Despite the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many of the annual Tallahatchie RiverFest events will go on more or less as planned this weekend.
Included will be a marketplace, recreation for children and the music concert Saturday headlined by Steve Azar. The knife show and a humane society event will be included as well.
The main event missing this year will be the BNA Bank Tallahatchie RiverRun, which bank officials decided should be skipped for reasons of safety and health.
William Faulkner Literary Festival events are again being held, but virtually.
RiverFest formally opens Friday, Sept. 25, with Friends and Family Play All Day at the Park Along the River pavilion and greenspace from 5 to 10 p.m. Cost is $10 per person.
Also from 5 to 8 p.m. downtown merchants will have Shop the Block. A percentage of sales will go to Sanctuary Hospice House, which has provided end-of-life care for many Union Countians, and will not be able to have its traditional Celebration Village fundraiser due to the pandemic. A part of Bankhead will be blocked off and businesses will have tents with specials, drawings and live music.
About 10 food vendors will be at the festival.
After shopping and dining, visitors can go to the Riverview Stage in the Park Along the River for movie night from 8 to 10 p.m. The movie will be Mulan and bringing blankets and pillows is suggested.
Saturday’s events will start with the Case Knife Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year the show will be in the Event Hall next to Barkley Travel, 139 W. Bankhead, with special guest Tony Bose appearing virtually from 10 to 11 a.m. After a presentation Bose, a custom knife maker and collector for 45 years, will take questions. A special edition event Case knife will be available in a limited quantity.
The Arts Market and Marketplace will start at 10 a.m. on Bankhead Street downtown and offer a range of art pieces as well as more commercial items.
At some time the Union County Humane Society is planning a virtual pet contest and Friends and Family Play All Day will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Music at the Riverview Stage will begin at 5:45 p.m. with Southern Soul and Co., a group of area musicians who describe themselves as a Southern band with a soulful sound.
Rap artist Hls Bebotis will take the stage at 6:45 and Shameless, another area band, will perform country classics of the ‘80s and ‘90s starting at 7:10 p.m.
Headliner Steve Azar will take the stage at 8:30 p.m.
Considered the music and culture ambassador of Mississippi, Azar is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, talk show host, golfer and philanthropist. He refers to his music as “Delta” and has released six critically-acclaimed albums to date.
His latest album, Steve Azar & The Kings Men’s Down At The Liquor Store includes band mates of B.B. King, Elvis Presley and other musical Kings. The feature documentary, Something In The Water, chronicles the making of the record in legendary Club Ebony in Indianola. The film was released on Stingray/Qello and GoUSA Channel and is available on Youtube.
Steve currently hosts his own SuperTalkMS radio show and podcast called “In a Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” and is in the studio working on two record projects to be released summer and fall of 2020.
“We are asking people to wear a mask and there will be handwashing stations throughout,” Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud said. “We just hope people will use common sense and enjoy the festival safely.”
For more information, call 662-534-3438.
Arts Market, New Albany, Northeast Mississippi, Sanctuary Hospice House, Shop the Block, Steve Azar, Tallahatchie Riverfest, Union County