Pine Belt cities prepare for the return of festivals


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – In the Pine Belt, organizers are preparing for festivals that had to be canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Valerie Wilson is the executive director of the Petal Chamber of Commerce. She said they’re looking forward to welcoming families back for the Downtown Fam Jam. The event will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on May 22, 2021.

“We will have live music. We have children’s activities that are sponsored by Asbury Methodist Church so their will be something for everybody,” said Wilson. “We are closing off Main Street, so we spread our vendors and guests out, and our vendors will be using precautions and safety measures.”

The City of Hattiesburg is also preparing for the return of festivals, including the Downtown Crawfish Jam on May 22.

Allison Neville, who is the owner of Live at Five, said they will space things out to ensure safety for attendees.

“We have added additional toilets to spread those lines out a little bit. We’ve added additional hand washing stations in the park, and we also spaced out our vendors, and we’re utilizing bushman street to make sure lines aren’t as long,” said Neville.

Andrea Saffle, the executive director of Downtown Hattiesburg, suggested for those who want to attend to buy their tickets early.

“All of the events beer festival are ticketed events, and for all of the ticketed events, you can plan to have tickets in advance. We’re not going to be selling tickets at the gate, because again we want to make sure how many people are coming, and we can prepare for that,” stated Saffle.

Many of the events will take place in Town Square Park and Walthall Park.

“Hopefully by July, things will be great. People are ready to get out the weather is great. It’s the most beautiful time of the year. It’s not to hot just yet. We just encourage everybody to get out and get downtown to see what we have to do down here,” said Saffle.

Attendees at the festivals are encouraged to practice social distancing.

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