Okatoma Festival to take place Saturday


Covington County currently prepares to hold its 27th Annual Okatoma Festival in Collins on May 7.

The festival is a themed event that will feature and honor current Miss Mississippi titleholder, Hannah Roberts. The theme of this year’s event is “Home Sweet Home,” nodding to the fact that Roberts is a Collins native.

Roberts, previously crowned Miss University of Southern Mississippi and placed first runner up to Miss America in Atlantic City, will be speaking at the event and promoting her national platform “Pages of Love.”

“Hannah is an outstanding role model and has positively impacted our community in so many ways. There was no question of the doubt that we would honor her at this year’s festival,” said Marie Shoemake, executive director at the Covington County Chamber of Commerce. (check the capitalization for me, please)

The two stages at the event will feature live musical performances from artists such as Travis Clark, Hattiesburg’s very own 6550’s and Rachele Lynae.

The festival begins at 8 A.M. with a 5K run and Children’s 1 Mile Fun Run. Opening ceremonies will follow the run with the Chamber of Commerce President welcoming the event.

After opening ceremonies, there will be anointed vessels and an introduction of Mississippi Scholars. Following the introduction, the traditional Okatoma Festival Parade will take place and feature the Okatoma Festival Queens and elected officials. Roberts will serve as the Grand Marshal.

The festival expects more than 200 arts, crafts and food vendors as well as dozens of musicians throughout the day.

“This is an opportunity for everyone in our county to showcase what they do during the year,” said Shoemake. “It is such a family oriented event and an amazing celebration.”

Aside from live entertainment and vendors, the event will also include a health fair, quilt exhibit, art display, children’s park, fair rides, rubber duck race and a golf tournament.

The Cowboy Blues Band will hold its traditional street show to close out the festival around 10 p.m.

For more information about the festival, visit CovingtonChamber.com.