“Burg Days” nears in Vicksburg

By Jef Rietsma

The “Burg Days of Summer,” a live-music series that village officials anticipate will draw a considerable number of people to downtown Vicksburg, kicks off its inaugural season June 14.

Village Manager Jim Mallery said expectations are high for the nine-week series.

“The goal is to give people reason to come to downtown Vicksburg, get exposed to the stores, the restaurants, and experience the walkability and safe environment of the social district,” Mallery said. “We’re confident that once they come for the first time, they’ll come back and they’ll bring friends with them.”

Burg Days of Summer will take place Wednesdays through Aug. 16, though the series will take the night off July 5. Music acts will perform from approximately 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on two stages – one on Main Street, the other on Prairie Street.

Mallery said the village was fortunate to have some help from David Bauman, a local musician who booked almost every act participating in Burg Days. Mallery conceded that landing relatively local talent and genres with broad appeal would be the biggest challenge in organizing an event of this nature.

Bauman, Mallery noted, provided the direction Burg Days needed to overcome that potential obstacle.

Mallery said the impetus for Burg Days of Summer came last July while at a conference in Holland, where he later had dinner with Holland’s city manager.

“On their 8th Street on Thursday nights, they close it down to vehicular traffic and have a lot of family activities and different acts …they’re into their seventh or eighth year of it and it has really grown,” Mallery said. “His advice was it works best if you do it weekly on the same day every week, not just once a month.”

In addition to live music, Burg Days of Summer will also feature seven food trucks and family-friendly activities such as an inflatable obstacle course, dunk tank, mechanical bull, a rock-climbing wall and other attractions on a rotating basis.

Mallery said $26,000 of the $40,000 budgeted for the summer-long series is being covered through grant money.

Burg Days of Summer will also provide an opportunity for local charities, civic groups and other benevolent organizations to be a part of the event, providing exposure and fundraising opportunities.

“This really has the potential to become a major event, positively impacting our downtown businesses,” Mallery said.

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