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Loyd Star Ag teacher: These are very talented kids

Visitors to the Ole Brook Festival Saturday could walk away with a bobcat, cougar, bear, panther or even a yellow jacket, although for a group of students in the Loyd Star Agricultural Academy, the choice would be easy — a hornet.

The students, under the direction of Billy Sumrall, will display several pieces of art they hope to sell at the festival, including a variety of school mascots cut from iron.

“We’re making all kinds of stuff, including iron mascots of the surrounding schools,” Sumrall said. “We haven’t quite finished them yet, but we’re working on it.”

Sumrall’s students came up with the idea.

“We’re going to have some rustic designs for home decor. We will hopefully have some items available for the backyard enthusiast and a couple of things people will like in their front yard,” Sumrall said.

Students will take custom orders from shoppers interested in having their own designs made.

Most of the metal given to the ag program is donated from individuals and businesses in the community. Leftovers are like gold to the students, Sumrall said.

Sumrall plans to use the festival as a teaching opportunity, to show students what it takes to successfully run a business.

“I’m trying to teach these kids how to get ready for the real world,” he said. “I’m looking forward for people to notice what these kids can actually do. These are very talented kids in Lincoln County.”

The 43rd annual Ole Brook Festival begins today at 5 p.m. with a performance by students from the Mississippi School of the Arts at the stage at Railroad Avenue and Cherokee Street. Brookhaven native Sam Mooney starts at 6 p.m. and will be followed at 7 p.m. by blues artist Vasti Jackson.

The festival will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with over 200 craftsman and artisan booths, food vendors, a classic car show, KidZone with $10 all-you-can-ride armbands and the MSGirls4ACure Breast Cancer Awareness 5K.

Railroad and Whitworth avenues, West Cherokee Street and the Railroad Avenue north parking lot behind the Military Memorial Museum will close today at 5 p.m. The main stage will be set up at 1 p.m. today between State Bank and Brookhaven ENT.