By Ida Brown / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
April is for the arts in downtown Meridian, and the month's first artful weekend will feature the Threefoot Festival.
Sponsored by the Meridian Council for the Arts, the family-oriented day activity will feature fine art by local and regional artists throughout the Southeast, hands-on children's activities, entertainment and a variety of food – all in the shadow of the Threefoot Building, Meridian's 84-year-old, 16-story landmark.
An offshoot of Arts in the Park, the Threefoot Festival continues to grow –in its offerings as well as attendance.
"The festival is a great place where children can be introduced to the arts, and adults can enjoy and buy fine art," said Wayne Rawson, chairman for this year event.
According to Rawson, more than 600 children enjoyed the hands-on activities at last year's festival. Located on the front lawn of city hall, this year's children's activity area will incorporate the theme "The Secret Garden." Activities will include painting and other crafts, as well as the Meridian Symphony Orchestra's popular Instrument Zoo – which offers children hands-on experience playing instruments from every every instrument family: strings, brass, woodwind and percussion
Meridian Museum of Art will be open to visitors and will display an art and photography competition of works by local and area students in grades K-12. The art contest's media categories include painting, drawing, mixed media and 3-D sculpture. Photographs incorporating photographic technical skills and creativity will be featured in the photography contest.
First, second and third place cash awards/ribbons and honorable mentions given in four age categories K-2; third-fifth; sixth-eighth; and ninth-12 grades. Awards will be presented on the festival's main stage at 11 a.m.
The Threefoot Festival also will feature more than 25 artists displaying and selling art in a variety of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, basket weave items, stained glass, pottery, photography and woodwork. Featured artists include Linda Smith of Meridian, cement art; Dolly Smithhart of Indianola, stained glass; Charles Friday of Valley Grande, Ala., acrylic painting; Steve Windham of Brandon, wood sculpture; Marek Shelagh Dlouhy of Jackson of DCZ Designs, jewelry.
And no festival would be complete without food. Vendors – local churches and organizations – will sell a variety of palate-pleasing foods, including pizza, burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, funnel cakes, barbecue, homemade lemonade and more.
The Beer Wagon will feature what Rawson describes as the World Famous Threefoot Bloody Mary – which is garnished with more than just a stick of celery. The recipe includes pickled okra, a string bean, and a skewer of cocktail onions, olives, sausage and cheese.
"It's going to be a great day of fun with something for everyone to enjoy," Rawson said.