Magnolia Festival blooms in Okolona

The wisteria arbor in downtown Okolona is a green, shady spot and the mini park serves as the center of several community events throughout the year. (Photo by Floyd Ingram)

The wisteria arbor in downtown Okolona is a green, shady spot and the mini park serves as the center of several community events throughout the year.
(Photo by Floyd Ingram)

OKOLONA – The Magnolia Festival will bloom in Okolona this weekend with three days of food, fun and music.

For the third year in a row the city and local businesses have co-sponsored the summertime event aimed at bringing people to Okolona and showing off the downtown area.

“It’s all about Okolona and it’s always a lot of fun,” said Okolona Mayor Louise Floyd-Cole. “This year we are using the event to send off the local National Guard unit that is deploying to Afghanistan.”

The Okolona Community Prayer Team will pray for soldiers and local schools in special ceremonies at 6:30 p.m., at Okolona High School.

Friday’s festivities kick off with a parade through downtown honoring the families and friends of local veterans serving in the local National Guard and deploying to Afghanistan.

Friday night has free live entertainment with the Earl Williams Band of Hilton Head, S.C. performing their own style of blues and jazz.

The White Linen Night banquet will be held at Excell Commons and tickets for this event are $20.

Saturday opens with the Magnolia Run/Stroll, a two-mile trek through downtown Okolona. The Stroll is linked to the city’s campaign to promote good health and a healthier lifestyle.

Vendors will set up on Main Street in downtown Okolona and sell everything from hamburgers and jewelry to hats and barbecue.

“Booths are $50 and we still have space available,” said Cole. “Businesses will also be open and offering sales.”

A silent auction will held at City Hall and a movie will be shown for the young and young-at-heart.

“We said from the beginning we wanted this to be a family oriented event,” said Cole. “We’re trying to have a little something for everyone.”

A salute to the National Guard will be performed by Charlie Farned from the main stage downtown Saturday afternoon. That night the Gospel Warriors, Mississippi Blues Mafia and the Dexter Allen Band will perform.

The Okolona Magnolia Festival is sponsored by the City of Okolona who recruited sponsors to help defray expenses.

For more information about being a sponsor or securing booth space, call Okolona City Hall at 447-5461.

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