Bowie Festival attracts fun-seekers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 18, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – Fun-seekers, music lovers and hearty eaters filled the square around the old courthouse Saturday for the 11th annual Jim Bowie Festival.

At 11:30 a.m., they watched and listened as actor Jim Edmunson, playing Jim Bowie, told in a booming voice of Bowie’s role in a 1827 knife fight on a nearby sandbar. This is the second year the festival has reenacted the fight.

Then adults and children alike played games like basketball, ring toss and mini-fishing at booths set up throughout the square. At other booths, you could buy items ranging from ceramic vases and beaded jewelry to NASCAR bumper stickers and Vidalia High pompons.

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Some chose to try soaking their friends and neighbors at a dunking booth to raise money for Vidalia High’s senior class trip.

&uot;He’s a friend of mine, but I&160;told him I&160;was going to dunk him today,&uot;&160;said Pat Smith of Natchez said with determination, glancing at Roy Reyes of Vidalia, who was sitting in the dunking booth.

But though he threw 10 times, he didn’t succeed in soaking Reyes. &uot;Next time, bring me someone who can see,&uot;&160;Reyes said.

Supporters of candidates for state and parish offices took advantage of their best opportunity to hand out buttons and bumper stickers before the October primary.

Nearby, relatives and friends milled around the square in small groups, stopping to chat and sample food from jambalaya to barbecue sandwiches to onion blossoms.

Others took their frustrations out on a beat-up Chevrolet Cavalier parked in the middle of Spruce Street. It wasn’t vandalism, but a festival attraction.

It must have worked as a stress reliever for 11-year-old B.J. Pugh, who felt &uot;pretty relaxed&uot; after he took three swings at the car. Then he was off to play the ring toss and &uot;just walk around to see what’s going on.&uot;

Cajun, rock, country and gospel acts played on two stages. The evening ended with a street dance sponsored by the Vidalia Women’s Club. Music was provided by Easy Eddie and the Partyrockers.