If you have braved the wicked cold of this Mississippi winter and survived (on caffeine and Cook Out, most likely) until last two weeks of the semester, then the Double Decker Arts Festival is a rite of passage for you, weary traveler. Go delight in your almost-freedom at the quirky and dynamic art show that this town anticipates months in advance. It will not disappoint.
Get familiar with the bands before they premiere
We have all been in that situation where a friend drags us to a concert with an artist we’ve never heard in our life, only to stand there for two hours plus swaying gently back and forth and
trying to make out the loud, muffled lyrics everyone else seems to be having an emotional reaction to. Don’t do this to yourself. Familiarize yourself with the artists and their music so that you can sing along and get the most out of the experience. Incredible musicians come to Double Decker, so take full advantage of it.
Plan for some kind of sunblock
If you’re anything like me and would rather have the sun itself move into your living room than ever subject yourself to the sticky, fake-beach-scented goop that is sunscreen, plan for an alternative type of sunblock. This can mean a floppy hat, a baseball cap, a shirt that covers your shoulders and/or your favorite pair of shades. You’ll be outside for hours, browsing art, listening to music or petting dogs, so just winging it and nursing your sunburn later isn’t something I’d recommend.
Bring the dog
If you, your roommate, your sister, your brother, your third cousin twice removed or the sweet elderly lady who lives four doors down has a dog, bring the dog. Double Decker is crawling with furry little hug-muffins that beg to be petted and if you have your own, then he/she can play with the others, get constant attention and have a day you both will remember. Also this is still a cliché (but classic) get-the-girl move. And likely will be for eternity.
Consider carpooling in a big group or walking to the Square
You know how parking on a regular Saturday on the Square is a stress fest that forces you to kiss sweet moments of your life goodbye? Right. Well, imagine that times ten. Avoid it altogether by meeting at a house close to the Square and walking the couple of blocks to the festival or carpooling in a van that fits enough people that when you all exit it’s like that skit of 30 clowns tumbling out of a seemingly average-sized vehicle. Or maybe not – because seatbelts are important.
Choose an outfit beforehand
This may sound silly but I dare you not to heed my advice and to watch in horror as it takes you eleven different outfits and the friends waiting to pick you up outside honking so loudly that the neighbors are starting to scream obscenities for you to settle on something you later regret. And let’s not even talk about if the outfit doesn’t look good in photos. The day has been lost. It’s all about the photos, people.
The cute popsicle cart and the near gallon-sized lemonade vendors are here to rock out too, but only if you brought cash.
There’s barbecue, there’s beer, the red and yellow tulips on campus finally aren’t dying. Bring a camera, wear a sundress, drink a cold beverage outside without risking hypothermia. Graduation is close, summer is roughly 336 hours away and nothing can bring you down. Twirling, happy crying and forgetting entirely about that lab report due Monday are all acceptable reactions.
Sit at the top of a double-decker bus and speak in a British accent
There need to be adequate bouts of laughter among you and your friends for the festival to work its cathartic magic. Really overdo it. Mention tea and crumpets and poodles if you have to. You’ve earned this.