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Fringe Festival welcomes creative-types

If you’re one of those creative types who lives on the fringes of society, you’re in luck if you live near Oxford.

For the third year, the city will welcome creatives to the Art-er Limits Fringe Festival, Thursday Aug. 11 through Sunday, Aug. 14.

“The festival is really a simple idea,” Wayne Andrews, director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, said via email. “We had a two-fold mission — bring Mississippi artists together and offer a format for a wide range of arts/artist to be discovered.”

Andrews said the festival will host 50 different experiences over four days. It will have family-friendly programs during the day, events in the evening, and a special event each night.

Special events this year include:

Thursday, Aug. 11: The Iron Bartender contest challenges the creativity of local bartenders. Andrews said the contest is held at the Powerhouse as the kick-off event. Each bartender claims a bar, opens a sealed box containing assorted spirits, and tries to make the best cocktail.

Friday, Aug. 12: During the Secret Show, artists create an interactive art show for the audience. Andrews said the event features food, drinks and a chance to be part of the creative process. Why is it called the Secret Show? The location is revealed at noon, so it is limited to those who buy advanced tickets.

Saturday, Aug. 13: The Selia Circus is a mix of burlesque and circus performances with artist Seila, who is a trained contortionist, aerialist and juggler.

Sunday, Aug. 14: Food Trucks and Music will be featured at the Armory. Andrews said those who attend will enjoy an evening outside at the Old Armory listing to live music, playing games and taking part in interactive art projects for the family.

“This is our third year of the festival,” Andrews said, “and each year, we offer a new mix of artists and experiences. The University Museum is offering a free sketch Friday providing art supplies, stools and the chance to draw works of art.”

Andrews said Blind Book Exchange sponsors, The Library and Square Books, will be at Shelter. People can wrap a book, drop it in the basket and take one, discovering a new writer.

“We have comedy performances, literary events, film screenings, live music, and live theatrical events,” he said. “We also have workshops that are free and open to the public, ranging from the director of Spillit, a storytelling event that teaches people how to tell great stories.

“Our goal is to encourage the community to discover and try a wide variety of things. All the shows last 50 minutes, so if you are not enjoying something, then wait a few minutes, and try something else.”

Those who participate are encouraged to use the hashtags  #arterlimits and  #oxfordfringefest on social media.

This year, participants can select All Inclusive or Festival Pass admission options.

The All Inclusive choice admits attendees to all Fringe Festival events, including the headliners. It is $40 for YAC members and $45 for non-members.

The Festival Pass option admits participants to all Fringe Festival events, excluding the headliners. It costs $20 for YAC members and $25 for non-members

Headliner tickets are $10 each; one ticket is equal to  one headline performance.

For more information, visit http://oxfordarts.com/events/fringe.

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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