The Cottrell Street Festival teaches a piece of history to people in the town

Many people know the Market Street Festival in Columbus kicked off, on Friday, but there's also a Festival in West Point

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)- Many people know the Market Street Festival in Columbus kicked off, on Friday, but there’s also a Festival in West Point and it’s not the Prairie Arts.

Cottrell Street is one of the most historic streets in the city and leaders wanted to spread some of the history to those who don’t know much about it.

Cottrell Street used to be the life of West Point in the 50’s and 60’s but things died down after that. Now town leaders and residents want to restore the celebration and tell the story of the street.

From May 6th through 8th the entire street will be closed for the Cottrell Street Festival. It’s a festival, so, of course, there will be food and vendors but this festival also comes with a history lesson.

“Living here in West Point they need to know their West Point history. You know often times we learn about american history and we learn a little bit of african american history and black history but do we really know the history in our own town,” said symposium coordinator Roshunda Allen.

Allen travels throughout the state to help small towns learn a little more about their role in the civil rights struggle. She and Mayor Rod Bobo knew they wanted to reach the younger generation; so on Friday they held a symposium to do just that in front of a West Point High School class.

“If you don’t know where you’ve been you don’t know where you’re going and I quizzed some of the students in here today on their knowledge of Cottrell Street and the civil rights movement and the knowledge was kind of minimal so I think they’ll benefit from the symposium,” said Bobo.

Bobo said the three day event will mean a lot to the city as a whole.

“It’s going to give the citizens here a recreational piece you know something out of the norm to come and do for Mothers day and enjoy themselves. There’s going to be a laundry list of entertainers here and then as the Mayor I’m always conscious of our local economy and so there’s a tourism piece as well,” said Bobo.

The Festival is expected to become an annual event for West Point and the hope is that it will grow each year.

“We’re going to be applying for a national historic district designation. We’re going to try and put together a plan to bring businesses back. We want Cottrell street to look a lot like Beale Street in Memphis a combination of entertainment and commerce,” said West Point resident James Hull.

The festival ends on Sunday May 8, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Categories: Local News