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Sweet tea festival coming to Poplarville

Poplarville will be celebrating sweet tea at the inaugural Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival on Oct. 18 and 19.

The free event will include over 40 vendors, live music and a fine art walk at the Poplarville Town Green. Fifteen tea vendors will compete to see who makes the best home-style sweet tea in a competition judged by attendees who purchase a to-go tea cup.

There will also be a sweet tea drinking competition, said marketing committee chair Jacob Cochran, and games for kids.

Musical performers at the event will include Serabee and the Blues Revival Band, local musician Raeana Creel, and the Mississippi band Empty Atlas.

The fine art walk will be set up in The Net and will feature art by local artists.

The Poplarville Women’s Club will host high tea on Oct. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7. Tickets for the high tea are $15 and include food catered by Poplarville High School’s culinary students. The event will feature a best tea hat competition, Cochran said, so attendees are encouraged to wear large and decorative hats. Proceeds from the high tea will benefit the Poplarville Women’s Club.

Proceeds from the festival will be used to grow the festival next year and support the Poplarville Chamber of Commerce, said Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Brown.

Brown and Donald Van de Werken are co-owners of a local tea farm and helped get the festival started.

“Tea is very popular in the South. It brings people together,” Brown said.

The festival will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 18, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 19. For more information visit www.smteafest.com.