All that is quintessentially Stone County will be on display this weekend at the Pine Hill Festival.
What, might you ask, defines Stone County? A mosaic-tile mural in Blaylock Park tells a good bit of the story: People, pickles, paper, pines. (Try repeating those words five times.) The county is known for its friendly folks, a pickle factory now closed, and paper produced from the region’s longleaf pines.
Stone County is also the official mural capital of Mississippi, declared so by the state Legislature. Betsy Rowell, executive director of the Stone County Economic Development Partnership, said most of the county’s public buildings have murals. There are 32 or 33 around the county, painted or tile.
The newest mural will be unveiled at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to celebrate Mississippi’s Bicentennial. It is another mosaic-tile masterpiece by Coast artist Elizabeth Veglia, assisted by art students from the Perkinston campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
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Six of her tile murals grace Blaylock Park, heart of the festival grounds with its soaring timber pavilion.
The Pine Hill Festival gives residents and visitors a chance to enjoy all sorts of activities in and around Wiggins. The weather is supposed to be sunny and warn.
In a four-square area between First and Third streets, festivalgoers can browse vendor booths for crafts and food, enjoy music and antique cars, and find activities for children. The festival kicks off Friday night with praise music, then runs all day Saturday.
Highlights include a mutt strutt in Blaylock Park, an antique car display near the historic courthouse, music, craft and food booths, and activities for children.
“On Saturday,” Rowell said, “it is just full-blown festival all day long.”
Pine Hill Festival
The Pine Hill Festival kicks off Friday evening and runs through Saturday between First and Third streets, and Cavers and College Avenue.
5 p.m.: Praise and worship bands
8 a.m.: Pine Hill Classic Fun Run
9 a.m.: Double Dee on the Carpenter Stage, Pine Hill Dulcimers on the Boardwalk Stage, car show on the courthouse grounds
9:30 a.m.: Mural dedication at the courthouse
10 a.m.: Thomas Johnson
11 a.m.: Elusive Behavoir
1 p.m.: Starz
2 p.m.: SCSPCA Mutt Strutt
3 p.m.: Cowboy Blues Band
5 p.m.: Festival closes