The inaugural Tallahatchie Crawfish Festival, taking place at the Park Along the River on Saturday, April 22 from Noon until 6pm, has drawn some attention over the last couple of weeks and is now adding a kids’ play area and petting zoo to the event.
The festival was conceived by Mark Pipkin of Pop’s BBQ, out of Myrtle, and John Kelly, who had been hosting a crawfish boil as a private event for the past several years. According to Pipkin and Kelly, the event became so popular that the idea of turning the event into a festival became a real possibility. After selling BBQ at last year’s Levitt AMP Concert series at the new Riverview stage, the preferred location for the new festival became clear.
“This is what we hoped would happen with the stage,” says Sean Johnson, the city’s tourism director. “The cost of renting a stage has been an impediment to those wanting to do events. Now that the that cost has been alleviated, we’re seeing more and more promoters considering the stage for events. The crawfish festival is the first.”
The Crawfish Festival has drawn wide interest
Johnson reported that he’s received a number of calls from companies about sponsoring the festival, but hasn’t taken on any except for MaxxSouth, who has come on as a media sponsor. “Being the first year, we’re looking at this as a soft opening for the festival, but with the amount of interest we’ve received, I can see this becoming a full-fledged event next year.”
In addition to the corporate sponsorship inquiries, a number of vendors have asked to participate, including Arrowhead Farms Petting Zoo and a small party rentals company with inflatables. Proceeds from both the petting zoo and the inflatables will go, along with proceeds from the crawfish sales, to a fund for new playground equipment at the park.
The first Tallahatchie Crawfish Festival will take place from Noon until 6pm on Saturday, April 22. In addition to the kids’ activities, petting zoo and crawfish, there will be performances by The Wayward Kin, Mike Carter’s Last Revival and Holdin’ on to Old Country. The event is free and open to the public. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Crawfish, BBQ and shrimp plates will be available for $10 each, and live crawfish will be available for purchase as well. For more information, call 662-534-1047.
More details about the fundraising for park equipment: http://nanewsweb.com/new-albany-ms-park-playground-equipment-project/