By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The Starkville Area Arts Council has announced the dates for the 2012 Cotton District Arts Festival. The festival is scheduled for April 21, the same weekend as Mississippi State Universityâ€™s Super Bulldog Weekend. CDAF Publicity Co-Chair Clare Mallory said this yearâ€™s festival is destined to be a success.
â€śEach year, this highly popular festival draws tens of thousands of people from the surrounding area and region to enjoy its celebration of art and life, honoring music, dance, literature, cuisine, theater and art,â€ť Mallory said. â€śStarkvilleâ€™s Cotton District will be packed with excitement and you are not going to want to miss a minute of the festivities.â€ť
Activities for the day will include a poetry slam, a student art exhibition and Taste of Starkville culinary competitions.
â€śCentral to the festival is, as always, the Juried Art Competition,â€ť Mallory said. â€śTo be a winning artisan in the Juried Art Competition at the Cotton District Arts Festival is no small accomplishment, and winners receive both local and regional recognition for their work.â€ť
Mallory said the Greater Starkville Development Partnershipâ€™s Artisanâ€™s Village will feature pieces of work from local artisans, the Kiwanisâ€™ International Village features culture from foreign countries and attendees can discover drama and literature in a whole new way with the Rotaryâ€™s Writerâ€™s Village. The Spruill Properties Pet Parade is back this year, as is the OCH Regional Medical Center Old Cotton Mill 5k. However, there are even more activities throughout the day.
â€śFor music lovers there will also be three music stages set up throughout the Cotton District, where statewide and local musicians will entertain audiences of all ages from morning until night,â€ť Mallory said. â€śAs a special treat this year, the 2012 Cotton District Arts Festival is thrilled to announce our highlighted musician, Charlie Worsham, who will be performing the closing act. A native of Grenada, Charlieâ€™s music covers a variety of genres and ages, and he has opened for such well-renowned artists as Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert.â€ť
Mallory said the McReynoldâ€™s Orthodontics Songwriters Competition is back by popular demand this year.
â€śPicked from a wide variety of entries, both local and regional, these musicians will be selected by two panels of judges for their originality, melody, composition, structure and lyrics,â€ť Mallory said.
In keeping with tradition, the festival will be full of fun for kids, too.
â€śKids can enjoy 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 the Student Art Competition,â€ť Mallory said.
Admission to the festival is free, and SAAC officials encourage locals to bring the whole family for a great day of food, art, music, fellowship and fun.
SAAC officials said they are proud to bring this festival to Starkville and appreciates the support of the City of Starkville, the Starkville business and organization community, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission. All registration forms and applications are available on the Starkville Area Arts Council website at http://www.starkvillearts.org. Volunteer opportunities are available. Contact the SAAC office at 662-324-3080.