Festival weekend kicks off in West Point

Staff Writer

The Friday before Prairie Arts Festival Saturday is always a time of excitement and anticipation. A lot of vendors begin setting up their booths Friday to be ready for business the next morning. People have been asking why not have a few food vendors come Friday to offer food for those setting up and for those wanting to sample street food before the festival.

"You asked for it and we listened," said Growth Alliance Director Lisa Klutts. "A food tent will be all set up today in Veterans Park behind City Hall so you can eat lunch among the pre-festival atmosphere. This is not just for the vendors, everyone is invited to come and eat at the food trucks."

Klutts said those wishing to start the festival early can bring a lunch or eat from Food Trucks that will be downtown today. She said this is the first time food vendors have been invited to come a little early.

"Small Time Hot Dogs will have hot tamales, pulled pork bbq nachos and sandwiches and of course hot dogs with all the crazy toppings" Klutts said. "Kona Ice snow cone truck from Sturgis will also be set up. You’ll have to wait till Saturday for a funnel cake."

But the festival isn't the only thing taking place this weekend. The Black Prairie Blues Festival is also a favorite to begin the Labor Day weekend.
Some of the best blues in the state happens Friday night, Sept 1st at the Black Prairie Blues Festival. Held at the old Mary Holmes Community College Gym, doors open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m.

"Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased at The Growth Alliance," said Jeremy Klutts, program director of the BPBF. "There are concert t-shirts and posters for sale, as well. Small coolers are allowed and barbecue by David Wilkerson will be available. There is no reason not to come and enjoy some great music."

Saturday, the 5k race registration starts at 7 a.m., and the race starts at 8 a.m.

"Registration takes place in front of the Growth Alliance," Klutts said. "The starting line will be in front of First Methodist Church."

"The festival goes all day long from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.," Klutts said, " And don’t forget the Friends of the Library Book Sale going on from 8 a.m. to 2 pm. at the Bryan Public Library. If you are watching the weather remember this is a rain or shine event. So far it looks as though the weather is going to be very nice."

"Jess Humphries designed the PAF T-shirts," Klutts said. "We still have some left."
Klutts said T-shirts have been picked up from all locations and available at The Growth Alliance today. They will also be available during the festival.

"We have approximately the same number of vendors as last year," Klutts said. "But we have some new ones. We have a couple from Macon who make hand-made wooden signs who this is their first festival ever. We hope everyone makes them feel welcome."
Klutts invites everyone to come and take part in the 39th annual Prairie Arts Festival in downtown West Point.