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Delta Music festival moving to fall

FERRIDAY — The Delta Music Festival has always been in the spring, but a lack of funding has pushed the 2011 festivities to the fall.

Delta Music Museum Director Judith Bingham said the festival, which usually occurs at the beginning of April, will now be moved to Sept. 10.

The festival is always a hit in Ferriday, offering a non-stop lineup of local musicians and the introduction of another member to the museum’s hall of fame.

Bingham said since the first festival in 2002, the weather has been a problem for festival attendees, giving the museum one more reason to move the date.

“Every year we always have to fight elements,” she said. “It seems like we are always fighting cooler weather and rain, and people just don’t want to come out and get wet and cold. We just felt like we needed to move it.”

Bingham also said the funding for the festival was previously provided through a grant the museum did not receive this year and that the museum needed more time to come up with the funds necessary to provide the festival.

“The festival has always been supported by grants and donations from local businesses,” she said. “At the point and time of the deadline for grants for April, the cutbacks in state government made it seem very unlikely that we could have it in April.”

The Secretary of State’s Office oversees the operation of the Delta Music Museum, along with 16 other museums across the state, and Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he is going to do everything in his power to fund the festival.

Bingham said to have the festival, the museum needs approximately $10,000 and Schedler and former secretary of state and festival co-chair Al Ater will be working to raise the cash needed.

Bingham said the change in date will not bring a change in activities.

“There is still going to be tons of local entertainment and (Schedler) will be there to induct the new hall of fame member,” she said.

While Bingham said she was unsure of whether or not the move to September would be permanent, the focus now is on making 2011 festival the best one yet.

“We are expecting a great time, because we always have a great festival,” she said.

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