Rainy weekend won’t impact GumTree Festival

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Doctor John Armistead has shown his paintings at the GumTree Festival for more than two decades, dealing with all types of weather. He remembered one year when things got really intense.

“Tornadoes were threatening and they asked everybody to put their work inside the courthouse,” said Dr. Armistead.

With heavy rains in the weekend forecast, festival organizers decided to move everything inside the BancorpSouth Arena.

“Fortunately for us and for GumTree, we didn’t have an event scheduled in the arena today, or for Saturday, we were able to move them inside, move concerts inside,” said Bancorpsouth Arena director Todd Hunt.

Along with moving the entire festival indoors due to the threat of weather, another big change is the schedule.

For the first time, the GumTree festival will not run on Mother’s Day.

“Some of the artisans weren’t doing as much on Sundays, wanted to leave on Saturday,  that left just a few for Sunday,” said GumTree chairperson Gail Boland.

More than 60 artists have set up throughout the concourse, and behind the stage on the arena floor. Musical acts will perform on the arena stage, and the arena’s concession stands will be opened.

Artists selling everything from paintings, jewelry, clothing and other items are looking forward to the well-known festival where the weather is not a factor.

“With it being a new experience, new show, meet lots of different people, it’s just a great location,” said Mark Ferguson, of Naples, Florida.

“If it’s going to be thunder and rain then I prefer inside, we are ready for a little bit of showers, but looks like it’s going to be a big one,” said Garland Farwell, of York, Alabama.

“I always get people coming going, so how many cats do you have, because so many of my drawings are so many sizes of cats, it’s always fun,” said Carrie Aldefer, of Huntsville, Alabama.

“We’ve got existing customers coming back to make purchases, we’re excited about the opportunity to expose our jewelry to the community, ” said Gabrielle Cooper, of Tupelo.

This is the 48th year for the GumTree Festival.

There is no charge for admission.

For more information go to gumtreefestival.com.

Categories: Local News

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