Walkin on Main returns for encore

COTTONWOOD -- "Close the street, We're gonna' have a party here."

Walkin on Main is coming back to Old Town and it is a 'tasty bit.' Its art, wine, history and music in healthy equal doses. What a way to pass a Saturday.

Main Street, the cultural Mecca of Cottonwood, turns into a pedestrian mall; traffic is turned away between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. so you can stroll through the fun at your leisure. The music stage over here will keep you entertained all afternoon .

Local artists with their finest works are on display under the big tents over there. There's some "green" education. You'll savor the history, have a little wine and a great time.

City Councilman Terrence Pratt dubs it a "strong cultural and social event."

In its first year, Walkin on Main brought thousands of people into the street for a fabulous time.

Big Pete Pearson, Arizona's King of the Blues. is back for a reprise.

 Born in Jamaica, Big Pete moved to Texas, was raised by grandparents and grew to love music through his church. He picked up piano, and eventually guitar and bass. "My grandma was the one who taught me how to use my voice," said Pete.

Later, Pete moved to Phoenix where he played with local bands, but he also played with blues legends Ray Charles, BB King, and Muddy Waters and influenced his cousin W.C. Clark. His voice and strong stature command attention.

Local favorites William Eaton and the Knuckleheads will also play.

Walkin on Main is also a showcase for Verde Valley wine-makers and vineyards who will host an outdoor wine tasting on Main Street. Eight growers and vendors, organized by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium, will have their specialties to sample or buy. You'll find Alcantara Vineyards, Page Springs Cellars, Javelina Leap Winery, Jerome Winery, Pillsbury Winery, Caduceus Winery, Fraites Winery and Oak Creek Winery.

Camp Verde, Sedona, Cottonwood, and Jerome will all be represented with well-known artist organizations as well as individual artists. In addition, there will be young art from local high schools.

A new addition to the Walkin on Main celebration is an environmental interactive event called "Be Successful, Be Green," presented by the Clarkdale Chamber of Commerce. All those activities will be clustered around the Old Town Jail.

"Be Successful, Be Green" is designed to attract more green, sustainable businesses to the Verde Valley.

Join the Yavapai College Ecology Club and Arizona State Parks first thing by helping in a Jail Trail Clean Up at 9 a.m.

Children and adults can take part in eco-play with eco-murals all day. Local artist Joan Bourque will show you how.

There are educational riparian games and guided tours along the Cottonwood-Willow Riparian Jail Trail. And check out the demonstrations by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Friends of the Verde River Greenway, solar and sustainability vendors and sundial displays by Leo Shakespeare.

Rounding out the event will be displays from local historical societies. There will be guided tours of Old Town area and buildings by Karen Leff of the Cottonwood Hotel at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., or you can take her self-guided.

Finally, the are antique and classic cars organized by the Mingus Union Hot Rod Club,

Pratt, who took part in the conception of the event, describes Walkin on Main as another example of a strong cultural and social event. Closing down the street really makes a difference. Last year there were several thousand people lining the streets, the art tents were crowded. It was a banner day for business and served Old Town well.

 This event is sponsored by: Edward Jones, Clarkdale/Verde Kiwanis, North American Waste, Clarkdale Chamber, Cottonwood Chamber and the Old Town Association.

For more information, contact Hezekiah Allen at (928) 639-3200.

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