Thursday, November 1, 2007
Bringing Kudzu downtown
By SUE WATSON
A rainy and overcast week didn’t break the spirits of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce last week in holding its Kudzu Festival downtown for the first time.
Chamber executive director Susan Jordan said a good Saturday saved the day and the Kudzu Committee will likely choose an encore performance downtown next year for the 20th annual Kudzu Festival.
“We heard nothing but positive comments,” Jordan said. “It’s a great thing for the town. We’ll be happy if we break even financially. It is an expensive undertaking, especially when you make big changes.”
Thursday and Friday nights were cancelled due to rain, which detracted from the profits this year. But the barbecue and blues are still sizzling and likely to be back next year.
Notable names in the Hill Country Blues performed - Gary Burnside, Ralph Waller, Kenny Brown, David Kimbrough Jr. and Duwayne Burnside.
“We will be back next year,” said Duwayne Burnside.
It was the first time ever for the Burnside family and other bluesmen to play to an outdoor audience in the downtown area.
Twenty-two cooking teams turned out from near and farther away for the Kansas City-sanctioned cook-off, also proclaimed as a Mississippi Championship Contest by Gov. Haley Barbour.
Winners are as listed for the various categories:
Over 30 arts and crafts vendors were on the courthouse lawn selling everything from baked goods, to jewelry, to handmade soaps and candles and handmade kudzu baskets.
The carnival operator was pleased with activity at the gate Saturday, Jordan said.
A 5K Kudzu Run organized by Scott Beggs with American Pacific drew 100 entries.
Ronnie Luther with the Kudzu Committee said the festival will likely be held downtown again next year with some changes.
“Everybody’s moving their events downtown,” he said. “We’re looking for variety and I think it went real well. You can control everything else but you can’t control the weather.
“And we want to thank all the volunteers who worked real hard - the city and the county, the fire department, and the sponsors. It takes everybody to make it go.”
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