Special to The Mississippi Link
JACKSON – One of the great traditions of summer in the ‘True South’ is to attend an outdoor festival or fair for a taste of the diverse cultural heritage displayed across Mississippi. Many of these are annual events that draw locals and visitors alike to enjoy long-standing traditions.
“Throughout the summer, there are many authentic festivals and fairs taking place in communities across Mississippi that showcase the unique aspects of our state’s Southern culture.” said Sandy Bynum, spokesperson for the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division. “Now is a great time to plan a trip and experience the True South’s most interesting events of the summer.”
Following is a sampling of the entertaining festivals and fairs you can experience this summer in Mississippi:
63rd Annual Choctaw Indian Fair, Choctaw, July 11-14
Enjoy four fun-filled days in Choctaw, near Philadelphia, where Choctaw tribal culture infuses each day’s activities, including tribal arts, crafts, dances, food and the action of World Championship Stickball. The Choctaw Indian Fair offers fun for young and old alike, from exhilarating rides and contests to well-known entertainment.
25th Annual Slugburger Festival, Corinth, July 12-14
Sponsored by Main Street Corinth, this unique festival named after a unique burger features a slugburger-eating contest, carnival rides, a variety of food vendors and musical performances, including the popular Slug Idol competition.
Since 1978, the Mississippi Watermelon Festival in Mize has celebrated the delicious, ripe, world-famous Smith County watermelons. It’s a great opportunity to experience Southern hospitality at its finest and cool off with a local treat that is a hallmark of summertime.
Natchez Food and Wine Festival, Natchez, July 27-29
The Natchez Food and Wine Festival has become one of the most anticipated events in the area. With an agenda taking you from one remarkable experience to the next, you will find yourself constantly surrounded with some of the region’s most prominent chefs and restaurants, and indulged in the finest of food, wine and entertainment.
Neshoba County Fair, Philadelphia, July 28-August 3
Established in 1889, the Neshoba County Fair® fosters political, agricultural and social exchanges of knowledge and ideas. Home of the state’s only licensed horse track since 1922 and the nation’s largest campground fair, the fair is “Mississippi’s Giant House Party®” and has been entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Rides, games, entertainment and hundreds of fair cabins provide a great atmosphere for visiting and discussing the latest political issues.
Southern Crossroads Music and Tamale Festival, Jackson, August 10-11
The first annual Southern Crossroads Music and Tamale Festival will celebrate tamales from many different regions, featuring tamales in their earliest form to the “Mississippi” tamale created in the Delta region. Add to the mix real-time art from local and regional artists creating works during the festivities while displaying their previous creations on-site.
24th Annual Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, Clarksdale, August 10-12
The first Sunflower River Blues Festival took place in 1988 and was funded primarily by Clarksdale’s downtown merchants. Since then, one of the largest blues and gospel festivals in Mississippi has grown every year to include some of best names in the business. Celebrated for its authenticity and focus on Mississippi’s musical heritage, the event features entertainment by local and nationally known blues and gospel artists and also offers lectures and seminars about music and its unique roots.
2nd Annual Long Beach Band Festival, Long Beach, August 11
The Long Beach Band Festival offers a variety of fun for the entire family. Enjoy waterslides, live bands, kiddie land, exhibitions, food, vendors and much more.
There are plenty of festivals and fairs to experience this summer…and the list above highlights just a few of the main events. Be sure to go to http://www.VisitMississippi.org and click on “EVENTS” to get all of the details and specifics about these events and many more happening all summer in the True South.