Article Comment 

Big names to headline upcoming festivals

 

Seth Putnam

 

Two Columbus festivals are rejoicing this week. The Seventh Avenue Festival was designated as a top festival in the Southeast, and the Sam Hairston Celebration received financial backing for its musical lineup. 

 

The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau board unanimously voted to approve a $25,000 retainer for the musical artists proposed to headline the Sam Hairston Celebration in October.  

 

At its monthly meeting Monday, the CVB board heard a presentation from Steve Rogers on behalf of the Sam Hairston entertainment committee. Rogers told the board he hopes to secure Bobby "Blue" Bland, Percy Sledge and Dan Penn for the Saturday-night concert on the weekend of Oct. 14-16. 

 

"This is an investment in our community," Rogers said. "We''re talking about bringing major entertainment here. Being able to put on an event like this sets the stage for bringing top entertainment year after year." 

 

The approval means the CVB will cover the costs of the artists'' contracts if the entertainment committee''s projections fall short. The committee anticipates selling upwards of 2,000 tickets at $20 each plus 100 VIP tickets at $100 apiece. The VIP reception would include a meet-and-greet with the musicians as well as an autograph-signing session. 

 

The Sam Hairston committee recently submitted proposals to the Chicago White Sox and to Major League Baseball to potentially sponsor a ballpark in Plum Grove, being officially named after Sam Hairston as part of the October events. 

 

 

 

Heritage Festival 

 

The board also heard a presentation from City Councilman Kabir Karriem regarding the upcoming Seventh Avenue Festival, which was given an award as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. 

 

"Seventh Avenue is one of the oldest festivals in Columbus at 28 years old and has grown into one of the best festivals in northern Mississippi," Karriem said. "We pride ourselves on bringing top-notch entertainment to Columbus and Lowndes County." 

 

Karriem said Dru Hill will be headlining the event, which will also include Bobby "Blue" Bland, Lenny Williams, and K-Ci & JoJo. Additionally, there will be a parade featuring "The Sonic Boom of the South," Jackson State University''s marching band. There will also be a karate demonstration, and the historical marker for the Queen City Hotel will be unveiled. 

 

"The event has garnered national attention since I last came before this board, so I hope you will consider that," Karriem said and asked the board to put $16,000 toward the festival at their meeting next month. 

 

This year''s Seventh Avenue Heritage Festival is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 

 

 

 

Other business 

 

The board approved a check for $59,075.74 for the stabilization of the Tennessee Williams home. James Tsismanakis, the executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, also reported that the bureau''s revenue from the food and beverage tax in the county was up $4,839 over last year at this time, and revenue from city restaurants was up $18,016. 

 

"We''ve got a lot of great events whether it''s Market Street or Pilgrimage," Tsismanakis said. "We just didn''t get hit quite as hard as everyone else." 

 

The board also approved a motion to put the Convention and Visitors Bureau logo and nameplate on the side of official vehicles. Tsismanakis will submit designs at next month''s meeting. 

 

The Convention and Visitors Bureau reviewed the following old business:

     

     

  • The painting of the Tennessee Williams Home. 

     

  • The progress of the new building beaching constructed behind the Tennessee Williams home that will serve as the CVB''s new office. 

     

  • The progress of the new art park, a grassy area by the Tennessee Williams home that will feature landscaped gardens. The board has entered talks with a landscape architect who is a graduate of Mississippi State University and is putting together a proposal.  

     

    The board last month accepted Dispatch Publisher Birney Imes'' offer to provide funds for a landscape architect to work on the project. 

     

    Members of the board include Dewitt Hicks, Whirllie Byrd, Glen Lautzenhiser, David Sanders, Dixie Butler, John Bean, Cindy Putnam and George Swales.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment walter commented at 7/20/2010 4:15:00 PM:

Those are some very great entertainers festival planners have lined-up for the city. Personally, anytime I have a chance to see and hear the great Bobby Bland perform, I seize the moment! He has style that is very unique and his soul-stirring lyrics will move even the coldest heart.

Percy Sledge is also a great enertainer. Several of his songs are truly classics and will continue to please listeners long after most of us are gone.

Residents and visitors, alike, would be wise to make reservations early. We're all limited, in terms of how long we can continue to produce at our peaks. Do not allow this opportunity to hear, at least two great ones that I know of, pass you by. It will surely be an event that you, your families and friends will forever treasure.

Committee members reponsible for organizing and presenting such talents are owed a great debt of gratitude from all of us, regardless of any disputes or disagreements we might have had with them, or each other, over political, or any other, issues discussed or debated over the past year. Unite and enjoy the occasion, together. There will be other times and occasions to disagree with each other, all over again.

 

Article Comment doj commented at 7/20/2010 5:23:00 PM:

Where are they going to hold this shindig? With the personalities named, 2,100 tickets seems awfully small.

 

Article Comment walter commented at 7/21/2010 3:58:00 PM:

Given the season, there is a great chance the temperature and the overall weather conditions would be perfect for an outdoor jam; something similar to what they have in Tennessee and, also, though not nearly as massive, what they had at Woodstock. The projected number of participants, I agree, seems rather small. Given the doldrum many people feel, I suspect a lot more folks than the number predicted are looking to have an enjoyable weekend and would come from both far and near. You cetainly have entertainers with the drawing power to bring several thousands to wherever the event is held. They'll definitely come, if you're careful, plan big enough and choose the ideal setting that will provide maximum security for all and sufficient space to allow people to relax.

It could be a great coming-out affair to introduce the new and forward-looking area of the state, and her people, to the rest of the world. It would be great if it could be in synch with a big game in Starkville, too. If a more-progressive Golden Triangle can be high-lighted, perhaps there's a chance a more progressive-Mississippi can be inspired. I know spring is traditionally the season when new-birth occurs and hope springs eternal. Still, there's no reason why it cannot happen in the fall; this fall; in Columbus, Lowndes County, Mississippi. There are many extraordinary attractions. A heavy spraying campaign to rid the select area(s) of mosquitoes would gurantee a huge turnout. MARKETING, MARKETING, MAKETING...SPONSORS, SPONSORS, SPONSORS. MAYBE, BP...

 

Article Comment walter commented at 7/21/2010 4:36:00 PM:

I KNOW MANY (MOSTLY OLDER FOLKS) WITHIN THE AREA HAVE HAD THEIR HEART SET, FOR MANY YEARS NOW ON MAKING COLUMBUS A "RETIREMENT COMMUNITY." BEFORE MAKING IT THAT, SHOULDN'T THE GROWING NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE BE AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIRST LIVE, AND ENJOY LIFE, JUST AS MANY OF YOU/US HAVE?

MAYBE, BEFORE MOVING TO DIRECTLY CREATE A "RETIREMENT COMMUNITY" IN COLUMBUS, AND ALL THAT THAT MEANS, IN TERMS OF REPRESSIVE LAWS AND ORDINANCES, THAT SUPPRESS THE MOST SPIRITED AND ADVENTUROUS LOWNDES COUNTIANS, SHOULDN'T AREA PLANNERS OPT FOR A SEMI-RETIREMENT COMMUNITY FIRST?

I suspect that much of the problem citizens and residents face in Columbus and Lowndes County stems from the conflicting interests of young-folks longing for adventure and the chance to be free versus older folks yearning to knit, reminisce and rock away the day. Naturally, the laws introduced to govern the area must be carefully crafted to reflect both competing interests and not simply the interest of one, over the other. Although a senior-citizen, myself, I, for one think it is high time we release the energy and creativity of our young people and cease trying to design for them the civilization and world they'll be living in long after many of us have long departed. The future is theirs and our repressive, paternalistic attempts to design their future has only caused frustration for them, and ourselves. Loose the laws and set-free our young. Despite a few, who will undoubtedly exceed the boundaries of what is decent and democratic, the vast majority will make mistakes; learn from them; grow into maturity; eventually assume roles of leadership; and, produce their own children and grandchildren, whose lives and futures, they, like those of us before them, will be over-zealous in trying to dictate. I think we should have greater faith/trust in our young and believe that they are and will be intelligent and christian enough to not only continue this ountry we've inherited, but rather, to even improve it far beyond what we, many of whom are outright hypocrits, have done with it. Stop wholesaling them away in prison cells and overly-supervising them with probation officers for, what is in actuality, merely minor behaviour infractions, when you consider the overall scheme of things: Wallstreet heists, savings and loans theft, and on and on... There's double-standard at work, in our laws and it is becoming increasingly more embarrassing with each passing day.

Let the Festivals begin...

 

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