Sweet tea festival returning to Poplarville in October
Published 10:41 am Friday, August 26, 2022
Poplarville, Miss., will be treated to a sweet event this October as the Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival (SMTF) hits downtown once again.
The festival will take place on and around Poplarville’s Town Green over two days, Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8.
Whether sweet tea evokes happy memories of long front porch sitting or you are brand new to the beverage, the Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival is the place to be to enjoy a variety of fun events, culinary experiences, shopping opportunities and much more.
There will be a plethora of vendors happy to share their passions with attendees. Vendors will open for business at 11 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday with events closing down at 6 p.m. both days.
Special events throughout the festival include an art walk, farm-to-table dinner, high tea, sweet tea drinking contest, sweet tea tasting contest and a variety of entertainment.
“After a two-year hiatus we are very excited to bring back the Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival,” said SMTF Director, Jacob Cochran. “Our committee chairs are working diligently to ensure that this year’s festival is even bigger than the first year. With over 100 vendors having already applied, we are excited to see a great turn out for this event.”
Immerse yourself in artistry as you mosey through the SMTF Art Walk. This portion of the festivities will take place Saturday, Oct. 8. You will have the opportunity to view various mediums of art as well as purchase items for your own collection. The festival already has several fine art vendors committed to the event with room for more.
If you would like to apply to showcase your fine art at the festival you can visit www.smteafest.com.
Join the Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival for a unique dining experience of farm-fresh cuisine at this outdoor farm-to-table dinner. This event will be held Friday, Oct. 7, with a reception beginning at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. The locally sourced ingredients are sure to dazzle attendees’ senses in the heart of downtown Poplarville as local chef Jenna Pecoraro presents a carefully curated menu for the occasion.
“Everything tastes better fresh,” Founding SMTF member and farm-to-table dinner coordinator April Grecho said. “I’ve been wanting to provide a farm-to-table dinner opportunity featuring local producers throughout Pearl River County and the surrounding areas for some time. I want to share with people the feeling of being able to look down at your plate and know exactly where your food came from.”
Tickets for this event will go on sale Sept. 1 on the SMTF website. Tickets will be $150 per person including two complimentary beverage tokens for the reception, a four-course dinner and live music.
Grecho feels that knowing where food comes from bridges the gap between farm to table. Having this connection develops a healthy relationship with food allowing people to appreciate and respect that food is not indispensable.
“Events like this not only help the local economy, but they’re also a great way to connect with the farm itself,” Grecho said. “During the dinner, people will learn more about the specific farms that supplied their ingredients, so they can understand which farms they’re supporting and hopefully continue to support these farms for their own meals at home.”
The High Tea, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 8, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., will showcase a variety of tasty treats and teas for attendees’ enjoyment. New Orleans band Tuba Skinny will be featured. Admission will include light, southern style dining, entertainment, hat contest and of course lots of tea. This year’s event will be themed “Grand-millennial.” You’re encouraged to don your gloves, hats and any theme fitting attire but it is not required for this casual outdoor high tea on the Town Green.
Tickets to this event will be $30 per person with a limited amount being sold and will go on sale Sept. 1 on the Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival website.
Do you have a sweet tea recipe that you think is the best? You are encouraged to enter the Sweet Tea Tasting competition at the SMTF. The Sweet Tea Tasting competition will take place during both days of the festival with guests paying $5 for a tasting cup, map of participating tea entries and voting tokens. Participants may cast their votes by placing their tokens in their favorite tea’s corresponding jar. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the festival on Saturday.
Those interested in entering their famous sweet tea in the contest may do so by visiting www.smsteafest.com and filling out the contest form.
If drinking sweet tea is more your style, then set your sights on entering the SMTF Tea Drinking competition with more information on this event to come soon.
All events happening during the festival Oct. 7-8 would not be possible without the support of generous sponsors.
“We are happy to provide this to our community but can’t do it without sponsors,” Cochran said. “Festivals like this boost tourism to Poplarville, in turn boosting the sales of our local businesses. That’s something I think everyone would want to be a part of.”
If you would like to take part in this fun filled festival by way of a sponsorship, please feel free to reach out to SMTF representatives at email@example.com.