Vicksburg has worked tirelessly over the years to make the town appealing to tourists. The effort has proven to be successful as tourism rates have seen a 20 percent increase over the past year.
Vicksburg is a hub for history and hospitality on the banks of the Mississippi River, and it makes perfect sense that people would travel to the River City simply to get a glimpse of what the town has to offer. From the Vicksburg National Military Park, the amazing murals near the river to the Mississippi River Bridge and the numerous events going on, Vicksburg is never dull.
A group of dedicated citizens and organizations, including Vicksburg Main Street, Visit Vicksburg, the Chamber of Commerce and others, have come together to showcase the city, starting with the downtown area.
On the second Saturday of each month from June through December, music fills the air and vendors occupy downtown streets for Second Saturday. September’s event is tomorrow, the 14th.
“We want to offer free entertainment to local families each month but also want to wow visitors with all the amazing talent Vicksburg has to offer,” said Kelle Barfield, owner of Lorelei Books and one of the volunteer coordinators of Second Saturday. “One goal is to boost the downtown economy by bringing more shoppers to Warren County. I so often hear tourists say that the friendly, welcoming nature of downtown Second Saturday merchants and organizers makes them want to come back and spend more time here.”
For months the committee behind the event-filled day has invited businesses to participate to bring the community together and make the city more appealing to both locals and tourists.
“We care about Vicksburg and the downtown area, and we want to make it better,” said Jenni Piazza Owen with Second Saturday. “We just want to bring people down to the local businesses on Washington Street. We have all these tourists who come for baseball games and all these other events, and we want to show them all what we, Vicksburg, have to offer.”
As a part of Second Saturday, local businesses offer specials to the public.
“Some of the businesses offer discounts during Second Saturday,” Owen said. “It was kind of their idea in the first place and, now that we’ve gotten started, we just want to bring people to them.”
The City of Vicksburg has been heavily involved with Second Saturday.
“Grants from the City of Vicksburg and Visit Mississippi are allowing us to publicize Second Saturday regionally,” Barfield said, “so we’re hoping that visitors from a drivable distance will make this a mainstay on their weekend calendars and want to return month after month.”
Second Saturday is always open to new participants to show people what Vicksburg has to offer. Musicians, artists, chefs, and dance or other performance groups are invited to participate at any time between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Second Saturday is a terrific example of organizations and volunteers coming together to showcase Vicksburg and its rich culture of the arts: music, painting and photography, performing arts, literature, culinary arts and more,” Barfield said. “The idea is an outgrowth of the Chamber of Commerce strategic plan and includes tremendous support from the Main Street Program and Visit Vicksburg. But the initiative has strong coordination from volunteers, who are quick to try new ideas.”
For more information, including the specials offered this month and participating vendors and entertainment, visit the Second Saturday Facebook page.See a typo? Report it here.