DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Greg Dunaway uses plastic ties to anchor signs to his food booth Friday morning at the Ole Brook Festival. Food vendors planned to be ready for customers by lunch time Friday in the south parking lot between South Railroad Avenue and Whitworth Avenue.
DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Greg Dunaway uses plastic ties to anchor signs to his food booth Friday morning at the Ole Brook Festival. Food vendors planned to be ready for customers by lunch time Friday in the south parking lot between South Railroad Avenue and Whitworth Avenue.

Organizers say Ole Brook shaping up as biggest ever

Published 12:33pm Friday, October 4, 2013

Rain or shine, organizers are looking forward to the biggest Ole Brook Festival ever Friday and Saturday in downtown Brookhaven.

“It’s looking like the storm is not going to affect us at all; it’ll be like it has been – about a 50 percent of rain,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce marketing director Kay Burton this morning.

“Rain or shine, it goes on. If there’s a shower, it just cools us off,” she added.

Greg Dunaway of McComb echoed Burton’s words as he was setting up his food truck in the south parking lot between Whitworth and South Railroad Avenue this morning. A 12-years-plus veteran of the festival, he recalled rain on Ole Brook days before. “We sat in the rain,” he said. “We put our money in, so we stay.”

Burton said 19 food vendors have signed up for the food court spaces in the north parking lot. Railroad Avenue will be dedicated to the younger set, with nine kid games and two kid booths.

Cherokee Street will be displaying 60 classic cars, while Whitworth Avenue will be the site for arts and crafts and other vendor booths.

“There are a lot of new vendors that are artists and craftsmen this year,” Burton said, adding that the 28 spaces originally reserved for this type of booth filled up early.

Included in the arts and crafts area will be potters, sketch artists, artisans making hand-made jewelry and much more.

As of this morning, 50 artists and crafts persons had signed up to come to the festival. They will be set up primarily in the area of Whitworth closet to Cherokee or nearby, Burton said.

With well over 200 entries this year, the 2013 Ole Brook Festival will easily be the largest ever, Burton added.

“This year is the greatest response of any year in the past,” she said. “There’s going to be much more to offer down here than there’s ever been.

The food vendors expected to be ready for lunch sales and dinner sales today. In addition, Burton expected other booths to be ready for the vendor preview and early shopping from 6 to 9 p.m. today.

The festival also will be back under way starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. An awards ceremony for the classic car show is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

Musical and dance performers will be presented on stage beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and continuing throughout the day.

Performers include the Dixieland Cloggers, Studio Brookhaven, Mississippi School of the Arts Dance Company, the MHSA titleholders presentation, the grassroots country group, HanaLena, the MSA Musical Theatre Talent Showcase, the “Total Praize” MSA gospel group and the Soul Fire A Capella Gospel Singers.

Other activities include the Mississippi Girls for a Cure 5K walk beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. Those wishing to register in advance can call Margarette Roberson at (601)695-3392 or Olivia Wallace at (601) 754-9991.

Festival Street Closings

Ole Brook Festival street closings will be as follows:

• Whitworth Avenue from Monticello to Chickasaw Street will close at 5:30 p.m. today and remain closed until 5 p.m. Saturday.

• Cherokee Street from South Jackson Avenue to Railroad Avenue will close at 5:30 p.m. today and remain closed until 5 p.m. Saturday.

• Railroad Avenue from Monticello Street to Chickasaw Street will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday until 5 p.m.

• Cherokee Street from Railroad Avenue to First Street will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.