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Double Decker features art, music, food and fun in Oxford

This year’s 22nd annual Double Decker Arts Festival will feature the same great food, music and art that has made the event one of the most popular in north Mississippi, and arguably one of the best attended in the state of Mississippi with crowds topping 50,000 in past years.

Now a two-day event, the festival has become a regional tourist attraction that brings in visitors from hundreds of miles away. Yet, it has also managed to retain the local festival vibe, and it’s still a place where people come each year to see familiar friendly faces, listen to great music, buy some one-of-a-kind art and sample Oxford’s well-known food offerings. The festival is named after the town’s authentic double-decker buses imported from England in 1994. Oxford now owns a total of four double decker buses.

This year’s Friday night concert will again take place in conjunction with Thacker Mountain Radio Hour and will be free and open to the public. This will be the fourth year for the partnership between Thacker and the festival.

The show will be held on Ole Miss Athletics stage on North Lamar starting at 6 p.m. with “Bentonia” blues artist Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will begin at 7 p.m. The Muddy Magnolias, an indie rock band, will close the show at 8 p.m. and perform for about an hour.

Ole Miss Athletics and the University Museum / Rowan Oak are the lead sponsors this year with the Specialty Orthopedic Group sponsoring the music stage.

Saturday’s headliner will be Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Before Rateliff takes the stage Saturday night, the day’s musical entertainment will begin at 10:15 a.m. with The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble. Other featured musicians for the weekend, including Seratones, Luther Dickson and Dr. John and the Nite Tripper, who will be the last band before Rateliff performs.

All music will be performed on the Ole Miss Athletics Stage on North Lamar Boulevard.

In addition to music, there will be more than 165 art vendors from around the region selling creative wares for the anticipated 60,000 festival attendees. Selected by Oxford’s Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, the vendors include drawings, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculptures.

This year’s food court will feature a sampling of culinary treats from local restaurateurs who will offer special menu items that are unique to the Double Decker Arts Festival.

The Children’s Square Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Lafayette County Chancery Building.

Saturday activities will kick off at 8 a.m. with the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce Spring Run 5k walk and 10k run.

Winding through the University of Mississippi campus and nearby Oxford neighborhoods, the two courses are fun for both beginner joggers as well as experienced athletes. There is also a Kid’s Run at 8 a.m.

For more information on the festival, visit the festival’s website at www.doubledeckerfestival.com.