RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) – The Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival wrapped up today after a full weekend of art, music, and food.
Over 5,00 people walked the streets of the Renaissance this weekend for the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival, and event coordinators say it was one of the busiest weekends in Ridgeland this year.
“We filled up all of our hotels, all of our restaurants were booked,” said CEO of Visit Ridgeland Chris Chapman. “People made reservations, and they were completely booked out and full.”
From Friday to Sunday, Ridgeland saw a crowd they haven’t been able to see since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fourteen different states were represented by art vendors, and 21 states were involved in the overall event.
Chapman says that is something to be proud of.
“We actually had people that said, ‘I’m going to move here!’ They came here, and they saw this, and they said, ‘We have never seen anything like,’” Chapman expressed.
Alyona Doroshenko, a visitor from Ukraine, says she’s thrilled to be able to finally attend large events again, and people are willing to share their products with the world.
“I’m excited to explore,” said Doroshenko. “I’ve just been listening to the music. We want people to be outside; we want people to get to know each other, see all the art that we do.”
Vendors filled the streets of the Renaissance with their artwork, jewelry, food, and music, ready to share with the crowd.
One Memphis-based painter says Fine Arts Festivals are very important to cities and can help pump life into people.
“Local artists are the most important thing in your community,” said Judy Vandergrift. “It helps it survive. If we support them, they can stay in our midst and thrive.”
Chapman says she believes this year’s event was a big success and is excited to see what 2023 will bring for the art community of Mississippi.
“Every year, we add something really new and unique. So if you came last year, you don’t see the same thing last year that you saw this year, and next year, you will see more and better things again,” said Chapman.
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