Saturdays festival plans done

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; As the Delta Music Festival organizing committee puts the finishing touches on plans for Saturday&8217;s event, the music and arrangements are all taken care of.

The weather and the inductee are a different story, but you can&8217;t plan everything.

Uprooted by Hurricane Katrina, the 78-year-old New Orleans native Fats Domino hasn&8217;t been feeling himself lately, coordinator Judith Bingham said, and nobody will know if he&8217;ll come until Saturday morning.

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&8220;We&8217;ve contracted with a limousine company in New Orleans to bring him, but it&8217;s going to depend on how he feels that day,&8221; Bingham said.

While Bingham and her festival planning committee members are hoping Domino feels up to the trip, they are taking a more proactive approach to the weather.

&8220;We pray for sunshine, that&8217;s the biggest thing,&8221; she said.

Rain is forecast for most of the week. How long it will last is a matter of debate.

&8220;Some say it&8217;s supposed to rain, and some say it&8217;s supposed to move out by (Saturday),&8221; she said.

&8220;I&8217;m just praying.&8221;

With no advance ticket sales to measure by, Bingham has no way of knowing exactly what to expect Saturday.

Calls and e-mails to the Delta Music Museum lead her to believe that word of the festival, with the help of statewide print and radio advertising, has spread.

Secretary of State Al Ater&8217;s office &8212; which oversees the Delta Music Museum and, by extension, the festival &8212; has been sending regular press releases throughout the state to help drum up free advertising for Saturday. Ater said through his office he was looking forward to the festival&8217;s continued growth.

&8220;We&8217;re excited about the festival and its tremendous growth over the years thanks to the strong support of the people of Ferriday and the surrounding Delta communities.&8221;

After a morning of local gospel music, the NewBeats, of &8220;I like Bread and Butter&8221; fame, will warm the audience up for Kershaw and his fiddle-led Cajun music.

Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen said he hopes the southern Louisiana act will draw from afar and introduce the area to a regional audience.

&8220;It&8217;s good for Ferriday, I hope people will come to look at the museum and think about the future of the Arcade we&8217;re renovating,&8221; he said.

There are plans to renovate the building adjacent to the museum for a performing arts center.