First Sunday Funday of 2018 draws large crowd

The event featured a kids tent with crafts, painting and more (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

The Parthenon on University Drive next door to City Bagel Cafe saw a large turnout for the first Sunday Funday of 2018.

Hosted by the Greater Good Collective and its fiscal sponsor the Starkville Area Arts Council, the year’s first installment of the miniature arts festival featured artisans, musicians, and other vendors in a family-friendly atmosphere.

The location has been moved from the monthly event’s first spot in a Cotton District alleyway, and organizers hope this will provide more space and exposure to help the event grow.

Sunday Funday board chairman Joe MacGown said there were worries about potentially inclement weather, but said the rain held off for the year’s first Sunday Funday.

“Turnout was way better than expected. We have more vendors than we’ve ever had, people are buying things, the band’s been great,” MacGown said. “We started out with a drum circle, but I’m very happy with everything.”

Local pastor and author Bert Montgomery had a stand set up selling his books and said the turnout was impressive for the first event of the year.

“It’s been great, a lot of foot traffic and people coming by with kids, family activities, and I’ve been kind of hiding in the back here and I’ve had folks come by,” Montgomery said. “It’s nice to see folks mingling with the music.”

MacGown then explained the evolution of Sunday Funday from its humble beginnings.

“Last year, it was a rogue event,” he said. “It was unorganized and people just wanted to show some art. This year, we are legitimate.”

The venue was made possible by the Camp family, who allowed the group the use the space, and MacGown also praised the support of Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, who has been an outspoken proponent of outdoor and community-oriented events in Starkville.

“This is just one event, there are so many things happening in this area," MacGown said. “The Camps, they are big supporters. Then you have the mayor sitting across the street and leading the way. Today was a great first day.”

Spruill attended the event and said the goal of these events has been to bring the community out to places where they haven’t been before.

“This is a new location and it gives them an opportunity to grow it because it will grow nicely in this area, so I think that’s just a real win-win for us,” she said. “On a Sunday, people don’t have a whole lot scheduled. I know I saw a number of people at City Bagel before it got started up, so it’s that feeding one part of your city with another.”

Sunday Funday will be held on the last Sunday of every month through the summer and into the fall.

Admission is free.