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Piney Woods festival set for Nov. 20 and 21
PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Attendees of the Piney Woods Heritage Festival in Picayune can celebrate the history and culture of the Piney Woods region located in the central coastal portion of the state.
The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum will host the two-day festival on Nov. 20 and 21. Exhibitors will provide live demonstrations of the traditional skills, crafts and arts of the region’s people, including quilting, woodcarving and blacksmithing.
On Nov. 21, two area bands will perform old-time and bluegrass music. The Jordan River Band, a Picayune area group, will perform at 11 a.m. New Orleans-based band Hazel Schleuter and the Delta Ramblers will perform at 1 p.m.
“This festival is one of the arboretum’s signature events and provides a way to continue the passing down of knowledge about traditional skills and arts that aren’t a part of modern day life,” said Pat Drackett, arboretum director and assistant professor with the MSU Extension Service.
The event is open to preregistered school groups on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $2 for children and free to teachers and chaperones.
The general public is invited to attend on Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children and free to arboretum members.
Bob Brzuszek, who served as the arboretum site director from 1990 to 2003 and is now an Extension professor in the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture, began the festival in 1999.
“Mississippi’s natural and cultural histories disappeared as people shifted from rural to urban lifestyles,” Brzuszek said. “And one of the best ways to preserve learned skills and trades associated with farming and rural life is through hands-on demonstrations at festivals like the Piney Woods Heritage Festival.”
For more information, to preregister a school group or to ask about demonstrating a skill or craft, contact Drackett or senior arboretum curator and Extension associate Jill Mirkovich at 601-799-2311.