Pop Up Oxford, a week-long celebration of the rich culture of Oxford, kicked off Sunday with an inaugural Hotel Hop and will conclude on Saturday with a Ted Talk hosted by the University of Mississippi, a basketball game and the last day of the Fiber Arts Festival.
The events were put together at the tourism office “during a slow time for the hotels” in Oxford. The tourism office hoped to rectify the drop in business in January with a week packed with various events around town.
“We wanted to create a couple of days for people to stay in hotels and do something fun in Oxford, all while displaying the culture here and what makes Oxford unique,” said Katie Kaiser, visitor services coordinator at Visit Oxford. “We wanted to generate business because of the low revenue and low occupancy, so our solution was Pop Up Oxford. We created some back-to-back events, and the hotels in town agreed to offer a discount for visitors planning to attend these events.”
The week will be kicked off with the first Oxford Hotel Hop on Sunday. Hotels around the Square including Chancellor’s House and Graduate Oxford will host food and drink tastings, and the types of food and drink offered will vary with each location. Participants will be offered transportation through the hotels’ shuttle services and the double decker bus.
“We didn’t expect to sell out, but we did two weeks ago,” Kaiser said. “We’re hoping to continue it next year.”
A number of events, ranging from the Fiber Arts Festival to book signings, will explore the different facets of arts in Oxford. There will be a film screening at University Museum as well as a reading and book signing with Susan Rivers at Off Square Books on Monday. On Tuesday, there will be talk with artist Charlie Buckley at Southside Gallery, Oxford Art Crawl, a reading and book signing with Mary Miller at Off Square Books, an opening reception for new media artist Mark Ramos at the Edison and a performance at the Ford Center. On Wednesday, a film screening and discussion will be at the Oxford Conference Center, and a reading and book signing will be at Off Square Books with Kevin Wilson. The opening reception for the Fiber Arts Festival at Powerhouse and Thacker Mountain Radio will be on Thursday. Fiber Arts Festival will continue on Friday as well as Shop Up Oxford at various locations on the Square. The week will conclude with Ted Talks at the Gertrude C. Ford Center and an Ole Miss basketball game on Saturday.
“All of these events will showcase something unique about the culture of Oxford,” Kaiser said. “Out-of-towners can see where Oxford stands on the culinary map, as well as the growing arts scene in Oxford. The events are open to everyone, but we’re really trying to generate people who are not from Oxford.”