We told you about the return of the popular Oleput festival in Tupelo earlier this week, and now, it’s official – the festival is back.
Well, sort of.
Here’s what organizers announced moments ago on its Facebook page:
We are happy to announce that NOleput will be held in the streets of Downtown Tupelo on Saturday, April 5, 2014….. This is so exciting and it will be here very soon! The event is free and open to the public. Music starts at 11am showcasing local musicians throughout the day on 2 separate stages.
Crawfish boil, food vendors and beverages will be available for purchase. The event will be held in the the vicinity of Clark Street, South Broadway, and Spring Street (North of the railroad tracks) with the VIP area held at The Historical Silver Moon Club (The Ice House).
Details will continue to follow. GREAT BIG THANKS to Sue Scruggs who came up with the name – NOleput (New Orleans style festival original to Tupelo, Mississippi; Great music, food and fun! – Artwork by Sue will follow soon. This event is made possible by a partnership between the City of Tupelo, Tupelo Sports Council’s All America City Picnic in the Park 4th of July Committee, Charlie Watson and a group of community volunteers.
NOleput will happen the same day as the Color Vibe run will be held downtown.
So why the name change?
We spoke to Oleput founder and president Monty Fletcher, who said while he supports the attempt at bringing it back, it won’t be the same. Fletcher and the original organizers invested thousands of dollars during Oleput’s 10-year run that ended in 1999, and the name was trademarked.
“I just don’t think you can call it Oleput because it’s not going to be the same,” he said. The old Oleput involved three days of music, plus a parade, a run and bike run, and brought big acts like B.B. King, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, the Commodores and Steppenwolf to the festival.
Fletcher said he likes the idea of a Mardi Gras-themed festival, but thinks it should have its own identity, its own brand without the Oleput name.
He also said that during the Oleput run, the city wasn’t a sponsor of the event, but did support it.
“We paid for the permits, the fees just like any other festival or event did, and even though we got help from city workers, we paid them as well,” Fletcher said.
“I just find it a little ironic that it was the city that asked us to stop having the festival back then, and now they’ve come back and want the festival to return,” he added.
Read more in Saturday’s Daily Journal.