Welcome fall with art, music, hayride, fun


Sculptor/climber and owner of Mohawk Steel & Glass Jeremy Thomley of Hattiesburg wants to share his art and his passions with the public with the second annual Hot Glass Fall Festival on Oct. 21 at his family Christmas tree farm.

The event, which will be held from 4-9 p.m., will be at the Thomleys’ Christmas Tree Farm at 50 Hegwood Road.

Thomley said he wanted the local residents to experience nature the way he has.

“We had have never had a fall festival here at the farm until last year,” he said. “This is our 51st year of having the Christmas tree farm. The farm is most beautiful in October and November. And nothing welcomes in the fall weather like making blown glass pumpkins,” he said.”

The festival will be filled with art and music. The sculpture studio and gift shop will be having an open house. Thomley and lifelong friend Daniel Bell will be giving glass blowing demonstrations, while Wes Lee will be providing live music.  Later that night, a haunted hayride will also be conducted as well as a bonfire.

Thomley said the festival was planned to reach out to locals who might be interested in learning glass blowing.

“When we’re trying to get our lessons and our schedule lined up to come and blow glass, hopefully, we pack our days tight so that we can have people coming and enjoying it and having that experience,” he said. “They can go out there and look at the trees or talk to the animals. They can have a full day at the farm outside being engaged and doing something, not just looking for Pokemon or playing Nintendo all day. We’ve got real things to do; you don’t have to look in a computer to find things to do. Out here, we’ve got horses and turkeys and animals and dogs, and each other.”

Thomley said Hattiesburg is a hotbed for art.

“In south Mississippi, most people can agree that food is the most celebrated art form that we have,” he said. “People will wait in line at a restaurant for two hours or an hour, but will they wait or will they plan to blow glass? They’ll do it for a movie. They have had great success for film here. I really believe that Hattiesburg is hungry and growing for a creative experience. The creative economy in this little town is exploding. Everybody from the city to private enterprise and all these other people are showing that they do appreciate fine art. That leads to a fine little well-run business. They appreciate the finer things and they will support it.”

The event is free and open to the public.