sale their wares, will be from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Gates will open at 10 a.m. for the daytime activities at Riverfest and the evening of music and dance will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center

Organizers of the festival described the first night’s turnout as “light,” but are hopeful that good weather will bring more people tonight. About 600 people came through the gates during the first hour Friday night.

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Last year’s events drew an estimated 17,000 people over the three-day weekend.

“It’s a little light, but everybody that’s here is trying to have a little fun,” Riverfest board chairman Jose Oakley said.

“And everybody’s going to put the word out that they had fun,” he added.

The National Weather Service is predicting a high temperature of 78 and a low tonight of 52. Rain has been a problem for the outdoor festival usually on Washington Street in previous years, but the forecast calls for clear skies with light winds.

This year’s festival was also moved to the Vicksburg Convention Center because of construction in the 1100 and 1200 blocks of downtown.

Vendors are set up in the parking lot outside the convention center and inside along with two stages for the entertainment. Two entrances are on Mulberry Street. Mulberry, Depot and Pearl streets by the convention center will be closed for Riverfest.

Daytime events are free and include children’s activities and games. Other booths include food, rock climbing and a mechanical bull. Admission tonight when the bands start playing is $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Performers will include The Patrick Smith Band, Venus Mission, Atlanta Rythm Section, Chuck Strong and David Brinston.

This is the 16th year for Riverfest, started by the Chamber of Commerce as a way to bring people downtown. Since then, it has spun off into an event sponsored by an independent, non-profit committee.