Avoyelles Arts & Music Fest to be held July 4 in Marksville

8th annual festival, state's oldest Independence Day Parade & fireworks will celebrate America's 243rd birthday

May the fourth be with you.

The 8th annual Avoyelles Arts & Music Fest returns to Marksville July 4.

Parade? Check. Live music and festival fun? Check. Fireworks? Check. It’s time to pack up the family, complete with sunscreen and lawn chairs, and head to the Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival as all roads lead to Marksville for “Louisiana’s July 4th Destination Festival.”

Located on and around the grounds of the popular Broken Wheel Brewery on Tunica Drive, this gem of a festival is a day-long event celebrating the patriotic summer holiday and comes complete with everything festival lovers live for – great live music, all kinds of food, arts, crafts and other attractions for all ages. One popular feature is the Car, Truck, Jeep and Bike Show.

Held on the actual day of July 4th, the celebration kicks off with Marksville’s 68th annual parade at 10 a.m., which rolls right past the festival grounds. A day chock full of fun follows, featuring a little something for everyone.

Live music fans will love the diverse line-up of some of Louisiana’s best artists, including the King of Bayou Soul, Pokey Bear; Zydeco heavy weights, Keith Frank and Travis Matte; Grammy-nominated Cajun chanteuse, Yvette Landry, with Louisiana legend, Warren Storm; plus lots more. Saints ambassador Choppa (“Choppastyle”) is rumored to make a special guest appearance during Pokey Bear’s set, making this a July 4th party you definitely don’t want to miss.

In addition to the great music, there’s food vendors from across the state, a beer garden; and contests including watermelon, hot dog and cherry pie eating and beer drinking competitions. There will also be a Bake-off competition.

There’s plenty for the kids to do, including interactive games and attractions, live arts & crafts stations and more.

The fun isn’t over when the festival grounds close at 8 p.m.

That’s when the City of Marksville will provide a spectacular fireworks display at nightfall, about a mile down Tunica Drive adjacent to the Paragon Casino Resort.

The Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival is free and open to the public, thanks to its many generous community partners and corporate sponsors. Please remember them when shopping for goods and services.

For general festival information call Van Roy at (318) 240-3495 or Allison Ravare-Augustine at (318) 264-9392. For vendors/arts and crafts info contact Jennifer Moseley at (318) 305-0138 or (318) 253-8599.

To enter the car, truck and jeep show, call April Bernard at (318) 359-9919 or (318) 253-6868.

For Bake-off information call Connie Gonzales at (318) 500-9840 or at gconnie31@yahoo.com. Parade registration is done through the Marksville Chamber of Commerce by calling (318) 253-8599.

ED OLIVER IS GRAND MARSHAL

Ed Oliver Jr., the Buffalo Bill’s top draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, will be the 69th Marksville Independence Day Parade grand marshal.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Ogden and Washington streets, then turn south onto Main St., through the Avoyelles Arts and Music Festival grounds and proceed to Tunica Dr. where it will turn left on Acton Rd., left again on Preston St. and finally back to Mark St. where the parade will end where it began.

Oliver was raised in Houston but has strong family ties to Avoyelles Parish and Marksville. He has spent so much time in Marksville, that Oliver has said he always considered it his home away from their Houston home.

His father, Ed Oliver Sr., moved back to Marksville a few years ago.

“EJ,” as his family calls Ed junior, and his older brother Marcus spent most of their holidays and weekends at their grandmother Virginia’s house in Marksville.

“I wasn’t born in Marksville, but I always enjoy coming out there and relaxing,” Ed Jr. said. “We used to come over often and play with our cousins, just to get away from the city. It was always a lot of fun and there was such good food. I couldn’t wait to get there.” Oliver has visited Marksville several times since becoming what many expect to be one of the top -- if not the top -- rookie of the 2019 NFL season.

One NFL scouting report called the 6-2, 287-pound defensive tackle a “nightmare in the backfield.” A pre-draft NFL report said he would probably became an instant starter with the team drafting him.

At Houston, Oliver played in 32 games. This past season ended in Week 8 with an injury. He chose not to play his senior year of college ball, but to enter the NFL instead.

In his 32 college games he had 122 solo tackles and 70 assists, with 53 tackles for a loss and 13.5 quarterback sacks. He knocked down 11 passes, forced five fumbles and recovered a fumble.

His many awards in college included the Outland Award in 2017, given to the nation’s best interior lineman. He was the first sophomore to win the prestigious award.

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MARKSVILLE WEEKLY

105 N Main St
Marksville, LA 71351
(318) 253-9247