Art & Soul sees small, steady crowd

Published 12:54 am Sunday, October 7, 2007

NATCHEZ — While the early crowd at the second day of Art-&- Soul was extremely thin most vendors said business has been steady. Sponsored by the Natchez Downtown Development Association, the Art & Soul Festival, also serves as a fundraiser for downtown beautification.

“Business has been pretty good so far,” Brandon McCranie, local artist said.

McCranie attributes much of his success at the festival to his low prices. McCranie makes sculptures from bottle caps.

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“This is stuff people can afford,” he said.

McCranie said his best sellers are his roosters and armadillos.

Part-time potter Dolly Smith also said business was constant.

“Its been so far so good,” she said. Smith also said that Friday night was very slow probably due to football.

And Baton Rouge based artist Hannah Lane said business was doing well.

“I sold a few pieces,” she said of her oil-based paintings.

“I just try to capture energy in my paintings.”

The two lone food vendors at the festival both said sales were brisk despite the crowds.

Vendors Alisha Wilson and her fiancé Glene Jolla were busy readying their booth for what they hoped would be a big lunch rush.

“We got something for everyone. Jambalaya, onion-mums and hamburgers for the kids,” she said.

“We’re doing OK so far.”

George Minor, a freelance caterer, was pleased to be one of the two vendors.

“It’s good for us,” he said. “I think all the really big vendors are waiting on the balloon festival.”

While the balloon festival may bring more vendors some visitors at Saturday’s event wonder why.

“I would think they would have more food,” said Marie Casting, a festival attendee visiting from New Orleans.

“Food brings in people.”

Smith said visitors from out side of Natchez had been asking for restaurant recommendations because there was so little food at the event.

But Jason Dauphin is confident the festival will see a big up swing.

Dauphin, a festival volunteer and board member of the Natchez Downtown Development Association, said the festival will continue to get better with time.

“Today around 2 the bands start and the people will follow,” he said. “And this is just the third year so it’s just going to keep growing.”