Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Carver Rayburn0
20th Annual Double Decker Arts Festival Celebrates Oxford April 24-25
Oxford, Miss. (TLV) – It’s a celebration of food, music and the arts. And believe it or not, it’s turning 20.
The 20th Annual Double Decker Arts Festival is set to go live from The Square on April 24th and 25th. A self-proclaimed Southern Classic inspired by the City of Oxford’s purchase of an original double decker bus from England, the event has progressed into a weekend of food, fun, art, music and the like that attracts 60,000 each year.
This year is no different. Starting on Friday, the festival will kick off with a special edition of Thacker Mountain Radio from The Graduate Hotel Stage, slated to start at 7 pm.
“The festival showcases Oxford as a town that supports the arts and has grown to be one of the champion events in the region,” Visit Oxford Director Mary Allyn Hedges said. “It started as the brainchild of Robyn Tannehill and the Oxford Tourism Council board at the time (1996) who wanted to celebrate all that Oxford has become known for: music, food, and the arts. The festival has grown tremendously over the years and has expanded to a two day festival.
The music is a focal point, and the lineup this year is solid,” Hedges said.
“Because of the 20th anniversary, we wanted a really solid lineup that would appeal to all ages and covering a wide spectrum of genres. I think Marcella & Her Lovers have gotten a lot of buzz being out of Memphis but the final three acts: St. Paul & The Broken Bones, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Trampled by Turtles all are really well-known names regionally and nationally. Especially with St. Paul & The Broken Bones being on David Letterman earlier this year, I think all three of these acts of received a lot of recognition both recently as well as being veterans to the music world.”
Local and regional musicians will surround the event as well; Kenny Brown, Daniel Karlish, Trio, and The Gretaer Pyrnees (formerly Colour Revolt) will have their time on stage on Saturday. Many other local acts will perform at surrounding bars and restaurants during the day and evening. Check out TLV’s ads and listings to find your cup of tea.
The arts supplement the music for some, but are an attraction for many. With over 150 vendors surrounding the Square, regulated by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, which selects the jury from a panel of local artists spanning a variety of media including crafts, drawings, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, print making, and sculpture, it is truly a Southern showcase.
Jack Catlette, the man behind Moonflower Photography hails from the state’s Delta region and has participated in the Double Decker Festival for several years, winning Best in Show in 2011 for his photograph entitled “Man on a Wheel.”
“My inspiration comes from the Delta’s people, architecture, landscapes and wildlife,” Catlette said.
“I have always been overwhelmed by the beauty of things around me. Painting has been a way to express that and share it with other people,” Caolyn Watson, an artist and festival participant said.
The food is plentiful too.
Tried and true tasty temptations, from snow cones to roast beef sandwiches to pizza by the slice, all from local vendors—many offering a specialty item that can only be found during the event—satisfy the hunger.
Little ones are not left out either—children can gather at the Square Fair, located at the Chancery Building Parking lot at North Lamar and Jefferson Ave, for special activities provided by The University of Mississippi Hospitality Management Department.
Learn more about this Mississippi treasure at www.VisitOxfordMs.com or visit www.doubledecekerfestival.com.