Successful Riverfest, along with enthusiastic Bluz Cruz, had Vicksburg buzzing

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It was a perfect weekend for Vicksburg to host the 30th annual Riverfest.

A clear blue sky and temperatures in the mid-70s were inviting allowing for crowds of festivalgoers to enjoying events.

The theme for this year’s event was “30 years and still rockin’,” and featured music by The Chill, Projekt Band, Nikita and headliners Willie Clayton and Frank Foster.

Many of the downtown merchants also set up booths showing all they had to offer and were having special sales to coincide with the festival.

“We have an abundance of people down here. We have them going all the way past China Street,” RiverFest president Christy Pecanty said.

In conjunction with Riverfest, the 13th annual Bluz Cruz River Race was held Saturday.

Phil Capel, 65, won the 22-mile race in 2:16:36 in a closely battled finish. Capel made the trip to Vicksburg from Sherwood, Arkansas and this was his 12th time to compete.

“The last five miles were pretty good and I tried to get some separation from everybody,” Capel said. “I had one guy on my tail, and coming up the Yazoo I caught a couple rollers and was able to surf them. That sped me up about a mile an hour and that gave me a little separation because he was in a faster boat.”

On his tail was Tim Schramm, 42, from Jackson, Tennessee, who came in just behind Capel in 2:16:41.

The Bluz Cruz is hosted annually as a fundraiser for Service over Self, an organization that helps to repair homes for people in need in Vicksburg and Warren County.

More positives this week in Vicksburg:

4 On Thursday, the River City Early College, hosted a Bunny Hop Easter Carnival for students from Jacob’s Ladder, which is a special needs school for individuals with mental disabilities. During the event each Jacob’s Ladder student was partnered with a buddy from River City and treated to a morning full of fun activities that included face painting and manicures, snacks, dancing and an Easter egg hunt.

“It is a good feeling for us as people,” River City student Bianna Hamlin said. “It is us giving back to the community and us becoming friends with people we wouldn’t talk to on a normal basis, and learning that there are different types of people you have to interact with.”

4 The Vicksburg campus of Hinds Community College held a ceremony Thursday evening to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Hinds and the 42-year anniversary of the Vicksburg campus.

During the centennial celebration, Hinds honored six individuals with ties to the Vicksburg — Bobbie Anderson, Jane Lauderdale Flowers, Sharp Banks, Hal Gage, Joe Loviza and Donald Oakes.