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Market Street Festival Kicks Off May 2

Twitter/Vine @thejeffclark

One of Columbus’ biggest events gets underway next Friday. The annual Market Street Festival begins Fri., May 2 in Downtown Columbus. Festival director Amber Brislin said this year’s event promises to have something for everyone.
“As 2013 marks the 18th year for Market Street Festival, we are thrilled with all that we have planned,” Brislin said. “Fom many new children’s activities to a record number of arts and crafts vendors to nationally known musical acts, this year’s festival is sure to be one of the best yet.”
Headlining musical acts for this year’s festival are Southern funk rockers Mother’s Finest and Linda Gail Lewis, sister of Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Lee Lewis. Mother’s Finest will perform Friday night and Lewis will close out the festival Saturday afternoon.
The event is the primary fundraiser for Main Street Columbus. And although Brislin has steeped down as the organization’s manager, she did return as the festival’s chairman.
“I am thrilled to still play a major role in this year’s festival as chairman,” Brislin said. “Market Street Festival has always been one of my favorite endeavors and I am proud of how it has grown since I became involved six years ago. I look forward to helping out with the festival this year and in the future. It is certainly one of the largest and quality events in our community and I am proud to be a part.”
A 2011 study, conducted by Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, compiled data on Market Street Festival. According to the study, 34,000 visitors spent an estimated $7.32 million with local merchants on various goods and services in Columbus during the festival, with $3.66 million attributed to visitors. The average spending by a festival-goer was divided into four categories: food services and drinking establishments, $141.75; general merchandise, $85.31; hotel and accommodations, $84.31 and exhibitors at the festival, $88.91.
Brislin said the study proves the success of the festival and said this year’s event should be well-attended.
“The response has been fantastic this year, everyone is very excited – we have vendors, musicians and festival goers from across the county planning on attending this year’s festival, which goes to show the significant economic impact the festival has on our community in addition to the quality of life benefits the festival contributes to our entire community,” Brislin said.


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