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An Inside Guide to the World’s Biggest House Party
The best parties tend to just happen—and when they’re really good, people keep coming ...
The best parties tend to just happen—and when they’re really good, people keep coming back. For more than a century, the Neshoba County Fair has been the perfect place to spend the dog days of summer.
What started as a meeting of local farmers in 1889 to show livestock and catch up with family and neighbors quickly grew into the premiere event of the year. Today, more than 600 colorful cabins line neighborhoods in this 140-acre site with names such as Happy Hollow, Founders’ Square and Sunset Strip, all centered on enjoying the best of Mississippi.
Here’s how to get the most from your trip to the 2017 edition of the legendary Neshoba County Fair, July 21-28.
What to See
Everything, of course. Daily livestock shows of cattle and sheep lead to the Pretty Cow Contest, while the petting zoo and exhibits of field crops and arts and crafts carry on the country-fair tradition. PRCA rodeo riding and roping and hilarious harness horse racing take over the Grandstand and race track in the afternoon. Nighttime at the fair starts with a festive backdrop set by the glow of the carnival midway and twilight hot-air balloon displays. Make sure to catch the live taping of Thacker Mountain Radio at Founders’ Square on July 22 at 8 p.m.
Who to Hear
The fair didn’t invent political stumping, but it may have perfected it. A long-held fair tradition dating to 1896, politicking at Founders’ Square heats up later in the week. Elected officials from the statehouse to the local courthouse step to the podium in the morning to speak on the issues of the day and join in the good times. By evening, attention turns to the Grandstand for live country, bluegrass, soul and pop music, including headliners William Michael Morgan, Brothers Osborne and more. Click here for a full schedule of 2017 fair entertainment and events.
Where to Stay
Porch sitting is a marquee event at the Neshoba County Fair. But if you don’t own a cabin—most are passed along through the generations—or haven’t made the right friends yet, there are plenty of other places to sleep off the “World’s Biggest House Party.” The fairgrounds include hundreds of slots for RV campers, and neighboring Philadelphia and Choctaw offer more than a dozen accommodation options, including more than 1,000 rooms in two hotels at Pearl River Resort.
Tickets are $15 per day, and a $40 season pass gets you in all week. Children ages 9 and under get in free. See you on the square.
Slide Down the Slugburger Trail
First, let’s get one thing out of the way—a slugburger is not what the name ...
First, let’s get one thing out of the way—a slugburger is not what the name suggests.
This peculiar-sounding staple of northeast Mississippi cuisine dates to the Great Depression, when locals began adding extenders to meat. The patties, made of mixtures of soy, flour, pork and beef, were fried in oil and sandwiched between two pieces of bread. They often sold for a nickel, then commonly called a “slug.” Also known as doughburgers, today you’ll find them in diners throughout the region served on a white bun with pickles, chopped onion and mustard.
Fascination with slugburgers reaches fever pitch at the annual Slugburger Festival in Corinth, named one of America’s “Wackiest Summer Events" by Trip Advisor. And the surprises go beyond the marquee fried food. Hit singer Trent Harmon from nearby Amory performed at the festival before winning “American Idol,” and this year you’ll find Widespread Panic alum and Vicksburg native George McConnell playing with Americana singer-songwriter Cary Hudson.
Getting hungry to try one for yourself? Spend July 13-15, 2017 sampling the best of the best at the Slugburger Festival in Corinth. Be sure to drop by these top slugburger sources on the way.
Weeks Diner, Booneville
Tracing the history of the slugburger can be tricky, but most locals agree that John Weeks was the first person to make and sell them after moving to Corinth from Chicago in 1917. Today, his descendant Willie Weeks carries on the tradition at Weeks Diner, just down the highway in Booneville.
If you go:
Call 662-720-2151 for hours
Latham’s Hamburger Inn, New Albany
Pull up a stool to the lunch counter in this narrow, shotgun-style diner and order a doughburger cooked to a crispy dark brown in a cast-iron skillet on a 1928 griddle. Watch here as the Travel Channel and John T. Edge, founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance, visit Latham’s for a taste.
If you go:
Slugburger Café, Corinth
It’s all in the name at the Slugburger Café. Each day begins with preparing the staple ingredients for the namesake burger, including 50 lbs. of onions, before shipping them out the door for call-in orders or to the customers who line the counter.
If you go:
Call 662-287-1311 for hours
Borroum’s Drugstore, Corinth
At the oldest drug store in continuous operation in Mississippi, you can get refreshed at the original soda fountain with malted milkshakes, ice cream floats, cherry phosphates and sodas while the family prepares slugburgers in the back. The historic building dates to 1843 and was constructed with handmade bricks.
If you go:
Call 662-286-3361 for hours
White Trolley Café, Corinth
This diner opens early for breakfast and runs right through the lunch and dinner rushes with its own spin on the classic slugburger. Like most other slugburger-serving restaurants, they also serve a beef burger—but you have to be specific if you want it.
If you go:
Call 662-287-4593 for hours
Watch this video from the Southern Foodways Alliance about the history of the slugburger.
Chicago Blues Fest, Mississippi Stage Guide
Blues and soul artists with deep roots in the Birthplace of America’s Music will perform on ...
Blues and soul artists with deep roots in the Birthplace of America’s Music will perform on the Mississippi Juke Joint Stage at the 2017 Chicago Blues Festival, June 9-11 at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.
The Mississippi Juke Joint Stage will showcase world-renowned artists, including GRAMMY® nominee Cedric Burnside, three-time Blues Music Award winner Eden Brent, Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame inductee Denise LaSalle and many other prominent blues, soul and R&B musicians.
Catch roundtable discussions with some of the leading experts on blues music featuring topics such as the Mississippi Blues Trail, which now totals 194 historic markers. Before you leave, visit the Sweet Home Chicago marker which recounts the Great Migration from the Delta to Chicago just a mile down Michigan Avenue.
Here’s the full schedule.
Friday, June 9
11:30 a.m. – Blues in the Schools with Katherine Davis and Stone Academy
1 p.m. – Performance by Eden Brent, jazz and boogie pianist, songwriter and singer
2:30 p.m. – Hill country blues performance by GRAMMY-nominated Cedric Burnside Project
4 p.m. – Performance by Jarekus Singleton, Alligator Records recording artist
5:30 p.m. – Jam session with Cedric Burnside
Saturday, June 10
11:30 a.m. – Mississippi Blues Trail 10th anniversary roundtable with Jim O’Neal, Dr. Edgar Smith, Scott Barretta and Alex Thomas
1 p.m. – Delta blues prodigy Christone “Kingfish” Ingram performance
2:30 p.m. – Bridges to the Blues by Donda’s House
4 p.m. – Performance by soul and R&B artist Vick Allen
5:30 p.m. – Jam session with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
Sunday, June 11
11:30 a.m. – Tribute to Amy Van Singel featuring Dick Shurman, Jim O’Neal and Rebecca Sive
1 p.m. – Performance byR&B and soul singer JJ Thames
2:30 p.m. – Performance by soul artist Zakiya Hooker
4 p.m. – Denise LaSalle performance
5:30 p.m. – Jam session with Eddie Taylor, Jr.
EAT, STAY, PLAY: RIDGELAND
Ridgeland is a destination featuring the integration of an outdoor lifestyle with modern, upscale ...
Ridgeland is a destination featuring the integration of an outdoor lifestyle with modern, upscale design. The city located just north of Mississippi’s capital was planned and designed to make the most of the region’s natural assets. Ridgeland on the historic Natchez Trace Parkway and is home to the Ross Barnett Reservoir. As the state’s premier cycling destination, Ridgeland offers numerous multi-use trails, bike paths, and year-round competitive and pleasure cycling events. Mississippi’s premiere shopping destination features a variety of shopping experiences, from the Mississippi Craft Center and one-of-a-kind local boutiques to national name brand stores. Annual events such as the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival occur year round. Dining is delightful in Ridgeland and flavors abound in this foodie getaway.
Local 463 (www.local463.com)
Award-winning chef, Derek Emerson, sources the freshest local and regional ingredients and prepares his take on southern comfort food with a big city twist; such as our mouth-watering creme brule, Florida rock shrimp pizza, fresh lump crabmeat and Mississippi fruit cobbler. Located in the Renaissance at Colony Park.
Seafood R’evolution (www.seafoodrevolution.com)
Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto innovatively combine Folse’s classic Southern approach to seafood with Tramonto’s contemporary new-world style. While paying homage to Mississippi’s heritage, Seafood R’evolution celebrates a cultural fusion of the foods and flavors shaping the culinary landscape of the Gulf Coast over generations. Located in the Renaissance at Colony Park.
Tico’s Steakhouse (www.ticossteakhouse.com)
For more than 25 years, Tico Hoffman has delighted locals and customers from abroad with his unique blend of mouth-watering steaks, sumptuous seafood dishes and other favorites. Tico’s friendly atmosphere and attention to every detail has made the restaurant a favorite for all who love exceptional food and drink.
Signa’s Grille (www.signasgrille.com)
Serving traditional Cajun foods with an Italian flare, Signa’s offers a delectable range of menu items including gourmet salads, burgers, po'boys & entrées for a dining experience you won't forget. Welcome to the family – that's exactly how you're treated at Signa’s Grille. Owner Frank Signa credits his success and love for Italian food to his upbringing in a full-blooded Italian family.
Cabot Lodge – A Red Lion Hotel (www.cabotlodgejacksonnorth.com)
Experience authentic Southern hospitality in the heart of Mississippi. With a warm, rustic ambiance and focus on service, Cabot Lodge Jackson North – a Red Lion Hotel, is your home away from home in Central Mississippi. Cabot Lodge is among the most comfortable hotels in Ridgeland. Enjoy a complimentary, Southern-style daily breakfast and festive evening cocktail receptions where guests are invited to meet and mingle in our spacious lobby.
Renaissance and Township Properties
A variety of brand properties are available within walking distance of fabulous dining, shopping and multi-use trails at the Renaissance at Colony Park and the Township. Embassy Suites Hotel, Springhill Suites, Townplace Suites, Home2 Suites and Hyatt Place.
The Mississippi Craft Center (www.mscrafts.org) operated by the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi showcases a retail gallery where you can find all kinds of handcrafted treasures. Craft is essentially 3-D art and ranges from traditional folk items like quilts, baskets, and wood-carved spoons to more contemporary works, such as metal sculpture, fused glass, and handcrafted jewelry. The Mississippi Craft Center staff is knowledgeable about both the craftsmen and their work with each purchase from the gallery including a biography of the craftsmen who created it. Visitors are welcome to come anytime, free of charge to see what new creations our creative craftsmen have made. Hands-on demonstrations and art camps are also available.
Cycling (www.visitridgeland.com/cycling) trails and cycling events are part of Ridgeland’s outdoor offerings. Trails like the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Ridgeland multi-use trails and mountain bike trails as well as an extreme BMX course offer the soft adventure traveler year-round competitive and pleasure activities.
The Ross Barnett Reservoir (www.therez.ms.gov) has more than 105 miles of shoreline and 33,000 acres of surface area for boating, sailing, fishing, swimming and water sports. The “Rez” is host to numerous annual events such as the Dragonboat Regatta, Pepsi Pops Symphony concert, Independence Day Celebration and Smokin’ on the Rez BBQ and Music Festival. It also plays host to several local, regional and national fishing tournaments.
Oxford's Bicentennial Trip
Amidst the rolling hills in northeast Mississippi lies the quaint college town and cultural hub of ...
Amidst the rolling hills in northeast Mississippi lies the quaint college town and cultural hub of Oxford.
A hotspot for foodies and lovers of music and literature, Oxford also possesses a rich historical heritage. Incorporated in 1837, the town served as the inspiration for Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County and since 1848 has housed the state’s oldest public university – a pivotal location during the Civil Rights era. With a breathtaking university campus and stately antebellum homes surrounding a charming town square, history buffs are inclined to explore.
What better time to take a stroll in Oxford and take in a history lesson or two than during the Bicentennial Concert Celebration June 24. Check out the itinerary below for inspiration.
1. Stroll Around the Historic Oxford Square
Since Oxford's incorporation in 1837, the Square remains the center of culture and the town's economic hub. Throughout the years, the Square has been home to a variety of boutiques, bookstores, art galleries and restaurants. A former film theater, the Lyric serves as a concert venue featuring some of today’s biggest acts and was once a livery stable for William Faulkner’s family prior to becoming an entertainment venue.
2. Venture to Rowan Oak and Faulkner’s Grave
Renowned author William Faulkner resided in Oxford for the majority of his life, drawing inspiration from the town’s local people and places for his fictional world of Yoknapatawpha County. Rowan Oak, his antebellum mansion and the accompanying grounds, is open for tours year-round. Just across the Square, Faulkner is interned at St. Peter’s Cemetery. It’s best to visit after dusk with a bottle of whiskey, a common gift of remembrance often left at the grave site.
3. Take a History Lesson at the University of Mississippi
The state’s first public university opened its doors to eighty students in 1848 and has since become a major landmark of Oxford. With a walk around campus, visitors will encounter stately academic buildings with a range of architectural designs including the Greek Revival Lyceum, Victorian Romanesque Ventress Hall and the Georgian-inspired Croft Institute. Barnard Observatory is one of the oldest buildings on campus and the first regional studies center in the country. It houses the Gammill Gallery, an exhibit hall devoted to documentary photography of the American South.
4. Reflect on the Civil Rights Era
Behind the Lyceum is a monument of James Meredith, the university’s first African American student.
5. Get the Oxford Blues
Discover the region’s blues history with a visit to the world’s most extensive collection of blues recordings and related material at the university’s J.D. Williams Library. The Mississippi blues archive is comprised of three major collections and open to the public. The B.B. King Collection alone includes more than 7,000 recordings ranging from classic blues to big-band jazz, films, photographs and other promotional materials.
Mississippi Road Trip: Gulf Coast Getaway
Lined by sandy white beaches overlooking barrier islands and the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi ...
Lined by sandy white beaches overlooking barrier islands and the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi Gulf Coast offers both a peaceful retreat and plenty of ways to party down. We have the perfect Gulf Coast getaway planned for you.
Ease into a Coastal State of Mind
Arrive at the Island View Casino on the beach in Gulfport, check in and explore the coastal-contemporary resort’s amenities. After a trip to the spa to shake off your travels, play a few hands on the tables in the 83,000-square-foot casino and grab a refresher at one of 11 on-site restaurants and bars.
Adjust Your Perspective with Art
Back when the Mississippi Gulf Coast was a collection of rural fishing villages along the Gulf of Mexico, artist Walter Inglis Anderson settled in Ocean Springs and began painting the region’s natural history. Today, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in the town’s historic district features his paintings, sculptures and the mural-lined Ocean Springs Community Center alongside pottery from his siblings and other works.
Tour the Historic Beauvoir Estate
Stroll among the grand live oaks at Beauvoir, the 51-acre last home and retreat of Jefferson Davis, where he penned his memoirs. The centerpiece Beauvoir mansion is restored to 1889, when Davis lived in the home. The grounds include a confederate cemetery and the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and museum.
Dine on Local Delicacies
On your way back to your cozy accommodations, stop for dinner at Scarlet’s Steak and Seafood at the Scarlet Pearl overlooking Biloxi’s Back Bay in D’Iberville, named for the French explorer who first settled the area in 1699. Dine on fresh local oysters and jumbo Gulf shrimp or pair with Creekstone Farms Black Angus beef for a unique surf-and-turf experience.
Why Breakfast When You Can Brunch?
After a late rise and a stroll along the beach, head to Le Café Beignet in downtown Biloxi for brunch. Order a specialty coffee and sample the signature beignets—the region’s fried French doughnuts, generously coated in powdered sugar—then order grits with smoked Gouda and shrimp or a gourmet breakfast sandwich served on a French baguette.
Cut Through the White Caps
Find the Biloxi Schooner pier near Biloxi’s Point Cadet, the original home of the city’s seafood industry, sheltered by Deer Island on the eastern tip of the peninsula. Board the Glenn L. Swetman or the Mike Sekul schooner and sail the Mississippi Sound on an historic fishing and oystering boat.
Rock with The Band Perry & More
Join the revelers at Gulfport’s beachfront Centennial Plaza, originally developed for Mississippi’s 100-year birthday, for a party a century in the making—the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration South featuring the Governor’s Concert on April 1.
Take in 200 years of history among the Spanish colonial buildings and moss-draped live oaks while musicians celebrate the state’s history in song with the “We Are Mississippi” orchestral salute. After a performance by Americana singer-songwriter Paul Thorn, stretch out to the grooves of Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, featuring Allman Brothers Band founding percussionist Jaimoe Johnson and guest guitarist Vasti Jackson. Dance and sing along as The Band Perry, a trio of GRAMMY Award®-winning siblings with deep roots in the coastal and capital regions of the state, close out the show with their biggest hits.
5 Romantic Getaways in Mississippi
When you truly want to get away from it all, relax, unwind and reconnect, ...
Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Top 5 Golf Resorts
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a golfer’s paradise. Ideal weather. Varied ...
Mississippi's 2017 GRAMMY Nominations
What do Diplo, Luther Dickinson & Tig Notaro have in common? If you follow music, you may ...
What do Diplo, Luther Dickinson & Tig Notaro have in common?
If you follow music, you may already know a vast number of GRAMMY Award® winners and nominees share a common home: Mississippi. In fact, the state has produced more GRAMMY winners and nominees than any other state, earning the title, “The Birthplace of America’s Music.”
Mississippians continue to have an extensive influence on popular music and culture with the 59th GRAMMY Awards, racking up another seven nominations and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. These nominations include pop music’s biggest artists, country music pioneers, blues torchbearers and an acclaimed comedian.
Keep this rundown of Mississippi’s 2017 GRAMMY nominees handy as you watch the GRAMMYs live on CBS, Sunday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. CT.
Album of the Year
Diplo for Beyonce, "Lemonade"
Diplo for Justin Bieber, "Purpose"
Song of the Year
Khalif Brown (Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd) for Beyonce, "Formation"
Best Traditional Blues Album
Luther Dickinson for "Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook: Volumes I & II)”
Vasti Jackson for "The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers"
Bobby Rush for "Porcupine Meat"
Best Comedy Album
Tig Notaro for "Boyish Girl Interrupted"
Lifetime Achievement Award
Be sure to add the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland, Miss., to your road-trip itinerary. The only GRAMMY Museum located outside of Los Angeles explores the past, present and future of music while casting a spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi.
Discover more of Missisippi's music history and today's live music at http://www.visitmississippi.org/americana/