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Summer vacation in Oxford

Summer is when Oxford takes a slight breath. We think it slows down as University of Mississippi students take a break before intersession classes and incoming freshmen arrive for orientation. The truth is the town is full of families buzzing with energy and seeking activities to fill the summer break. The LOU community is fortunate to have a wide range of events and attractions that can fill your entire summer. Essentially, it is possible to vacation at home.

Here is a suggestion of activities and events so you can vacation at home. 

Sundays in June feature live music in the Grove from 6-8 p.m. as part of the Summer Sunset Series. These free concerts, sponsored by Visit Oxford, UM, YAC and the Chamber of Commerce, cover a range of music styles and provide a family friendly evening. Pack a picnic, grab your Grove chairs and enjoy live music. 

There are plenty of other outdoor events to enjoy this summer including the Night Market which will kick off June 15 at the new community pavilion at University Avenue and Bramlett Boulevard intersection.  The night market will be a mix of music, art vendors, and food offering families a chance to enjoy one of our green spaces. The Night Market will join the farmers’ market, Oxford City Market, which runs each Tuesday from 3-6:30 p.m. and the Oxford Community Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., which features locally-sourced foods and handmade items.

The Oxford Art Crawl on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 6-8 p.m. offers a tour of Oxford’s visual art spaces complete with rides on the Double Decker bus.

Discover the history of Oxford with three great museums all located within biking distance from the Square.  Best of all each of these museums is free but I am sure a donation would be appreciated.

The University of Mississippi Museum offers a mix of fine art and historical collections and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. David M. Robinson Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities is one of the finest and largest in the South.

Jump forward to explore Mississippi and American history with tours of the Burns Belfry Museum and the L.Q.C. Lamar Home. The Burns Belfry shares presents an overview of black history from slavery through civil rights and is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. 

While the L.Q.C Lamar House interprets the life and career of the distinguished 19th-century statesman L.Q.C. Lamar and is open Friday through Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

The LOU community would not be complete without a few celebrations.

Juneteenth celebration will be on Saturday, June 18 from 3-8 p.m. at the Oxford Intermediate School parking lot with activities for the entire family. The build up to July 4th will feature a community dance at the community pavilion with live music on July 2, and then the celebrations on July 4th with the parade on the Square, music in the Grove and fireworks show at the baseball stadium.   

The Oxford Blues Festival returns July 16 in the Grove with eight live acts kicking off at noon followed by Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference beginning July 17 covering the topic “Faulkner and the Native South,” which will bring together writers, teachers, students and other lovers of Faulkner’s work for five days of lectures and discussions. 

The summer festivals conclude with the Art-er Limits Fringe Festival Aug. 11-14 in various locations around the Square. The Fringe is a sampler of music, literature, film, visual and performing arts over the course of a weekend.

The community is fortune to have some many options and programs available that offer an escape without ever leaving home. To learn more about these, and programs offered throughout the year, I suggest following Visit Oxford and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council online at visitoxfordms.com and oxfordarts.com.

wayne andrews is executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. Contact him at yacdirector@gmail.com.