By Julie Straw
Businesses have moved out and others are planning to move out of downtown Jackson, but local leaders are trying to revitalize buildings and interest in the area. One way is festivals like Jacktoberfest. This version of a popular German festival began Friday morning and lasted until 11:00 pm on Congress Street between Capitol and Amite Streets.
The bratwursts were on the grill and there was a beer in almost every hand. The German tradition of Oktoberfest has come to the capital city for the second year in a row in the form of Jacktoberfest.
"Of course it being a German tradition, we got our German beer and bratwursts and sauerkraut. We just needed something fun to do in downtown Jackson," said Amy McIntire, an event volunteer.
The idea came from a group of young Jackson residents who wanted to bring the downtown community together. In a spur of the moment decision last year Jacktoberfest was given life.
"Keep in mind it was the last week in September so we decided why not? We put it together the last week resonably quick, funded it ourselves. We had such a good time doing it we could not wait to do it again this year," said Bryan Keller, one of the Jacktoberfest founders.
Other Jackson natives have also jumped on board. This year a line up of five local musicians entertained the crowd. Several Jackson artists displayed their latest work, shared stories, and showed support for the city they love.
"Downtown is on the move up. So anything that's going on downtown I want to be a part of," said Jackson artist Josh Hailey. He is enthusiastic about what his peers are starting to do. He believes events like Jacktoberfest and Jubilee Jam set in the heart of downtown will forever give Jackson a thriving pulse.
"Jackson is going to be my home for the rest of my life. I wish Jackson could be like every other city that has night life and things going on all the time. I'm going to be here and help that as much as possible," said Hailey.