The Ole Brook Festival September 30 – October 2, 2021
The unofficial fall kickoff event for Brookhaven, Mississippi is the Ole Brook Festival. And while this little town of just over 12,000 has its fair share of parades and activities throughout the year, the Ole Brook Festival is the crown jewel. Program Director for the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Katie Nations says she “has never been so excited to plan the festival than now.” Last year, the festival was cancelled for the first time in 46 years, due to the pandemic, and everyone is looking forward to welcoming back the tradition the first weekend of October. “Kids and adults alike look forward to this each year, and we hope to bring wonderful vendors, food, and activities for the entire community and visitors so that great memories at our local festival can continue to be made.”
Beginning Thursday evening, September 30th, Brookhaven’s historic downtown streets are closed off to traffic, and the festival’s numerous volunteers turn the area into a celebration of local art, music, and food. This year, Mississippi School of the Art’s alumna and recording artist Destiny Stone will be kicking off the weekend with a concert at Lampton Auditorium. Live music continues through the end of the festival on Saturday evening. An antique car show will occupy all of Railroad Avenue, and a kid zone will be filled with inflatable and rides in an adjacent parking lot. Lining almost every street in the area are 100 vendors from all over the southeast with unique arts and crafts. “We have anything from jewelry to homemade pickles and everything in between!” says Katie Nations. A food alley features local restaurant fare and carnival style snacks to keep your belly full and energy up to enjoy all that the festival has to offer.
To make it a weekend trip, staying at the Inn on Whitworth puts you right in the middle of the action. The bed and breakfast is located downtown, just steps away from all the action. Innkeeper Sallie Williford looks forward to the Ole Brook Festival every year. “Small towns are all about people,” she says, “and in this day of online orders from huge corporations, the Ole Brook Festival offers vital person-to-person connection with vendors and shoppers, all in the joyful setting of a street party.”
Parking is free, and so is admission to all main festival events. All-day access to the kid zone is $10. For more information, including a detailed lineup of musical performances, check out visitbrookhavenms.com and brookhavenchamber.org. If you’d like to be a vendor at the Ole Brook Festival, contact the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce at 601-833-1411. For booking information for the Inn on Whitworth, call 601-990-5097.
Sarah Lowman Reynolds is a freelance writer living in Brookhaven, MS. Visit her blog www.SouthernFriedLove.org to get to know her better.