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Double Decker Festival planning already ongoing

Although the Double Decker Arts Festival is still six month away, Visit Oxford is already making plans for the 2016 festival.

Festival organizer Lee Ann Stubbs recently announced to the Oxford Tourism Council that Caterpillar will be the presenting sponsor for the second year, donating $20,000 to the event.

“We’re very excited about that,” Stubbs said.

Applications for art vendors will be going live on the festival’s website, www.doubledeckerfestival.com, on Nov. 23.

Artists may be vying for the most popular spots this year as Visit Oxford is looking at making the vendor fees reflect where they are located on the Square. Those wishing to be on the inside of the Square could pay more than those located on the outer areas of the Square.

“We’re looking at that right now and seeing how to implement something like that,” Stubbs said.

Touring Oxford

Several tours are planned for traveling writers to learn more about Oxford and share their experience with others.

Visit Oxford is hosting its own tour, the Culinary Press Trip, where several food writers from around the county have been invited to Oxford Nov. 10-13, and will visit several area restaurants, visit Woodland Farms and attend a lecture by John T. Edge and the Southern Foodways Alliance. As that group leaves, another will arrive in Oxford for a German FAM Tour, which will host about eight travel writers from Germany and other countries. The FAM, or Familiarization tours, are run by the state tourism association; however, Visit Oxford takes an active roll in assisting with the tours. Another FAM tour with 20 journalists from the UK will also be coming through in November.

Large group tours with 50 to 92 people are also planned throughout the month of November from Memphis and Arkansas.

“It’s a busy month for us,” said Kinney Ferris, assistant director of Visit Oxford.

The tourism council also recently:

— Approved the resignation of Luke Chamblee from the council. Chamblee resigned after an ethics opinion said Visit Oxford could not do business with any business where a council member may have a financial interest. Chamblee is one of the owners of The Graduate hotel.

— Appointed Lee Cauthen as vice chairman.

— Announced tourism numbers for September where the city took in $28,655 from the hotel/motel tax and $217,338 from the 2 percent food and beverage tax.

— Announced Visit Oxford was awarded a Research in Action Award from the Mississippi Tourism Association.

— Ferris announced the Southern Scenes television show will film an episode in Oxford on Oct. 26-29.