First Outdoor Movie On Main This Friday Night
By Mickey Howley
It is one of those quirks of weather that everybody intuitively knows, but never quite realizes. The longest day is usually June 21 in the northern hemisphere. That is the day of the summer solstice when the sun is highest in the sky and out the longest. But the third week in June is not the hottest time of year. The hottest and coldest air temperatures usually lag a month or so behind the solstices. The nicest weather usually lags a month or so behind the spring and fall equinoxes. That is when cities and towns put on their outdoor festivals.
Having festivals during the nicest time of year is a pretty recent phenomenon. It was not always so, events that started before air conditioning or, in the case of winter, good heating, often were during the hottest or coldest times of year. Our Watermelon Carnival and the Neshoba County Fair, to name two, are pre-A/C events when it was just too hot to work and being outside in the shade with friends, even sweating like crazy, was better than working and sweating. Going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, usually in the pretty crummy month of February, often is just an excuse to get out in the street and run around to stay warm. So maybe the new generation of outdoor festivals, born in the age of A/C and held only in the nice weather months, have made us a bit soft.
I drove my soft self over to Sardis last Saturday for their first downtown Spring Fling on Main Street. The theme was cars: street rods, pre-49 classics, Corvettes, Mustangs, other muscle cars, RatRods, T-Buckets, 60s Cruisers. Saw a 1970 GTO much cleaner than the one I used to own. These car events are a big deal. Cruisin’ the Coast, a week long event, is in its 13th year now and had 4,300 cars last October. That brings an additional economic impact to the coast for that week of some $17 million dollars.
Other towns have different themes; Port Gibson had their 17th Heritage Festival two weekends ago, pulled in 10,000 people to town (population 1,800) in part on the strength of their venison cook-off. Columbus believes it is the combination of art, food and music that will bring 40,000 guests for their 14th annual Market Street Festival held May 1st and 2nd. Oxford’s Double Decker Festival thinks they’ll have 55,000 people this year on April 25 based on the same drawing card of music, eats, art.
Founders Day last year was a birthday party for the city sesquicentennial and we had music, games, food and fireworks. This year for the Main Street Market Fest, we will have the opening day for the Farmers Market combined with food, games, fireworks and arts and crafts. If you enjoyed Founders Day, we think you will like this festival on May 9th even more.
Come out this Friday evening April 10th to the corner of Panola and Main, for Movie On Main’s first outdoor film of the season. Starts at 7:30 (when it gets dark) and the feature is “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. See www.movieonmain.com for more details and future films.
Last week’s poll at www.watervalleymainstreet.com had gardening winning as the favorite outdoor activity. Take this week’s poll on what is your favorite festival food.