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Street Talk

Fireworks Tie With Street Dance As Favorite

By Mickey Howley

Consider for a moment the luck of the band The Swinging Prevaricators, back on May 9th during the Main Street Market Festival they were on the open street stage when the heavens cut loose. They came back to Water Valley for the Chamber’s Music in the Park series once again only to have a gully washer to soak them down just a few songs into their first set.

Last weekend at the Watermelon Carnival they were on the bandstand when it poured again. Water Valley, at least for that group, has lived up to its name.

One place where it was dry last weekend was the 4th North Mississippi Invitational Art Show. Saturday while it was pouring outside, Chef David Leathers was inside at the show cutting up melons. To see him in action is really a treat. With a couple of sharp knives, David turned melons in to frogs, fish and flowers.  

He is one of those talented types that make something that is intricate and detailed look quick and easy. The Water Valley Arts Council put the art show together and the Chamber sponsored the show.

Last week it was not only wet at the Watermelon Carnival, but also at the Neshoba County Fair. I was there for an informal Main Street get together, one of the directors has a cabin there and had invited the rest of us to visit. If you have never been to that fair, it is not like a normal fairground, the place is filled with over 700 cabins. These cabins are right next to one another, most are fairly basic.

Most are just a large porch, kitchen, a bath and a big sleeping room. The first time I went there I thought it was one of the strangest experiences I’d ever had. Even after this second visit it still seems a bit weird. All these cabins, packed with people, way out in the woods in the middle of summer, everybody hanging out for a week.  

So there I was on a porch, talking with Bob Wilson and Sam Agnew, watching the rain fall and water run like a creek over the fairgrounds. I don’t remember who made the comment first, but looking at the style and layout of the cabins, it seemed that the Neshoba cabins had many elements of “New Urbanism” architecture.

New Urbanism placed high priority on things being built with human scale and walking distances in mind. It is a re-action to suburban sprawl with huge square footage houses and where to visit or shop or run errands all require a trip in a motor vehicle. Everything is walking distance at the fair and you don’t need to drive to visit your neighbor.  We all had a laugh that the Neshoba County Fair had lasted so long that it was once again hip and cool, at least in the architectural way of thinking.

Last week’s survey had the fireworks show tied with the street dance as the favorite Watermelon Carnival event. Seed spitting came in right behind them. Visit for this week’s survey on what is your favorite thing about the start of the school year.

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