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First fall festival gets thumbs up

BOGUE CHITTO – Things did not look too promising for thefirst-ever Bogue Chitto Fall Festival as the fog-shrouded roadsthreatened the day’s activities.

By the time the festival got going at 10 a.m. Saturday however,local residents and those from the surrounding area were treated toa sunny fun-filled day.

It was event organizer Vicky Muise’s first go at gettingtogether a festival of this sort. In fact, it was Bogue Chitto’sfirst festival ever according to local residents, and the communitywelcomed it with open arms.

“Everybody was excited,” Muise said.

She mentioned how anticipation grew with every approaching day;community members would call her with questions and count down thedays until the festival.

Muise began planning the event with the help of her sister TammyJeansonne and her husband Ben Muise only two months ago after shehad gained ownership of Cuttin’ Up Hair Salon in July and the OldeCounty Store & Café in August.

Vicky Muise said distributing flyers, organizing the event andbooking bands was extremely stressful. However, she felt that itwas all worth it.

“We wanted to bring families and the community back together andto show what talent Bogue Chitto and the surrounding area has,”Muise said. “Everyone works now, nobody visits. This is excitingfor us.”

Muise felt great about the turnout. She was able to wrangle in30 vendors – 15 more than expected – ranging from Natchez,Vicksburg and Zachary, La.

“I’m overwhelmed, I never expected it to be this big,” Muiseconfessed. “I expected Bogue Chitto people, but when people startedcalling in from out of town, that got the adrenaline flowing.”

Those visiting the festival were more than likely to findsomething they would want to take home. Shoppers could findornaments, purses, fresh bread, homemade salsa, plants, lawndecorations, T-shirts, jewelry and other collectables.

There was plenty for the kids, too, as they could visit a jumphouse, make sand art, feast on cotton candy, munch on candy applesand fill their bellies with other goodies.

In addition to food and shopping, festival-goers could view acar show and dance to live entertainment as two local bandsperformed for spectators at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The people of Bogue Chitto were so thrilled with their firstfestival that they are already thinking about next year.

“It’s good a small town community can come together like this,”said Leisa Gill, a Bogue Chitto resident. “I want to help and be apart of that.”

Gill plans to have a booth with her daughter and sell basketsnext year.

Muise is planning to make the festival an annual event andpromises to add more food to next year’s menu.

“I’m ready for next year,” Muise said. “It’ll be bigger andbetter.”