Mississippi at 200: Tupelo events set to celebrate state's bicentennial

TUPELO – It might be hard to fit 200 candles on a cake, so Tupelo is finding other ways to celebrate Mississippi’s bicentennial in September.

“Tupelo Celebrates Mississippi” will host a series of events on Sept. 14 to invite the citizens of the city and Northeast Mississippi to join in with the festivities and celebrate the Tupelo spirit.

Beginning at 5 p.m. in downtown Tupelo, historical reenactments can be found along Main Street and in local businesses, highlighting major moments in Tupelo’s history as well as the story of Elvis Presley, as actors portray pivotal residents of the community.

Also along Main Street will be the “Celebrating Storytelling: Tupelo Spirit” bicentennial exhibit on display, featuring photographs from eight community members who worked on crafting stories alongside Blue Magnolia Films in August. The statewide event used Tupelo as one of its events on the journey to tell 100 stories by year’s end.

“The photo documentary workshop with Blue Magnolia was a memory that I will cherish for a lifetime,” said Debbie Brangenberg, director of Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association. “The process was intense but well worth the gift of the personal skills learned. The end result: amazing stories capturing pieces of the puzzle that make up the Tupelo spirit.”

At the GumTree Museum of Art and Caron Gallery in downtown Tupelo, exhibits with a Mississippi-theme will be on display. At GumTree, the Southern Light Photography exhibit will feature images of Mississippi’s landscape and will host a reception beginning at 5 p.m. At Caron, Mississippi artists will be on display in the “Mississippi Interpretations” exhibit also at 5 p.m.

“This has been a very informative process,” said GumTree executive director Belle Naugher. “I’ve learned a lot about Tupelo. We have a lot of pride in our city which is good because we have a lot to be proud of, from the arts to music to businesses and beyond.”

Healthworks! will host a Kid Zone in Fairpark from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. with various activities for children of all ages including an interactive exhibit depicting how games have transitioned over the past 200 years.

The evening will culminate with the final Down on Main concert in Fairpark, featuring Jeff Crosby and the Refugees and George McConnell at 6:30 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about “Tupelo Celebrates Mississippi,” contact DTMSA at (662) 841-6598 or visit tupelomainstreet.com.

Sarah StewartComment