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Double Decker Festival records another success

Each year, students, parents, locals and people from across the South head to Oxford for a weekend filled with entertainment, and The Double Decker Festival packed people onto the Square this past Friday and Saturday in honor of local art and tradition.
With an estimated 55,000 people in attendance throughout the course of the weekend, stores and restaurants were packed, and parking was hard to come by. No one seemed to mind, though. With the sun shining down and a weekend of beautiful weather, Double Decker was the perfect excuse for a walk to the Square.
The festival gives locally-owned Oxford businesses the chance to welcome more people than normal into their stores, and many clothing stores offer discounts to customers.
“It fills our hotels, drives people into our restaurants and shops and leaves a big impact on our economy,” Mary-Kathryn Herrington, the director of tourism for Oxford, said.
The weekend kicked off Friday night with performances at the Caterpillar Main Stage by Charlie Mars, Deer Tick and Iron and Wine. Restaurants and bars around the Square also benefited from the influx of people Friday night, and additional security measures were put in place to keep crowds under control.
This year, Double Decker also recognized the 175th anniversary of the town of Oxford, a celebration that will continue until July 4.
Herrington said the 175th anniversary added more sponsorships, which allowed for a bigger budget for musical talent and more banners to hang around town advertising the event.
The premier sponsors of this year’s festival were C Spire Wireless, Baptist Hospital, Regions Bank and the University of Mississippi.
Saturday morning, the day began with the Double Decker spring run and the Double Decker road race. The overall winners of the spring run 10k were Barnabas Kirui in the male division and Sheryl Chatfield in the female division.
The Square attracted many visitors on Saturday. Local restaurants set up food booths on the Square; there were 22 in total. Restaurants located on the Square were also open for business to provide more food options.
Throughout the day, bands played on the Caterpillar Main Stage, as well as on the Oxford American Magazine’s 20th Anniversary Stage, which showcased bands local to the Oxford area.
“I am a huge activist for the local music scene in Oxford, and I was very excited about the addition of the local music stage,” Caroline Hourin, a public relations and promotion volunteer for this year’s festival, said. “I think it’s great to have famous acts travel to Oxford to perform for Double Decker, but it’s nice to continue to support our local musicians. There was always a full crowd at the Oxford American Magazine stage, too.”
Fourteen acts performed over the course of the day: Rooster Blues, Star and Micey, Grace ASkew, Jimbo Mathus & Tri-State Coalition, George McConnell and the Nonchalants, Patterson Hood, Funky Meters, Mavis Staples, Elemovements, Machine Gun Kelley and the G-Men, Kenny Brown, Minor Adjustments, Rocket 88 and Young Buffalo.
People crowded the stages and balconies around the Square to listen to the acts perform during the day and into the night.
The layout of the stages was different this year, allowing for a better flow of traffic.
“We’re always looking at how to improve logistics and behind-the-scenes stuff, but overall we were very pleased with how the event went,” Herrington said.
Throughout the surrounding area of the Square, approximately 165 art vendor booths filled with vendors from across Mississippi and the tri-state area were set up.
“My favorite part about Double Decker was all of the booths set up,” Helaina Craig, a biochemistry junior, said. “It gave me a chance to see some pieces that you wouldn’t normally see around town.”
Each booth provided different styles of art ranging from higher-priced items to lower-priced items. There were items for people of all ages, and each booth attracted the attention of festival visitors.
People piled into the Square to catch a glimpse of the items for sale, catch a quick bite to eat and simply enjoy the city of Oxford.
“I don’t think I have a favorite part of the festival; the combination of everything is what it is really about,” Hourin said. “The art, food and music come together beautifully to provide an enjoying cultural experience for all who attend. It’s all smiles at Double Decker.”