This is the big weekend in Oxford
● By J. Chambless
Without a whole lot of people to care
for them, little towns wither and die. That's why it's so gratifying
that so many people associated with the rebirth of downtown Oxford
have put in a year of hard work for the Connective Art & Music
The whole town will be taken over by the event on Aug. 4 in a bid to prove that Oxford can become as arty and trendy as Kennett Square, which itself overcame a years-long slump and is now on the map for its restaurants, art galleries and shopping.
Oxford has plenty going for it – not the least of which is the army of dedicated people who work to promote it – and the Connective Festival is going to be a benchmark by which future growth will be determined. If all goes well this weekend, Oxford will be regarded as a place where big events like this can take root.
Certainly, people who live in the Oxford area will flock downtown to see what all the buzz has been about for the past 12 months. And the sheer scope of the event – art and music and dance and food trucks and children's entertainment – is going to draw a diverse crowd from the region. The music selection -- from a mariachi band and African drum and dance to country acts and the headliner, '90s rock act Eve 6 -- is going to have something for everyone.
Oxford's regular downtown events have been growing each month, with people strolling the sidewalks and seeing just how much potential the town has. Brewpubs, the Sawmill Grill, the changing exhibits at the Oxford Arts Alliance, and a quirky antique mall are enough to draw visitors and keep them downtown for an extended time. The Connective Festival will be a critical mass of activities and music that will test whether Oxford can step up its game, month after month.
At least it will get people to associate the town with the kind of ambitious entertainment that brings people back. There are congratulations to be made all around, and too many names to list, but just the fact that the Connective Festival is finally here is a feather in the cap of Oxford and the surrounding region.
And now, on with the show!