Reggae Festival draws small group of enthusiasts

Published 12:31 pm Sunday, May 27, 2007

A small but diverse group of people made up the audience for the second annual Reggae on the Mississippi River festival Saturday afternoon at the Vidalia amphitheater.

Dress varied from traditional African garb to jogging shoes and sunglasses. Two audience members played bongos along with the performer.

For the past 13 years, Darlene and Rick Tucker from Winn Parish have gone to as many regional music festivals as they can as often as possible. The reggae festival was no exception.

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The music was a mix of styles, but Darlene Tucker said she was a little disappointed there wasn’t as much of the Jamaican-inspired music as she had hoped.

“The rapper was very talented, an I can appreciate the old-school R&B,” she said. “But we really like reggae.”

Natchez brothers Earnest and Charles Cade said they just liked getting out and mingling with people.

“I just like to be around people of all types,” Earnest Cade said. “Love and peace, that’s what it’s about, right?”

Charles Cade said he came for the fellowship and the program’s gospel music.

“I like to go to festivals of all kinds and see how many types of people combine,” he said. “I just like people.”

Diana and A.J. Bertrand, along with friends Mel and Cyndy Langlois, drove from New Roads, La. For them, the festival was a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

“We’re camping at Riverview (campground), and we stopped by to see what was going on.”

Vidalia resident Angelia Jackson said she makes it a point to come every year.

“I love it,” Jackson said. “I just come to have fun.”

This was the festival’s second year, and bands are scheduled to play again today from noon until midnight.

Admission is free until 4 p.m., but attendees are asked to donate non-perishable food worth $7. After 4 p.m, admission is $10 per person.