Mighty ‘Sip Fest planners host kickoff at The Rose of Vicksburg

Published 4:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2023

Planners, vendors and stakeholders in the upcoming Mighty ‘Sip Fest event gathered on Tuesday at The Rose of Vicksburg for a kickoff party.

The event served as an information session, a collaborative conversation space and a social gathering for those contributing to the festival. Downtown merchants, local elected officials and Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau staff were among those in attendance.

For Kelle Barfield, Warren County Board of Supervisors President and owner of Lorelei Books, the event was symbolic of what Mighty ‘Sip Fest is designed to be: a four-day celebration of a united Vicksburg, held from April 13 through 16.

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“This whole event started with what (Vicksburg Convention Center Executive Director) Erin Southard is doing at the Convention Center, which is just outstanding,” Barfield said. “She’d already arranged on April 15 to bring the Alcorn Jazz Festival that morning, and supplement Friday and Saturday with the Vicksburg Arts and Music Festival.”

Once organizers realized the number of individual happenings around town during the four-day span of the festival, it was decided to market the entire weekend under the “Mighty ‘Sip Fest” umbrella. Downtown business owner Lori Fagan, who hosted Tuesday’s kickoff, said she looks forward to promoting Vicksburg as a destination for travelers from across the country.

“For me, this is a partnership for all the businesses in Vicksburg, to bring more people to town,” Fagan said. “We want them to not only stay in town for a day but to spend the night, shop in our downtown stores and eat at our restaurants.”

During Tuesday’s gathering, local artist H.C. Porter was on-hand signing event posters, which are available for purchase at Porter’s gallery and at Lorelei Books. Porter, whose artwork is featured in all promotional materials for the festival, said she appreciated the spotlight on Vicksburg’s creative community.

“I’ve done blues festivals and art festivals, but to share with the local community and also participate as a visual artist, it’s exciting that Vicksburg is taking this step,” Porter said.