TAKE A WALK: Rain couldn’t stop Saturday’s ‘Sip Stroll

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The ‘Sip Stroll on Saturday allowed the public to have pedestrian access to the Old Mississippi River Bridge during the Mighty ‘Sip Fest.

The bridge is only opened to the public a few times a year during special events. The rest of the time it is only used for train traffic.

Warren County Board of Supervisors President Kelle Barfield said at the board’s weekly meeting on Monday that she was very pleased with the turnout.

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“The total attendance was in excess of 700 when you count the children,” she said. “And of those, almost exactly one quarter were tourists from zip codes that were outside of Warren County, and about three-quarters were 39180.”

Visitors took the unique opportunity to stroll along the bridge while listening to live music and watching Plein Air painters who had set up their easels on the bridge render the Mississippi River and Vicksburg landscape. Food trucks were also available for hungry festivalgoers.

The bridge was closed between 3 and 4 p.m. for three trains to pass through and reportedly went without any complications.

Some rain that started around noon halted the painters’ activities but didn’t dissuade many curious festival goers wanting to see the view.

“Even with the rain, it rained between noon and one, 40 people showed up with umbrellas,” Barfield said. “So it didn’t deter them. They were very appreciative.”

Barfield said the response to the event was very positive, with only a couple of minor complaints, adding that she only had one complaint from an individual who was surprised that the “Sip” in “‘Sip Stroll” referred to the Mississippi River and not to the availability of alcohol.