Copper Magnolia festival is here again

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 15, 2008

It is time again for the annual Copper Magnolia Fine Arts and Crafts Festival and Flea Market, now in its 27th year, at Historic Jefferson College. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, at Historic Jefferson College and is free of charge and open to the public.

In addition to fine art, craft and flea market items for sale, a wide variety of events are planned for this event. There will be free gardening seminars sponsored by the Adams County Master Gardeners, who will also offer a plant sale featuring a wide variety of plants and seeds.

A children’s area will feature a space jump and hands-on activities presented by the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. The Mississippi Museum of Art will provide art activities for children. There are still openings for non-profits to do a cakewalk or a children’s activity. Items to be sold include jellies and jams, homemade candles, bird houses, quilts, purses, Christmas items, jewelry, garage sale items and more. Ruritan Warriors, the Junior Auxiliary and Mississippi Cultural Crossroads will also have booths. The festival takes place outside under the shade of century-old live oak trees at Historic Jefferson College. The museum and historic buildings will also be open and the museum shop offers a good selection of books and Mississippi items.

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The festival provides booth space to individuals who would like to sell flea market items. Booth space is still available to artists and craftsmen and to a limited number of non-profit entities who wish to provide educational material to the public. Each booth space is 12 feet by 12 feet and costs $40. No electricity is provided, and vendors will need to bring canopies or shade shelters, as well as tables and chairs. The deadline for registration is Tuesday. Registration forms and checks must be received by that date in order to be considered — booth space is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

There will be a free concert by Henry Turner Jr. and Flavor — a unique Louisiana reggae/funk band — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Co-Lin’s Phi Beta Lambda will once again be on hand to sell delicious home-cooked meals and cold drinks all day long.

Historic Jefferson College has sponsored a crafts fair since the 1970s after research revealed that the college had sponsored agricultural fairs in the 1830s and 1840s. The early fairs gave citizens an opportunity to display vegetables and fruits, new farm machinery, needlework, quilts and other hand sewn items. Today’s festival continues this early tradition by allowing craftspeople and vendors to display and sell items and crafts of today.

Historic Jefferson College was restored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in phases completed in 1977 and 1984. Located in Washington, just four miles north of Natchez, Jefferson Military College, as it came to be known, was the first educational institution of higher learning in Mississippi chartered in 1802 by the General Assembly of the Mississippi Territory. It opened in 1811 and closed its doors in 1964. Today the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open throughout the week, allowing visitors a look at the restored student dormitory, dining hall, kitchen buildings and other historic sites. A museum, gift shop and rest rooms are located in the visitor center. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The grounds are open daily sunup to sundown. Admission is always free. Please phone 601-442-2901 or e-mail for more information.

Kay McNeil is the historian and event coordinator at Historic Jefferson College