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FestivalSouth Returns for 13th Season

If you’re looking for a little or a lot of entertainment this month, look no further than the “Hub City.” Hattiesburg is proud to feature FestivalSouth, one of the premier South events featuring and supporting arts of all kinds.

June is always special for the city and the state because it gives local and visiting entertainers, artists, musicians, and performers a chance to showcase just how much talent is out there in the Magnolia State. This festival has developed into a much-anticipated event each year.

“FestivalSouth is currently in its 13th year,” Rachel Ciraldo, member of the Hattiesburg Concert Association (HCA) and FestivalSouth staff and flutist performing at the month-long cultural arts festival, said. “It began as a two-week festival that offered cultural events for residents and tourists. It has grown into a month-long celebration of talent we nurture here in Hattiesburg and that we attract nationally and internationally.”

Offering over 40 events through June, FestivalSouth annually provides diverse programming for all members of the arts and the community. The festival works to bring a variety of artistic performances and entertainers each year to give exposure to a multitude of various creative fields.

“From instrumental and vocal performances to dance, visual art, and more, we vary our offerings from year to year to expose our patrons to all of the arts,” Ciraldo said. “In addition to our original series, FestivalMusic, Artie Events for Families caters to our youngest audiences and future art supporters. We partner with local businesses and non-profit organizations throughout June to present events that enrich, educate, and inspire our community.”

FestivalSouth features “four fantastic weekends” in June, typically planned each Thursday to Sunday, jam-packed with lots of live and virtual events that are sure to appeal to all ages and artistic tastes. The festival is thrilled to be back on stages, in galleries, and in venues across the Pine Belt while taking feedback from the attendees and modifying attractions to appeal to everyone who visits.
This year’s festival has already featured many talented artists and performers, including the Tony and Olivier Award-winning play, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” presented by the Hub City players on the opening weekend of the month. But there is still much entertainment to be enjoyed.

The FestivalFinale weekend begins with Coffee Concerts, FestivalFavorites Theresa Sanchez and Rachel Ciraldo and friends in Virtuosic Chamber Masterworks at First Presbyterian Church, Cuban pianist Dario Martin presenting “The Art of Seduction,” and Artie Events for Families will wrap up in Columbia. The festival will end in fantastic fashion with “Forever: The Music of Queen, A Symphonic Rock Concert,” presented by Forrest General and featuring the very talented Michael Muenchow Rivera, a virtuoso rock band, eight amazing background singers, and the FestivalOrchestra as they bring beautiful arrangements from the legendary group Queen, known for “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Fat Bottom Girls,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and many more.

“We’ve completed two weeks of fabulous entertainment, but we still have so much more entertainment for the community to enjoy,” Ciraldo said. “We truly have something for everyone!”

FestivalSouth is a celebration of the arts that features the beautiful talents of many fields in the artistic community and inspires future generations to explore their creative side and continue supporting the arts in years to come.

“FestivalSouth is culture at its best, and the cultural arts for everyone,” Ciraldo said. “If you have attended one of our events, you already know that we offer the highest cultural arts experiences available in this region. If you have never attended a FestivalSouth event, give an event a try, and we know you will enjoy it.”

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend these fantastic events and support the arts! FestivalSouth is an extraordinary event that genuinely should not be missed. Enjoy the entertainment and embrace the arts and talents featured.

For more information on a lineup of upcoming events, visit the festival’s website at


*Photo courtesy of FestivalSouth


Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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