Street Fair is off to good start

Published 1:52 am Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Picayune Fall Street Fair kicked off on Saturday morning and will continue today until about 5 p.m. So you need to plan your day and hurry because it ends this afternoon.

Now here’s how you do the street fair.

Don’t, whatever you do, eat breakfast at home.

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Then, when you arrive at the fair —

You eat first!

And then you eat, again!

And then you eat more; and, that’s right, continue eating!

You literally eat your way up and down East and West Canal Street, sampling everything.

Now the best way to do it is like this, which we did on Saturday. We have blazed a gastronomic path for you, and this advice is free.

However, we did miss some places, so you must be on your toes for the places you might like the best.

Start off at PJs coffee house with a hot cup of coffee to stimulate your appetite.

Hit Stonewalls for some ribs, as you careen down Canal.

Then hit Papa Lou’s Homemade Fudge for a dessert.

Oh let’s see! Wait a minute!

Before you hit Lou’s, hit Joyce and Darnell’s Casual Dining right across from Stonewall’s, for a unique treat by a local cookery.

You might, however, postpone the dessert till you make your way back up West Canal headed for East Canal, because when you hang a left at the China Buffet, you hit heaven: Michael Dykes’ funnel cakes.

Oh My God!

Dykes from Mobile is an expert funnel cake maker. He also has sausage-onions-bell peppers and chicken-on-a-stick.

After checking out the rest of the booths headed north on West Canal, you make a U-turn and head back south to Lou’s for a dessert: homemade chocolate and fudge. Heaven again!

However, here is a gastronomic tip: Eat small portions at each location and then forge onward. That way you will get to sample it all.

Or, you can, if you want to, “pig out” at one location.

Save room for the end on East Canal. Remember, Cafe Amore is located right there, and it’s a favorite spot for many, and a good watering hole in which to hold up and rest up for the return trip up Canal and your car.

Nearby is a group of Piney Woods cloggers who will entertain you as you rest up for the rest of your gastronomic and shopping adventure.

Now another tip: Parking. Many on Saturday parked along Goodyear Boulevard, which we did,too. Now you might have to walk a little ways, but there is an added benefit to that. The walk from and to your automobile will help burn off some of the calories you are about to put on.

There are almost 300 participants in the fair, and, of course, it is impossible to mention them all and to give credit to each one, and the hard work that each one puts in.

So the field is wide open, and you will discover other neat spots that we missed: Like homemade ice cream, and deep fried Sneaker bars, moon pies and Oreo cookies.

The trip up and down Canal is an arts and crafts dream world, and hundreds of antique car enthusiasts fill the “green spot” between Main Street and the railroad tracks.

There’s people there like Gary Strain of Gulfport with his ‘38 Chevy Super Deluxe into which he’s poured $40,000 in restoring, and is still working on it.

Right on the corner of Main and Canal is one of the most interesting booths, Carlos Vega, an Inca Indian, who on his authentic Indian flutes, produces the most haunting melodies you will ever hear.

Then there is Connie Bradly, all the way from Waxahachie, Texas, with her home-made authentic quilts, which she and her family makes and sells.

There is Sarah and Ruth Ostarly of Goodbee, La., who paint, not pictures, but your face. Ruth’s been doing it for six years. She started painting pictures and then shifted to faces. The cost for a face painting is very cheap.

This is just a short sample of the almost 300 vendors.

Vendors from as far away as Missouri and Texas are participating in the event.

The fair wraps up about 5 p.m. today.

Picayune Main Street Manager Reba Beebe said everything is going “great.” She said, “The weather is cooperating, and we are having a great time. We hope everyone comes here and enjoys the fair. Everyone has worked so hard, and it is a great event for Picayune.”

Officials who promote the event expect a huge turn-out for the two-day fair. It is held twice a year, once in the Spring and again in the Fall.