15th Annual Loose Caboose preparations underway


Planning for the upcoming 15th Annual Loose Caboose Festival is underway. The Newton Chamber of Commerce held a volunteer information meeting on Feb. 22 at the Historic Newton Depot and is currently accepting volunteer applications who will help with the two-day event.

After an impressive performance at the 2016 festival, eclectic cover band Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster will return this year for the free Friday night concert starting at 6 p.m. March 30. 

“They’re a super-fun group of guys and we’re really excited about them,” said Chamber executive director Emily Pugh.

The free concert will be sponsored by BankPlus, Mississippi Power and Biewer Lumber, and will be held in the Depot parking lot.

The festival kick off at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning with the 5K Run and Two-Mile Walk again sponsored by the East Central Community College Warrior Wellness program.

Pugh said the run/walk was moved back from an 8 a.m. start last year to allow for more runners to register on the morning of the race.

This year’s Loose Caboose Festival will again feature the car show sponsored by BankFirst. The car show will include trophies for entries and door prizes and will conclude with the parade of cars down Main Street. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

The live music stage will also be set up in the Depot parking lot to better centralize the event with the vendors on Main and Church streets.

Pugh said that she expects more than 100 vendors that will be selling food, boutique clothing, jewelry, at the event, and the chamber will be taking vendor applications until March 14.

The festival will also include again monster truck rides and mini-train rides. The kids zone will also return in Bobashela Park with face painting, a petting zoo, the Easter Bunny and inflatables.

The chamber is also currently accepting volunteers for Friday and Saturday preparation and workers and for a garbage cleanup day that will be 1:30-4 p.m. Thursday, March 15. The cleanup will concentrate on East Church Street, First Street, Third Street, and parts of Hwy 15. The volunteers will meet at the Historic Newton Depot at 1:30 p.m. where supplies will be distributed, and locations assigned. 

For more information, or to register to be a volunteer, call 601-683-2201.