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January/February 2017 Issue


Enjoy Mississippi governor’s open door policy at home

For Southern hospitality, look no further than the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion. The state’s first families have thrown open their doors to welcome visitors since the home was built 175 years ago – a tradition that continues today.

First occupied in 1842, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion in Jackson is the second oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the United States. Celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, the mansion offers tours to showcase one of the finest surviving examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country.

The Mississippi legislature appropriated funds to build a Capitol and a “suitable house for the governor” in 1833. Both the Capitol, which is now known as the Old Capitol, and the Governor’s Mansion were designed by architect William Nichols, who was the state architect for North Carolina and Alabama before assuming that role for Mississippi.

Tours showcase the historical section of the home, which is located at 300 E. Capitol St. about two blocks south of the Capitol. Guides offer insight into the mansion’s history, its period furnishings, and the governors who have occupied the home.

The tours are offered every half hour from 9:30–11 a.m. from Tuesday through Friday. Admission is free. For security reasons, the mansion grounds are not open for touring.

To confirm availability of tours, call (601) 359-6421. For details, visit


Above: The mansion was built in the Greek Revival style. Visit Mississippi

Below: Visitors will see interesting architectural details and period furnishings. Mississippi Department of Archives and History



Cultivate ideas at Arkansas Flower and Garden Show

When cabin fever reaches its peak for garden enthusiasts this winter, the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show will provide a beautiful antidote.

The three-day celebration of gardening, Feb. 24–26, will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock, Ark. Visitors can shop for plants and gardening items at 140 vendor booths, and they can find inspiration and gather ideas to implement in their own gardens and landscapes. One of the highlights of the show, which is in its 26th year, is the garden competition. Several local nurseries and landscapers create indoor display gardens on the show floor using live plants, and visitors can walk through the gardens.

In addition, about a dozen experts will offer how-to presentations throughout the weekend. Among the topics will be vegetable gardening, bird watching, landscaping with native plants, growing berries, sustainable gardening, planting in tight spaces, and more.

Professional florists will compete to create the best tabletop displays, and for younger visitors, there will be a family scavenger hunt and other activities. Hours are 10 a.m.–7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 per person and free for children 12 and under. A three-day pass is $15. The convention center is at 101 E. Markham St.

Call (501) 821-4000 for details or visit


The show fills up the Statehouse Convention Center with vendors and display gardens. Arkansas Flower and Garden Show


Free concerts introduce opera to new audiences

Now in its 10th season, Opera on Tap has become an integral part of the music scene in the New Orleans area with its casual, 90-minute concerts of opera, Broadway, and more.

Presented at three different venues from fall to spring, Opera on Tap was conceived in part as a way to introduce opera to new audiences by bringing it to unusual places. The concerts attract a wide age range of people.

Upcoming Opera on Tap performances will be held at:

• Four Points by Sheraton in the French Quarter (541 Bourbon St.) on Jan. 25 and Feb. 15

• The Rusty Nail in the New Orleans Warehouse District (1100 Constance St.) on Feb. 1

• Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs (72011 Holly St.) located in Louisiana’s Northshore area on Jan. 11

More shows will be held in the spring. The concert series is free, and depending on the venue, can attract as many as 100 people. While reservations are not required, event organizers encourage attendees at Abita Brew Pub to reserve a table in advance if they intend to dine.

The concerts at Four Points by Sheraton hold a special place in the hearts of regular opera- goers. It sits on the hallowed grounds of the French Opera House, which served as the cultural center of New Orleans’ Creole society for 60 years until it was lost to fire in 1919.

Organizers say the concert series is a great way to “demystify opera” and make it more accessible. It’s also a fun, casual way to promote upcoming productions by the New Orleans Opera. The concerts showcase the talents of students at area universities, the New Orleans Opera Chorus, and local professional singers.

For details, visit


Singer Giovanna Joseph performing at the Four Points by Sheraton. Nancy Watts/New Orleans Opera


Jackson honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

The birthday anniversary of late civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated over four days in Jackson, Miss., through literature, music, and one of the biggest King Day celebrations in the country.

The celebration kicks off Friday, Jan. 13, with a day for youth, featuring a literary contest at the Medgar Evers Library, a gathering at the State Capitol, and a talent show at Lanier High School.

On Saturday, a parade featuring high school bands, floats, and dance teams begins at 10 a.m. at Freedom Corner (the intersection of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Medgar Evers Boulevard). The day ends with a free musical performance at 7 p.m. – Envisioning the Dream through Song – at the Woodworth Chapel at nearby Tougaloo College.

On Sunday, there will be a concert at the Cornerstone Baptist Church. And on Monday, a wreath-laying at Freedom Corner will be followed by a gospel concert at Jackson City Hall and an awards banquet at Jackson State University.

For details, call (601) 960-1090 or click on


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from a 1964 photo. Marion S. Trikosko/Library of Congress


Cowboy up in Lafayette

Strap on your cowboy boots and hightail it to Lafayette, La., for the 65th Annual Mid-Winter Rodeo Jan. 12–15 at the Blackham Coliseum.

Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, the Mid-Winter Rodeo is one of the largest rodeo events in Louisiana, showcasing professional contenders from around the nation competing in steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, barrel racing, and more. There are even stick horse competitions for the wee ones in the family, but there is a fee for participation.

The rodeo attracts an estimated 12,000 spectators over four days. All seats are reserved and adult ticket prices range from $14 to $22. Ticket prices for children ages 3–13 range from $11 to $14. Special VIP packages are $100 per person.

Blackham Coliseum is located at 2330 Johnston St. in Lafayette. Rodeo performances begin at 7:30 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online or at Lafayette retail outlets listed on the website.

Call (337) 400-7964 or visit




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