In addition to the traditional market, car and tractor shows and old-time skills demonstrations, this year’s Spring Flywheel Festival, to be held the last Saturday in April (April 27), will have some added attractions that organizers hope will attract new visitors.
“What we now call ‘bluegrass music’ originated with the Scots-Irish settlers who made their way into our part of the country in the late 18th and early 19th century and, as such, the music remains an integral part of the area’s heritage and history. So, we felt that it would be a fitting addition to the Flywheel, a festival that, if not directly about history, certainly nods to it,” says Sean Johnson, one of the organizers of the event.
Among those playing will be the Highway 36 Bluegrass Band from central Arkansas and the Mountain View Connection, based out of Mountain View Arkansas, and The Good Times Express from Calhoun City. The groups will all be performing traditional and gospel bluegrass.
Another addition to the event will be primitive weapons demonstrations. The North Mississippi Atl Atl Association will be on hand demonstrating a number of activities, including flint knapping, Atl Atl throwing, and tomahawk throwing. Festival goers can participate in many of these activities. The group will also have members in Civil War uniforms demonstrating the proper loading and firing of period musket rifles.
The museum will also be offering some new events in conjunction with the festival, including dulcimer playing on the front porch, quilting and primitive cooking demonstrations. The museum, working the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, has also brought in a new exhibit which will be running through the festival: “Inspiring the Next Generation - Exceptional Women of Mississippi”. This exhibit features women who’ve made a difference in the politics, industry and culture of Mississippi and will include exceptional women in Chickasaw County, as well.
“We’re very excited to be able to grow the events at the festival and we’re steadily working toward growing the Flywheel and making it a destination event,” says Johnson.
With it being an election year, organizers have reached out to gubernatorial, state and local candidates.
“We’ve reached out to Hood, Reeves, Foster and Waller. Foster and Waller have said that they hope to attend, but we’ve not heard back from Hood or Reeves. Several of our legislative and local candidates will be on hand. As time permits, we may have a political-speaking but we’ve not determined that yet,” says Johnson.
Johnson reports that booth sales for the food vendors (there’ll be lots of BBQ at this year’s festival) and arts market have been strong this year. For those wanting to participate in the market, the registration is online at the Houston Facebook page: www.facebook.com/houstontrailandtrace. Or you can register directly here: https://houstonms.wufoo.com/forms/w3w4na519ketth/
“As long as the weather cooperates, I think we’ll be looking at a great festival this year,” says Johnson.