First annual Up in Smoke festival days away – Main Street betting rebranded Springfest will be success

Published 1:51 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The countdown is on for the inaugural Up in Smoke Food and Music Festival set for next weekend, May 12-13, on the Batesville Square.

Up in Smoke replaces the city’s annual Springfest, held downtown for more than 20 years. Main Street Program Director Mamie Avery conceived the idea of the festival change and worked for months with an advisory committee to put together this year’s event.

The festival will be decidedly more upscale this year, with a focus on a wide variety of food trucks (from Thai to steak sandwiches to lobster) and a series of competitions highlighted by a nationally sanctioned Steak-Off cooking event Friday and Saturday.

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Other competitions will be the Anything Sherin Sauce event, the Cathead Vodka Bloody Mary contest, and best dessert prizes.

“We want locals to enter these events, there will be big payouts,” Avery said. “This will be like a big tailgate with fun and competition.”

There will be a Color Me Happy Kids Color Fun Run Saturday morning and JA Kids Corner on the Square. Absent this year will be the carnival rides, a move that planners hope will result in a more family friendly atmosphere.

Great music is lined up all weekend. Friday night starts with Casey Lipe featuring Tony Bain & the Chain Gang, and The Voice winner, Peyton Aldridge.

Saturday music will begin at noon and closing the night will be Mustache The Band.

The Mississippi Cornhole Classic has continued to grow in popularity and competitors will begin  throwing bags at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Cornhole teams from across the South and Midwest are expected to attend, as players with hopes to enter national tournaments travel to smaller venues hoping to earn competition points for bigger events.

Saturday night will close with a fireworks show, Avery said. Parking details and checkpoint information will be published next week.