For the Daily News
The award-winning and highly popular Cotton District Arts Festival will soon be here, and organizers are offering a sneak peak into this yearâ€™s activities!
This yearâ€™s CDAF will have some fantastic new additions to the festival this year, and, of course, the returning favorites that have drawn thousands from far and wide to Starkvilleâ€™s Cotton District for 16 years.
Scheduled for April 23, this yearâ€™s festival will again host a wide variety of villages, musical entertainment, choral and theatrical performances and mouth-watering cuisine from local Starkville chefs.
And to top it all off, admission is free, so bring the whole family!
Come enjoy the popular GSDPâ€™s Artisanâ€™s Village, with outstanding pieces of work from our artisans.
The Kiwanisâ€™ International Village will feature culture from foreign countries, and we welcome you to discover drama and literature in a whole new way with the Rotaryâ€™s Writerâ€™s Village.
Dog lovers and MSU fans can delight in the always adorable Spruill Properties Pet Parade; feel free to enter your pets, dress them up and show them off for all to see!
For athletes, the popular Old Cotton Mill 5K run is a great way to start out your day at the festival.
And donâ€™t forget the Cotton District Arts Festivalâ€™s recent addition, the Art Outdoors Workshops and Auction and Sale, an exciting activity for local artists to enjoy!
Of course, the Cotton District Arts Festival will once again host all the great rivalries from years past, including our Poetry Slam, Student Art, Juried Art, and Taste of Starkville restaurant culinary selections â€“ as well as this yearâ€™s addition, the songwriters competition, the winners of which will be playing on the main stage during the festival.
To be a winning artisan in the juried arts competition at the Cotton District Arts Festival is no small accomplishment; the juried art jurors boast such names as Terry Cherry, one of the Southeastâ€™s premier watercolor painters and two-time member of the Mississippi Watercolor Society, whose work has been selected for exhibitions in several states.
New to the festival this year is the Friday Night Bandstand, where festival-goers can start the weekend off with a bang, enjoying live music outdoors in the beautiful Cotton District, along with a sneak preview of the beautiful artwork at three artistsâ€™ receptions in the new artistsâ€™ galleries lining University Drive.
But it doesnâ€™t stop there for music lovers; in addition to the variety of art and food available to festival-goers at the festival, there will also be the three music stages set up throughout the Cotton District on Saturday, where state-wide and local musicians will entertain audiences of all ages from sun-up to sun-down.
And as a special treat this year, the 2011 Cotton District Arts Festival is thrilled to announce that Paul Thorn will be performing the closing act on Saturday!
A native of Tupelo, Paul now has fans from coast to coast, has several albums, and has opened for such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, and John Prine.
The Cotton District Arts Festival is not for grown-ups only! Children love the festival too, enjoying a multitude of activities including the Junior Auxiliary Childrenâ€™s Village, where they can take part in any number of artistic activities, the childrenâ€™s section of the Poetry Slam, a childrenâ€™s roving reporters activity, a childrenâ€™s poetry puzzle, and, new this year, an Easter Parade!
So, there will be something for everyone at the 2011 Cotton District Arts Festival! The Starkville Area Arts Council is proud to bring this festival to Starkville and appreciates the support of the City of Starkville, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Organizers hope everyone will come out to enjoy this highly popular day of food, art, fellowship and fun.
For more information, check out the website at http://www.starkvillearts.org. All applications are available on the website, including Juried Arts, Pet Parade, 5K Run, the Artisanâ€™s Village, and Taste of Starkville.
Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are still available. Contact the SAAC office at 324-3080.