Flaggs: Riverfest will be one day, more affordable, profitable

Published 11:33 am Friday, June 22, 2018

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. wants the city’s annual Riverfest arts and music festival to be shorter, more appealing to families, and hopefully profitable.

“Riverfest was good. It was great; it was awesome, but it did not reach my standard,” Flaggs said. “My standard is that it make money or at least break even. It did not break even, and I take sole responsibility for that because I should have stepped in and made some changes to make some accountability.”

His comments came at the start of a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday, when he named an 11-member committee and charged it with developing ideas to make Riverfest more family-friendly and reduce the cost of admission and entertainment.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Named to the Riverfest committee were Annette Kirklin, chairman, Doug Whittington, Cassandra Reed, Kim Hopkins, Laura Beth Strickland, Walter Osborne, Ashley Hoeft, Kimball Goodlow, Erin Southard, Alvin Coleman and Debra Goodman. Flaggs will serve as an ex-officio member.

Riverfest in its present form, Flaggs said, “Was too big for this city. Everybody enjoyed it and I’m glad you did. (But) we don’t need Riverfest in Vicksburg for two days; we need it for one day, for a family to go downtown enjoy themselves … we don’t need two days. We ain’t going to have Riverfest two days no more. One day is enough to celebrate Vicksburg.”

He said the admission price had to drop below the $20 charged this year to make it more affordable to families. “We either cut it down to $10 or free,” he said. “Free means we (the city) pay for it, because I want everybody to enjoy it; it’s a time to celebrate Vicksburg.

“We’re going to put it down where we can afford it, we’re going to put it down where it’s accountable. And if you want to see Diana Ross or Patti LaBelle, you go see ’em on your own time; we’re not bringing those here any more. We’re bringing in the folks we can afford.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John