(New Albany, Miss, September 2019)
From the 6:00 am Arts Market vendors setting up in Cooper Park to Tiki’s Sno Hut selling the last snow cone at 10:20 pm at the Riverview Stage, the best southern small town was busting with activity on Saturday’s final day of the 2019 Tallahatchie Riverfest.
Riverfest organizers, Billye Jean Stroud and Tracy Vainisi, of New Albany Main Street Association and Community Development believe that a well-oiled collaboration between events held by BNA Bank, Union County Heritage Museum, New Albany Garden Club, North Mississippi Knife Collectors, local business Brain Freeze Frozen Yogurt, and their office, once again, brought event opportunities to a variety of people making the entire weekend a success. Additionally, three local groups, New Albany Pilot Club and the New Albany and Union County School District’s Anchor clubs each sent dozens of volunteers who spent the entire day working all areas of the festival.
Saturday night’s concert had an audience of close to 2,000 people with concert goers setting up their spots at 4:00 pm and stretching all the way back to the pavilion. “All of our music acts brought their A-game and we were excited to have them on our stage this year”, said Stroud. Bluegrass band, Tombigbee Divide, kicked off the evening music at 6:00pm. Tennessee native, Natalie Stovall, followed with a powerhouse set of singing and fiddle playing. Closing the show was headliner Thompson Square. They played a ninety-four minute, energy-packed set with original hits and threw in some Steve Miller, Nirvana, and Led Zepplin sounds, much to the crowd’s delight. Stroud also commented, “Our music coordinator, Rodney Holley, and the sound and stage team from Majik Sound Light & Staging Productions helped us deliver a great concert to our local community and guests of the 2019 Tallahatchie Riverfest.”
Multiple Faulkner-related events, Cooper Park Arts Market, 30th Annual BNA Bank RiverRun, Main Street Marketplace, Union County Humane Society’s Pet Parade, New Albany Play All Day, Case Knife Show, and over nine hours of live music created a considerable amount of community fun for everyone from two to one hundred and two.
“This was mine and Billye Jean’s second go around to plan Tallahatchie Riverfest and we had great fun doing it. Last minute details and bumps in the road can bring some stress, but overall, we are thankful to work with organizations, businesses, and volunteers in our community to plan such a fabulous weekend,” said Vainisi, “The City Board of Aldermen and our sponsors afforded us this opportunity. We want to make them proud and be sure to engage as many people in the community and visitors as possible.”
Sponsors for this year’s event were Toyota Mississippi, Metal Impact, Imperial Trading, Main Street Linen, New Albany Health and Rehab, New Albany Wine & Spirits, Brain Freeze Frozen Yogurt, Fidelity National Loans, Bankhead Bicycle Club, Super Saver Drugs, Eaton Babb Smith, Clark Beverage, Creekmore Clinic, Rutledge Davis PLLC, and Perkins Dental.
Stroud added, “And, of course, without the efforts of the city’s office staff, street crew, police, fire, emergency, and Light Gas & Water crew none of these events would have gone as smoothly as they did. All of our agencies provide the glue that keeps us together and running smoothly. They contribute in so many ways, and we could never thank them enough.”
–Tracy Vainisi <firstname.lastname@example.org>New Albany Main Street and Community Development, New Albany MS, Tallahatchie Riverfest, Union County MS, Union County Republican Women Club