Fourth annual Fiber Festival begins Friday

Published 10:27 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

Vicksburg is hosting Mississippi’s own festival for those who like to use their hands to weave, knit, spin and crochet fibers into something new.

The Magnolia State Fiber Festival will be Friday and Saturday at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Mulberry St. The festival will be open for shopping from noon to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Workshops will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is free.

“Just come on in and enjoy yourself,” organizer Brenda Harrower said.

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About 24 vendors are coming in from around the south including groups from Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. These vendors will sell different kinds of yarn, silks, wools, knitting and crochet accessories, weaving looms and spinning supplies to name a few.

“They carry anything from yarn, knitting and crochet accessories— needles that kind of thing— to weaving supplies,” Harrower said. “There is going to be a guy there with his felting machine so you can make a rug out of whatever fibers that you can find or that you have.”

About 27 workshops will be held in the five categories of crochet, felting and fiber processing, knitting, spinning and shuttle tatting, and weaving.

“We’ve got anything from knitting to spinning to weaving,” Harrower said.

Some of those courses include coiled baskets, braids, beginning spinning, beginning knitting, freeform crochet and knitting with beads. Most classes are on a beginner level with a few intermediate level classes being offered and some open to all. The class fees are between $16 and $91.

Harrower and her husband Mike organize the entire festival. This is the fourth year the festival has been held and the second year it has been at the convention center. The group outgrew their last location, and she hopes the attendance numbers continue to stay high.

“Last year I think we had between 800 and 1,000 so we’re hoping for that much this year or more,” Harrower said.

Events and operations manager Erin Powell Southward is glad to have the fiber festival back at the convention center.

“I was here last year for it, and it was a great event,” Southward said. “There were people who came from around the country to purchase, because you can’t just go to Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby and buy the yarn they have here.”

Southward said the yarn available at the festival is unique because it is spun, dyed and harvested by hand, and one woman told her she would travel to New Orleans to get the same type fiber.

In addition to the fiber workshops and fiber accessories for sale, there will also be some furry friends in attendance.

“Angora Bunnies will be here on Friday and Saturday,” Harrower said. “We’ll have Gulf Coast Native sheep here on Saturday.”

She said the mother and baby animals would be on-hand for people to learn about, see and pet.

Harrower said the festival is a great learning experience for young and old.

For more information and a detailed schedule to workshops, visit