April 11, 2014 10:32:34 AM
Art, food and sports fans will find a slice of heaven -- and an event-packed schedule -- this weekend as Starkville and Mississippi State University present two of the area's signature events: the annual Cotton District Arts Festival and Super Bulldog Weekend.
City officials expect Starkville to swell with visitors today through Sunday as thousands roll into town to experience numerous Southeastern Conference sporting events, including MSU baseball's series against in-state rival Ole Miss, and the best artisans the area has to offer.
Today, the annual pig cooking began at 8 a.m. behind McArthur Hall on MSU's campus, which will lead to 4 p.m.'s Farm Bureau and Mississippi Pork Producers Sampling of the Grill. State's softball team will play Alabama at 5 p.m., and the Diamond Dawgs will begin their series against Ole Miss at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday's CDAF begins at 8 a.m. with the Old Cotton Mill 5K Run at 8 a.m. and a 1-mile family fun run at 10 a.m. Registrations for both events begin at 7 a.m. at the festival's MSU Gate.
The festival, which continues to be named in state and regional publications as a top-tier event, formally begins at 9 a.m. when merchants open their booths and begin peddling wares.
More than 130 vendors will sell goods -- paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography and traditional crafts -- along the University Drive and Maxwell Street.
The Taste of Starkville culinary challenge also begins at 9 a.m. as 20 local vendors begin preparing their best street foods.
CDAF's 2014 music lineup represents various genres from Golden Triangle talent, including Young Agent Jones, International Bootleggers, B.J. and the Blues Makers, Bill W. Davis, Golden Gates, the Jonny Hollis Band, Parallax, New Age Relics, Stormy Monday, the Tombigbees, Larry Wallace and Kelsey Collins.
As the festival gets into high gear, SBW's Saturday sporting events will also begin less than a mile away. Alumni softball and volleyball games are scheduled for 11 a.m. at the MSU Softball Field and the Newell Grissom Building, respectively. An hour later, the Maroon and White spring football game will kickoff at Davis Wade Stadium. Baseball and softball series will continue at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.
Music fans can also find on-campus entertainment at the Old Main Music Festival. The event, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the MSU Amphitheater, features The Red Thangs, Eric Hutchinson and The Neighborhood.
Sunday's noon men's tennis event against Texas A&M at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, 1 p.m. softball game and 1:30 p.m. baseball game conclude SBW.
For more information on the Cotton District Arts Festival, presented by the Starkville Area Arts Council and numerous sponsors, go to cdafestival.com or call the Starkville Area Arts Council office at (662) 324-3080.
Complete Super Bulldog Weekend activities are listed at HailState.com.
For city and university bus schedules and information, visit smart.msstate.edu.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch