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It’s summer — party time! A list of Mississippi festivals

Watermelon Festival-Mize-logo_rgb» The Oxford Blues Festival is certainly not the only event scheduled this summer. Local culture, food, music, art and more will be offered across the state this month and into August.

“Throughout the summer, communities host festivals and fairs that showcase the authentic sights and sounds of our state’s culture and invite residents and visitors to embrace that culture for themselves.” said Malcolm White, director of Visit Mississippi, in a statement. “Now is a great time to plan an extended family getaway or a short day trip to experience Mississippi’s most interesting events of the summer.”

Here is a sampling from the Tourism Division of the Mississippi Development Authority of some of the unique festivals and fairs that will be held this summer in Mississippi.

» READ MORE: EATING UP THE BLUES — 5th Annual Oxford Blues Festival adds food to the lineup


65th Annual Choctaw Indian Fair, Choctaw, July 9-12: 

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.


36th Annual Mississippi Watermelon Festival, Mize, July 18-19: 

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 25-27: 

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 25-Aug. 1: 

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.


26th Annual Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, Clarksdale, Aug. 8-10: 

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.


Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival, Jackson, Aug. 15-16: 

On multiple stages at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum, this inaugural event will be headlined by American Idol winner Fantasia and Ziggy Marley and will feature over 30 of the best R&B artists ever assembled in the Southeast, including Bell Biv Devoe, Chrisette Michele, Estelle, Dorothy Moore, Curtis Salgado and Boney James.

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