Sunflower offers $1,000 prize pack for best 24th annual festival design

Press Release from the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, Clarksdale, Miss., Panny Mayfield, publicist,

Sunflower offers $1,000 prize pack for best 24th annual festival design

Sunflower “Theme and Art” Design Contest (PDF)

CLARKSDALE –A contest for the best festival design for the 2011 Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival is offering a $1,000 super-size prize package to the winner.

“We’re spreading the excitement for our 24th festival August 12-13-14,” says co-chairman Melville Tillis.

The winner, he says, will receive a $500 cash award, a weekend VIP package for four guests in the air-cooled VIP tent next to the main stage with unlimited beverages, invitations to the “Grits, Greens, and Barbecue” pre-festival Thursday night supper, festival merchandise featuring the winning design, and presentation on the main stage, in the festival program and website.

Friday, April 1, is the deadline for entries to be received in the Sunflower River Blues Association’s Post Office Box 1562, Clarksdale, MS 38614. Artists are limited to one entry per person.

The winning design will be selected by an out-of-town board of judges, says Tillis.

It will be featured on posters, t-shirts, caps, and other merchandise promoted by the non-profit 501 c 3 organization that stages the festival and keeps it free to the public.

A Meet and Greet Blues Party to invite new members to join the organization is being planned for the Sunflower’s 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, meeting at the Delta Blues Museum.

The 2011 Sunflower is being dedicated to five key festival contributors including musicians Michael James, Wesley Jefferson, and Foster “Tater” Willey, club owner Sarah Moore, and festival vendor chairman James Alford.

“We will be celebrating the lives of our own Sunflower family members; before their deaths last year, they were part of our history for more than two decades,” Tllis said.

Recalling their lives and contributions to Mississippi’s cultural heritage will be showcased in an educational forum: “Remembering James, Jefferson, Wiley, Moore, and Alford.”

During the three-day festival, more than 40 bands will perform on four stages: an electric main stage, two acoustic stages, and a gospel stage.

The Sunflower has been ranked in America’s Top 10 Places to hear authentic music by USA Weekend.

It draws an international audience in addition to thousands of U.S. citizens and Mississippians who plan class reunions, family reunions, and even weddings around the celebration.

In addition to visitors from Europe, Asia, South America, and Scandinavia, the 2010 festival included music fans from Egypt and Portugal for the first time.

Longtime Sunflower Festival co-chairmen Melville Tillis (left) and John Sherman look forward to viewing entries in the contest for an official 24th annual Sunflower Festival design