Two of the biggest annual festivals in Mississippi are the Market Street Festival in Columbus in May and the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race in Natchez each October. More than 400,000 people attend the Market Street Festival with 250 art, craft, food and music vendors available each day. The balloon race takes place over 3 days and is a mix of hot air ballooning, music and events that draw an international crowd.
The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race also draws popular musicians from all over the country. Past acts include Soul Asylum, the Revivalist from New Orleans and blues musician Alan Youngblood Hart. Races take place early in the day and the music starts mid-afternoon. Ticket prices vary depending on the day and musical act playing and a weekend pass is available.
The Market Street Festival has family events; local musician appear on stage, starting in the morning and finishing in late evening. There is also a 5k run, Splash of Color, where the participants are doused with different colors while they race.
The children's activity area has bungee trampolines, a rock climbing wall and a mechanical bull. Elsewhere, there is a children's entertainment stage with hourly performances geared towards the whole family.