Eat in the Street: bring your chairs, socially distance and enjoy

Published 1:00 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Although the surge in COVID-19 cases and the rapid spread of the Delta variant makes social gatherings difficult, Visit Oxford’s Executive Director Kinney Ferris said Eat in the Street is the perfect event to socially distance and still celebrate community progress.

Eat in the Street is a new Visit Oxford event, created by Ferris and her staff, that will feature food, activities and live music down the portion of East Jackson Avenue from Bouré to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Saturday,.

The all-day event commemorates the street-scape project that expanded East Jackson Avenue to widen the sidewalks and allow an outdoor dining area to help make the Downtown Square more pedestrian friendly.

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“All of the activities are outdoors, so that made it a little easier for us to still pull this off,” Ferris said in regard to the Oxford Board of Alderman’s recent mandate. “The idea of the event is to spread out anyway. The whole street will be blocked off and we’re encouraging people to pick up to-go food and bring lawn chairs.”

A yoga session will be offered at 8 a.m. with instructor Lydia Siniard Foster in front of the Visit Oxford office. For anyone who wants to participate, they are asked to bring their own yoga mat.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. a balloon artist will be set up on the lawn of the Visit Oxford office. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Ole Miss athletics will set up in the parking lot behind Olive Juice Kids and offer interactive games for children.

Live music will begin at 5 p.m. with local singer-songwriter Jimbo Mathus and the Dial Back Sounds. Memphis soul gospel singer Elizabeth King will take the stage next. Headliner Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors are making a return to Oxford and will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the board officially mandated masks be worn in all indoor spaces, unless actively eating or drinking, and at outdoor gatherings where social distancing is not possible.

“We will have signage to encourage people to social distance, wear a mask if they’d feel more comfortable or wear a mask if they are not able to socially distance,” said Ferris.

Free masks and personalized hand sanitizers will be given out at the event cooling tents in front of the Visit Oxford building located at 1013 East Jackson Avenue. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the street during the event.

With tables and chairs lining the middle of East Jackson Avenue, people will be able to grab food from “Small Bites” menus from restaurants located around the Square. Participating restaurants include Saint Leo, Moe’s BBQ and SoLa with more restaurants to be added.

Saint Leo’s will have an outside eating area ready for the public to use. Pub tables and patio-type tables will also be provided by the Visit Oxford team for the public as well.

The public are encouraged to comply with the board’s mandate and wear masks when entering the restaurants and buildings.

For more information on Visit Oxford and Eat in the Street, visit