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Street Talk

Market Festival Promises Fun For All

By Mickey Howley

Water Valley’s Main Street Market Festival for 2010 is Saturday May 8th. Right now there’s a whole bunch of people getting ready for the event.

First and foremost, the festival is a downtown celebration of the opening of this season’s Farmers Market. Second, but as important, it is a showcase for our regional skilled craftspeople and visual and performing artists. And it is just a great reason for the whole town to get out and have a street party.

 As you might remember last year, rainstorms bracketed the Market Festival in the morning and late afternoon. We are literally praying for better weather this year.

Just last weekend, Water Valley’s Relay for Life was postponed and Oxford’s Double Decker delayed by a day because of heavy weather. Changing both events were wise calls, the atmosphere was just too unstable. And while he is my personal role model, seeing the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore on location in Yazoo City meant the aftermath of  those Saturday storms was bad news for many there.

Having lived out west for seven years in “Tornado Alley”, you quickly learn what to look for as these fast moving fronts come roaring through. Our area of the country has nearly as many tornadoes, hence the term “Dixie Alley”. Even though there are more tornadoes out west, there are just as many if not more fatalities from storms in the south. Out west, one can literally see the storms coming; most tornadoes there are daytime events and there are just less trees to block one’s view of the horizon. Here these storms happen any hour of the day and the trees and hills block the long view. So stay alert, check your weather radio, have a plan and see Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s website for their severe weather checklist.

With positive thoughts about the weather, there will be lots going on at the Market Fest. I’m very excited about seeing all the music acts, especially the headline act of John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives. Check them out at or  

Not only will there be music and art and crafts and food and games and rides for all on Main Street, but there are a number of special things that day.  Early that morning the Lions Club will host a pancake breakfast and a tool sale at the Depot.

Right at high noon there will be the dedication of the town clock in Railroad Park. Imagination Station will be open and having their yearly revue that afternoon (Friday and Sunday afternoons, too). The Valley Dance Company will be having their yearly show at the Civic Auditorium that evening.

So it is going to be a great day not only to start off the Farmers Market, but also to celebrate the arts in this area. If you are one of those individuals that have a suppressed creative streak, come out and see the artists and craftspeople on Market Fest day.  And then maybe try a class at Imagination Station. Throughout May, Imagination Station is having adult art lessons, paining abstracts, watercolors, collages or my favorite; junk art. Call Anissa Wilkinson at 473-6428 for more information.

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