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Festival attracts people from all over Southeast

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Updated: 8/31/2013 11:00 pm
WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) - Thousands of people flock to Sally Kate Winters Park in downtown West Point either to buy and sell or even check out items made for the house, the yard or even a yacht.

"[We have] different art and the paintings -- some are acrylic, some are oil paints," said Bernadette McTaggart, artist. "There's a large variety for everybody to see."

What's known as one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the South draws people in from different spectrums who are looking for a certain item on sale.

"I mean, it's such a family outing," adds Chyna Ward-Poley, Oxford resident. "You see kids, elderly people and young people. I mean, it's amazing. There is literally everything that you can look for and want."

It's not just the general public that looks forward to coming to the Praire Arts Festival; the vendors do as well. Because there is such a diverse audience, the vendors know that they can sell just about anything and everything when it comes to arts and crafts.

"People's hearts go into what they make here," said Shelagh Dlouhy, vendor. "So when you get something here, you're getting a piece of that person in what they do, and that's what makes it so special."

Those who are attending the Prairie Arts Festival for the first time say they are simply overwhelmed from the experience.

They say if you can handle a hot day, you can really explore what is for sale and what you can add to your own collection.

"Minus the heat, they're missing out on everything," adds Ward-Poley. "There's unique items. I mean it's just items you can't find. I like it because it's a lot of mom-and-pop organizations here and small businesses, and it's their time to shine."

"There's so many different things here that you can see," added Kauren Edgmon, tourist. "They've got stuff that that is handmade. Mostly everything is handmade. They've got people that paint, people who sew, so I just think they're missing out on the crafts side of everything."

With an estimated 20,000-plus visitors, you can see why the Prairie Arts Festival ranks as one of the top ten events for the state of Mississippi.

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