The 29th WellsFest will be held Saturday, September 29, at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park, next to Smith-Wills Stadium on Lakeland Drive in neighboring LeFleur East and Mississippian Mac McAnally headlines the event. All proceeds will go to the Farish Street YMCA for upgrading of its playground.
One of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events for September, WellsFest features: Nonstop music from some of the best bands in the Jackson area; Coffee, desserts, food and soft drinks; An expanded arts and crafts vendor area; A 5K run and walk and one-mile fun run; A pet parade at 9 a.m.; A plant sale; A silent auction of goods and services; and a wide variety of children’s activities in a family-oriented, alcohol and drug-free atmosphere.
“We have come to perceive WellsFest as a gift of love to the Jackson community and to those charitable non-profit organizations who benefit as recipients of its proceeds,” said Keith Tonkel, Wells Memorial United Methodist Church pastor since 1969. “It is a day for families to get together and have a nice day for not a lot of cost.”
Farish Street YMCA officials say the “Living Wells Play Area” will expand on current improvement plans. The project will include new fencing for the outside play area, a learning sidewalk, installation of soccer turf, and additional playground equipment.
The festivities begin with an 8 a.m. 5k run and walk followed by a one-mile fun run, both directed by the Mississippi Track Club and the Bike Rack. The start and finish are at the Little League baseball fields on Lakeland Drive across from Smith-Wills Stadium.
After the pet parade at 9 a.m., the festival and live music will kick off at 10 a.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m., with well known local rhythm and blues, folk blues, and original indie rock.
Children’s games, face painting, pony rides, a rock climbing wall, and other activities will be available at the children’s area. Homemade desserts and coffee in the Geri Allen Coffeehouse, snow-cones, cotton candy, popcorn, nachos, hamburgers, sausage dogs, soft drinks, and bottled water will be sold.
Admission and parking are free.
From its modest beginning in the mid 1980s, WellsFest has grown to become a significant community-wide event, with all proceeds going each year to a different non-profit in the community. For more information about WellsFest, call 601-353-0658, visit www.wellsfest.org or visit the WellsFest Facebook page.