WellsFest 2020 Canceled Because of COVID-19 Safety Concerns

(Sept. 15, 2020)  All WellsFest activities — the Saturday Sept. 26 Festival and 5K run, the Sept. 22 Art Night, and the Sept. 23 Golf Tournament — have been canceled.

Rev. Chris Cumbest, pastor of Wells United Methodist Church, the organizer of WellsFest, and Dr. Ken Simon, 2020 WellsFest Chair, share this statement with the community about the decision to cancel this year’s WellsFest: 

"WellsFest has always been designed to bring the community together for a day of music and family activities in support of a good cause. This year bringing people together physically is just not safe because of the COVID pandemic.  It was a difficult decision but we feel that it should be clear to the community that we have their best interests and their health at heart in making this decision. The 2020 beneficiary for WellsFest — Grace House — is on board with the decision and will be the beneficiary for 2021 when we plan to be back stronger than ever.”

Throughout the 36-year history of WellsFest, the community coming together for these events in late September has raised more than $1.5 million for Mississippi non-profits and the work they do. In 2019 WellsFest raised $63,000 for Extra Table and its mission of feeding the hungry.

Grace House Services – the 2021 beneficiary —  provides housing and support services to homeless men, women, and families with disabilities, including HIV/AIDS and addictions.

For more information about WellsFest and Wells United Methodist Church, call 601-353-0658 or visit www.wellschurch.org.

To learn more about Grace House, call  601-353-1038 or visit www.gracehousems.org.

What Is WellsFest?

WellsFest is Jackson's first and longest-running music festival.  What began as a small church-sponsored afternoon of music 37 years ago is now one of Jackson’s major fall festival events with top musical talent on two stages and a fun-filled day of family activity.  The festival was established in 1984 by Wells United Methodist Church as a gift to the community with three goals: 

  • To help a deserving local service organization;
  • To provide a music festival where people can have fun and enjoy good music in an alcohol-free and drug-free environment;
  • To show God’s love can bring this community together in support of a worthy cause.

Since WellsFest began, it has raised nearly $1.5 million for local non-profit agencies. Although the festival is organized and put on by Wells Church with community volunteers, all proceeds go to a local beneficiary determined annually.  Join the fun on the last Saturday of September at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park.  For info on WellsFest 2019, please click here.

WellsFest is...

  • A Family-Friendly Music Festival

    WellsFest is a free, family-friendly music festival, drawing the best groups around. Entertainers donate their time and talent to provide continuous music on two stages. 

  • A Fun Fair for CHildren

    WellsFest includes a huge children's area in which children can participate in easy-to-win games, creative activities, arts and crafts, and pony rides for low, low prices.  And playing in the giant sand pile in the center of the children's area is always free!

  • A SIlent Auction

    Visit the silent auction section of the festival to bid on and pick up some great bargains donated by local merchants, innkeepers and restauranteurs. 

  • An Outdoor COffee House

    Relax with friends in the shade of the outdoor coffeehouse tent.  Sip on hot or iced coffee and enjoy delicious, homemade desserts while listening to live music. 

  • A DIner's Delight

    The WellsFest grill provides a way to enjoy your favorite festival foods, such as hamburgers, hotdogs and barbecue, during the event. Vegetarian options are  provided. Soft drinks and water are also provided, along with snow cones and cotton candy.

  • Arts and Crafts AND MORE

    The WellsFest Vendors' Village has become a major part of the festival experience and includes more than 50 vendors from around the state. The east side of Jamie Fowler Boyll Park is an ideal spot for arts and crafts booths, nonprofit organizations and others. 

  • A Pet Parade

    The WellsFest Pet Parade entry is FREE and includes a blessing of the pets and prizes in several categories.  Participants receive a free treat bag and a St. Francis medal.  All pets must be leashed in accordance with city ordinances.

  • A Giant Plant Sale

    Find some living bargains at the giant plant sale.  Organized by a master gardener who gathers and divides plants for a year prior to the festival, this sale always includes some unique passalong plants that are not available in commercial outlets.  

  • A 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run

    The "Wells-Done!" Run has become a regular feature on the fall calendar.  Make plans now to join this early morning event that kicks off WellsFest the last Saturday in September.  All ages can walk or run the 5K.  Children ages 12 and under can participate in the 1-mile fun run.  Prizes will be awarded for winners in all age categories of all races. 

  • Art Night

    Every year, caring artists from throughout the community and beyond donate works for sale in our buy-it-now area and live art auction on the Tuesday night before WellsFest Saturday. WellsFest Art Night puts the spotlight on their generosity. 

  • WellsFest Week GOlf

    The WellsFest Golf Tournament is held each year during WellsFest week.  This team tournament provides a fun way for participants to support the WellsFest beneficiary while enjoying a day of golf.

WellsFest: Jackson's Original Festival

WellsFest, Jackson’s first festival, was established in 1984 by Wells United Methodist Church as a community service. 

From its modest beginning, WellsFest has grown to become a significant community-wide event.  The first WellsFest simply featured area musicians, barbecued chicken, a few children’s games and a silent auction.  As the crowds grew, the activities were expanded to make WellsFest a unique institution and a “must do” item on the fall social calendar, drawing an estimated 10,000 persons on the last Saturday in September.  

WellsFest is the recipient of the 2012 Mississippi Arts Commission Governor's Award for Arts in Community.