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Festivals bring fun-filled weekend to West Point

 

Helen Brown, left, and Ronnie Temple dance the night away during the 2012 Howlin’ Wolf Festival in West Point in this Dispatch file photo.

Helen Brown, left, and Ronnie Temple dance the night away during the 2012 Howlin’ Wolf Festival in West Point in this Dispatch file photo. Photo by: Dispatch file photo

 

Andrew Hazzard/Dispatch Staff

 

Richard Ramsey is excited about this weekend. You can hear it in his voice.  

 

"Not only is it an indoor event, we've got one of the best stages and acoustic venues around," Ramsey said.  

 

Ramsey, the vice president of the Prairie Belt Blues Foundation, said this year's Howlin' Wolf Music Festival in West Point will feature great tunes and awesome eats.  

 

The 19th annual Howlin' Wolf Memorial Blues Festival begins tonight. The doors of Mary Holmes College Auditorium open at 6 p.m. 

 

This year's lineup will feature the 2014 International Blues Champion Mr. Sipp: the Mississippi Blues Child. Mr. Sipp, who hails from McComb and was born Castro Coleman, beat out 170 bands in Memphis to be named champion.  

 

Bass player George Porter Jr., famous from his days with The Meters, will be rocking the crowd with his blend of blues and funk.  

 

"The Funky Meters, man, right here in the Golden Triangle," Ramsey said.  

 

Other performers will include Lightnin' Malcolm, who recently toured Europe opening for Robert Plant of Led Zepplin, and Texas star Carolyn Wonderland, who has been featured on "Austin City Limits."  

 

"Bob Dylan will tell you right quick -- 'Have you heard Carolyn?'" Ramsey said.  

 

The celebrities go beyond the musical lineup. Attendees will be graced with meat served by Hank's BBQ in Columbus, who's pitmaster Hank Vaiden has been featured on the Food Network's "BBQ Pitmasters." 

 

Tickets for the festival are $15 in advance and can be purchased in Coumbus at the Columbus Arts Council's Rosenzweig Arts Center, in Starkville at Jack Forbus Insurance and in West Point at Culin-Arts. 

 

Tickets are also available online at wpnet.org. Tickets at the door will be $20. 

 

 

 

Prairie Arts 

 

The fun does not stop with the music. Saturday brings the 36th Annual Prairie Arts Festival to the streets of downtown West Point from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. The festival is based in Sally Kate Winters Park and will spill into downtown.  

 

The focus is work brought by artists and craftspersons throughout the South and the country. There will be every type of handmade craft imaginable, a longtime volunteer told The Dispatch. Other highlights will include a classic car show, live music, a Kidsville play-area, a 5K run and a chainsaw artist.  

 

This year's Prairie Arts logo was designed by Carthage-native Nancy Waggoner, who is a featured artist in this year's festival.  

 

Attendees coming from Columbus will have the option to take a shuttle that departs the K-Mart on Highway 45 North at 8:30 a.m. and will pick up patrons from the festival at 2 p.m. Round-trip shuttle tickets are $10. They can be reserved from the Growth Alliance, 662-494-5121.

 

 

 

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