Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tupelo's Elvis Presley 80th Birthday Recap

When you throw a party for a king, it has to be pretty great. To honor Elvis’ 80th Birthday, Tupelo threw a weekend long party fit for the King of Rock 'N Roll. 

Kicking off the celebration, the Elvis Presley Birthplace hosted a birthday party for Elvis at his first home. The party had guests from all across the world, including Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and more. Guests conversed about their beloved entertainer and reminisced on some of their favorite stories with other fans. There was cake and the congregation joined in on a joyous “Happy Birthday.”

Later that afternoon, the Tupelo Elvis Festival unveiled the artwork for the 2015 festival. The piece was created by local artist, Richard Tucker, and is a beautiful watercolor painting of a young Elvis with a creative use of red, black, and white font.

That night, Tupelo Community Theatre premiered “Graceland,” the story of two Elvis fans waiting outside the gates of Graceland to be the first ones inside when the home opened to the public. The actresses had the crowd laughing out loud while displaying the true dedication of Elvis fans.

Also, that night, the Link Centre played host to a sing-along to Elvis’ film “Jailhouse Rock” that featured Memphis Jones leading the show. The movie offered the opportunity for fans to rewatch one of their favorite Elvis movies and sing along with friends and fellow fans.

On Friday, the celebration continued with another unveiling. This time, the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled an exhibit featuring Mississippi Slim, a man who helped shape Elvis into the musician he became. The unveiling featured relatives of Slim who recounted stories of the humor and kindness of the late musician.

That evening two more events kept the party going, starting with an Elvis-themed art exhibit at the GumTree Museum of Art. The gallery featured several artists' interpretations of the Tupelo boy and also had the Memphis Jones Trio provide entertainment. Meanwhile, at the BancorpSouth Arena, Eric Church performed to a sold out crowd as part of his Outsiders World Tour.

The party came to a close Saturday with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performing some fantastic arrangements of Elvis’ greatest hits. During their second set, Richard Marx joined the orchestra to perform a few of his songs, as well as some of his favorite Elvis songs. It was truly a special evening and a fantastic close to a weekend celebration of Tupelo’s most famous native son.  

Follow this link to see a full gallery of the weekend's events: http://bit.ly/1BOqmbo

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tupelo's Homegrown Gift Guide

Nothing enraptures the holiday season more than "home," so share a piece of Tupelo with loved ones near and far this Christmas. We've compiled a brief list of a few homegrown gift ideas for you to show your love of Tupelo while giving this holiday season. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few of our favorites!

About The South 

120 W. Main St.

1.) Lisabeth Jane Postcards

The art of writing letters hasn't gone away. It's difficult not to feel loved when you receive a hand-written letter from someone. Send those letters in style! Stacy Gregory has created different Mississippi postcards with relevant words so you can tell someone you appreciate them. There are also 8x10 prints available of the postcards.

$12 per 8x10 print
$2.00 per card/$1.15 per postcard 

2.) State of Mine Woodworks
Created by a Tupelo local but produced out of Oxford, MS, these decorations are great for any member of the family. Let people know where your heart is with this Mississippi decoration.

Smaller version: $40
Larger version: $50

3.) Neely Brown Tupelo High School Centennial Print
As part of the centennial celebration of Tupelo High School in 2014, Art IV student, Neely Brown, created this piece to represent 100 years of Tupelo High School. All proceeds will go toward building trophy cases in the halls of Tupelo High School.

Centennial print: $5

4.) Kara Young - "Familiarity" CD
Originally a Tupelo local, Kara Young, graduated from THS in 2012 and is now a student at Samford University. Perfect for the music lover in your life, the singer-songwriter has released her debut album with 11 wonderful songs.

"Familiarity" CD: $10

5.) "38801" Pillow
The perfect decoration for someone to show off the city they love! The "38801" pillow is one that you're not gonna find anywhere but the great City of Tupelo!
38801 Pillow: $42


126 W. Main St. 
5.) Kim Gambrell Couture Jewelry
Gentlemen, we got a gift for the special ladies in your life. You can never go wrong giving the gift of jewelry, so why not make it jewelry created by the hard working hands of a Tupelo resident.

Jewelry starts at $24

6.) Waxing Poetic Candles
Created by Tupelo local, Roger Smith, Waxing Poetic Candles will light up the holidays. Made from repurposed wine bottles, these candles are formed into gel candles that sparkle when lit. There are scented and unscented candles.

Repurposed wine bottles: $34, $36, $38 (per size)

7.) Kindfolk Leather Goods
Ladies, it's your turn to find something for that man in your life that has everything he needs. Created by Tupelo resident, Jason McNally, a portion of every item sold goes to providing food and education for people in poverty in Mississippi, Ecuador and around the world.

Hat: $35
Mason Jar with Koozie: $30
Guitar Strap: $30


130 W. Main St. 
8.) Address to Impress Stationary
As we mentioned, letter-writing is not a lost art! Swirlz has Address to Impress stationary that features fold-over thank you notes, stickers and Christmas cards.

Cards begin at $1.75 per card


Mall at Barnes Crossing
9.) Assorted goods
Hand-made goods from another good person of Tupelo! From pillows, Christmas tree skirts, stockings and so much more, Lucy's has a great selection of decorative items to spruce up your gift giving. Looking for something extra special? Lucy's will also personalize your gift with a variety of monogramming.


Mall At Barnes Crossing or 131 W. Main St.
10.) T-Shirts
Who doesn't love a good T-shirt? Visit one of Tupelo's oldest stores for some real Tupelo gear. Reed's has a wide selection of Tupelo shirts to choose from for you to dress your friends and family this Christmas.

Tupelo First TVA City Shirt: $14.98
Cradle of Rock Shirt: $16.95 

The Caron Gallery

128 W. Main St.
11.) Josh Robbins Handcrafted Wood Bowls
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes but handcrafted items are a real treat. Local artist, Josh Robbins makes handcrafted bowls of assorted sizes and made available at The Caron Gallery. What's especially unique about some of these bowls is that they were created from wood from the April 2014 Tupelo tornado.

Two Piece Set: $80
Bowls Made From Tupelo Tornado Wood: $65

12.) Shelley Ozbirn Watercolor Pendants
It's difficult to find hand painted jewelry these days. These watercolor pendants are truly a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Treat someone with a locally painted necklace this Christmas.

Watercolor Pendants: $30

Main Attraction

214 W. Main St. 
13.) "Can't Help Falling in Love" with Tupelo prints
Created by Melanie Counce, these very limited edition prints are a must have for any Elvis fan.

14.) Tupelo Photos
Created by Russell Stafford, this set of 4 Tupelo photos including The Lyric, Old Courthouse, Fairpark, and Tupelo Hardware Co. is perfect to showcase some of Tupelo's most prominent locations.

Tupelo Photos (4 Set): $12

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Tupelo During the Christmas Season

1.) Attend the annual Christmas Lighting of Ballard Park with performances by local school choirs. The event will take place Monday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m.

2.) Share your Christmas list with Santa Claus in Center Court at the Mall at Barnes Crossing. He is available for photos and Christmas wishes until Christmas Eve.

3.) Bring a blanket and get a front row seat along Main Street for the annual Reed’s Tupelo Christmas Parade. This year’s event themed “A Season of Hope” will be held Monday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m.

4.) Build a fire, fix a cup of hot chocolate, and turn on Sunny 93.3 for continuous Christmas music throughout the holiday season.

5.) Become a Junior Ranger at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center at their “Natchez Trace Toybox” program. Held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, December 20, Junior Rangers will learn about toys that children played with in the 1800s and have a chance to try them out.

6.) Attend a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at one of Tupelo’s many area churches.

7.) Enjoy The Polar Express story time at Barnes & Noble in the Mall at Barnes Crossing Thursday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m. Kids will be treated to a reading of the classic Christmas book, special activities, and are encouraged to wear their pajamas. 

8.) Hop in the car with your family and ride through town to see all of the Christmas lights. Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate and some Christmas cookies for an added bonus.

9.) Volunteer at one of Tupelo's many charitable organizations.

10.) Put on your favorite Christmas sweater and go caroling in your neighborhood or at a local nursing home.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Colors of the Natchez Trace