Southern Food Festival to Celebrate “New Downtown” Batesville June 24th (Posted by Ginger Smith)

Southern Food Festival to Celebrate “New Downtown” Batesville June 24th


What better way to celebrate the GRAND RE-OPENING of Main Street than sampling Southern Food! Live folk music, bounce house, circus performers, vendors, and more.

as a celebration of the downtown’s grand re-opening following the completion of an extensive street-scape project, as well as the completion of the first phase of Maxfield Park, located just off of Main Street on Central Avenue.

“Both the street and Maxfield Park have been long projects and tons of hard work,” Main Street Batesville Executive Director Shannon Haney said of the Main Street overhaul. “We knew we wanted to commemorate the completion somehow, and throw a bit of a party for everyone who has donated to make these projects happen.  That’s how this idea of a Southern Food Festival came about.  It’s a celebration of our local culture, and that’s what our downtown comeback is all about.”

Peco Foods loved the festival idea and agreed to present the event. Newburg Tractor out of Melbourne, and Batesville Poultry Equipment also joined in sponsoring the festivities.  We reached out to the farming community to sponsor this event because they really are the foundation of Southern Food and Southern culture.

“Farming is our roots and these particular sponsors are major contributors to our local farm economy. I love that tie-in, and that they’re behind this event,” Haney said.  The day will include Southern food from local restaurants and chefs, a competition for the “Best of Batesville 2017,” circus performers, Keller bounce houses, live music by the band The Creek Rocks at the Pocket Park stage, vendor booths, and performances by the North Arkansas Dance Theatre, Batesville Community Theatre, and Fusion Dance Academy. There will be a dedication of Maxfield Park at 11 a.m.  to kick off the event, followed by a ribbon-cutting for the street.

Festival-goers can buy a Southern Food Fest punch card (good for 5 samples and a fresh-squeezed lemonade) and then turn in their punch card after touring the vendors to vote for their favorite food of the day.

The street-scape was initially proposed in 2013 when the Main Street Batesville organization restructured under new leadership and brought in a nationally-recognized expert to advise on a plan to revitalize the downtown.  The plan involved installation of 43 new green spaces, new streets and curbing, a 40% increase in parking, the addition of diagonal parking (after several test runs of different options), handicap parking, loading zones, the construction of a new gateway marker at the entrance of Main Street, and also ended up involving the replacement of many 100-year-old water lines, new flags and banners, and numerous improvements to the Pocket Park such as lighting, art, and stage.  As a non-profit organization, Main Street Batesville raised the funds through business and individual contributions.  A bronze plaque will be constructed downtown to commemorate those who donated at the $500 level or above to “The People’s Block” – the last block of Main Street funded by citizens.


Maxfield Park, located between Main Street and Polk Bayou, is a beautiful space built out of recycled native stone leftover from old downtown buildings.  The Park will feature many historical artifacts from the early days of Batesville, and already boasts a waterfall, art piece and meditation garden.  Future phases will bring a children’s play area based on an organic design of tunnels and climbing pieces, as well as public restrooms.  The Park will provide a natural access point to Polk Bayou recreation. Main Street Batesville also raised the funds for this project solely through contributions.

For more information on the Southern Food Festival, or to get a vendor application, call Main Street Batesville at 844-462-4482 or email

“We Shall Prevail” Main Street Batesville Board of Directors Suzanne Magouyrk, President; Danny Dozier, VP; Reneé Long, Secretary; Jerrod Sandefur, Treasurer; Bill Olson; Aaron Babb; Cliff Brown; Mandi Curtwright; Chris Milum; David Thompson; Selina Wallis P.O. Box 3967 | Batesville AR | 72501 | Office: 844.462.4482 |

For more information on the Southern Food Festival, or to get a vendor application, call Main Street Batesville

at 844-462-4482 or email