13th Annual Peanut Festival Returns to Collins


by Judy Smith, Our Mississippi Home

There is something about fall time in the South that makes you want to hit the backroads and spend a little time in the country. Plus, fall always brings lots of great festivals and fun for the whole family. To enjoy some of this fall time faire, you are cordially invited to come all the fun and adventure at the 13th Annual Mississippi Peanut at Mitchell Farms in Collins October 1-2, 2022.

This is one of the most popular events every fall, and it seems that it continues to grow larger each year. The Mitchell family invites you to “take a step back in time and tour a working farm with turn of the century antiques.” Plus, you can get a glimpse of the old farmhouses on the property and find out some very interesting historical events that happened on this farm man years…

This article first appeared on Our Mississippi Home.

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The Loblolly Festival to Be Held in Laurel on October 1


by Judy Smith, Our Mississippi Home

Always held on the first Saturday of October, the Loblolly invades downtown Laurel. Hosted by the Laurel Main Street Association, this has become one of the most popular and most anticipated events in the Pine Belt. Named after the Loblolly trees that famously covered the town and were the livelihood of so many, the festival combines an homage to the past and a vision of a bright future.

On Saturday, October 1, 2022, you are invited to come enjoy all the family-friendly events in downtown Laurel. The event will proceed whether rain or shine. From 9:00 am to 4 pm, the festival is filled with something that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Celebrating “Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town” that thrived many years ago and was the top producer of lumber during the early…

This article first appeared on Our Mississippi Home.

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Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with festival in Pascagoula


www.wxxv25.com – WXXV Staff – 2022-09-19 14:33:23

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 17th through October 15th and the Gulf Coast got a taste of authentic Latin foods and was introduced to other cultural festivities at the inaugural Hispano at Beach Park.

The festival spotlighted many Hispanic businesses, giving them a chance to promote and get to know the community.

People crowded the park, dressed in costumes and cultural clothing followed by traditional dances.

Event organizer Lazaro Rovira was glad to see not only the Hispanic community coming together, but a mix of all…

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The Mississippi Pecan Festival Returns This Weekend


by Judy Smith, Our Mississippi Home

One of the state’s most prominent fall festivals returns to Fulmer’s Farmstead in Beaumont this weekend.

The Mississippi Pecan , in its 34th year, has something for everyone to enjoy. From Sept. 23-25, festival goers will be treated to plenty of pecans, pecan-baked goodies, live music, and arts and crafts.

“It started as an arts and crafts show,” Jeannette Fulmer, the festival’s founder, said. “Actually, it just started in the front yard as a glorified yard sale with only 150 in attendance. From there, it just kept building, and it became something more like a festival and took on a country fair atmosphere.”

Since those humble beginnings in the front yard, the festival has grown into a three-day party full of food vendors, local artisans, and more. You can’t go…

This article first appeared on Our Mississippi Home.

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Book bans: How do Mississippi students feel about them?


Book bans are on the rise. How do Mississippi students feel about it? 

Serenity Moore stood patiently off the side of the stage in the Galloway Church reception hall one afternoon late last month, waiting for a turn to ask her favorite author a question. 

The energy in the room had become serious after a local teacher stood up to ask the panel of Black female authors what they thought about districts in Mississippi restricting access or banning their books completely from school libraries.

Angie Thomas answered first. 

“We’re being made into the big bad wolves that are coming in,” Thomas said. “Half the people who banned my book haven’t even read it.” 

While Thomas spoke, the 12-year-old paced in her white Nike tennis shoes, clutching her copy of “The Hate U Give.” When it was finally her turn, Moore shared with the panelists — all in attendance for an event at the Mississippi Book — that she’d actually discovered Thomas’ book through her own classroom library. Since she picked it up, she’d not been able to put it down: not at volleyball practice, not at the grocery store; she brought it with her everywhere. Her question was simple — would Thomas please sign her copy?

Serenity Moore, right, holds her signed copy of “The Hate U Give” with her teacher Laura Clark.

“I was so surprised because, like, my mom was telling me this book was getting banned almost everywhere,” Moore later told Mississippi Today. “I was like, I have to read this. I literally have to get this.”

Moore is a student in the Jackson Public School District, which has not banned books to date. She got her book signed and intends to return it to her classroom for her peers to read. But in recent months, school districts and libraries across Mississippi have begun restricting access to books deemed to have “mature content.” This means students like her in other districts no longer have easy access to a world of literature filled with characters and situations that mirror their own lives.

Nationally, attempts to ban books hit a record high in 2021 since the American Library Association started tracking the challenges 20 years ago. The organization announced last week that 2022 is on track to surpass last year, and the majority of challenged books were by or about Black or LGBTQ+ individuals.

In Mississippi, public libraries in Ridgeland and Biloxi have debated pulling books off shelves, with the Ridgeland mayor holding back funding from the library over LGBTQ+ books. After several months of negotiations, the library had to reduce its operating hours before an agreement was reached to restore funding. 

In the Madison County School District, the school board placed 10 books in restricted circulation, meaning they require parental permission to check out. Nearly all the authors are people of color or LGBTQ+. 

Adam Maatallah, a senior at Madison Central High School and the president of his school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club.

Adam Maatallah, a senior at Madison Central High School and president of the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Club, said he was disheartened, but not surprised, when he learned about the efforts to ban books in his school district. He’s encountered a lot of prejudice as a kid, he said, and “ … after coming out and being comfortable with my sexuality, I’ve seen the true Mississippi, and it’s not a pretty place for queer people, especially queer youth.”

“We never really expected that (the restrictions) would come from people who are trying to educate us,” Maatallah said. “We were very shocked and sad that apparently, that’s what our educators in charge think is best for us. In reality, it only shows us that we’re not welcome here or that we should be excluded and isolated and not exposed to other people.” 

He said he and his peers were grateful it wasn’t a complete ban of books and they could still be accessed with parental consent, but pointed out this poses a challenge for students with less accepting parents. 

“To put that book on parental restriction is really banning the book altogether,” he said. “The presence of the book in the library is what matters to us. The availability and having the choice to read that book is what makes us feel safe and secure and like we’re people at our school.”

Students have also felt the impact of these efforts to ban books in communities where books are not restricted.

Alex Palmiter, a high school student in Meridian.

Alex Palmiter, a 10th grade student in Meridian, said they’ve witnessed classmates and teachers having disagreements about the issue. 

“I feel kinda disappointed when it happens because usually, I’m not part of the conversation, I’m just an observer,” Palmiter said. “Hearing them talk about me like I’m not there makes me feel like I don’t exist and I don’t matter.” 

Palmiter emphasized the impact diverse representation has had on them personally. 

“There was a moment when I realized that I don’t feel love the same way others do, and it was weird for me, but I have come to terms with it and I accept myself,” they said. “But seeing those characters and that representation in other media really did help me. It showed me that I’m not the only one in the situation and there are others who feel the same way.”

Raymond Walker, a trans 10th grade student at Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, echoed Palmiter. 

“I have a giant shelf of books in my room all by trans authors or about trans people,” Walker said. “I travel a lot, and sometimes when my dad and I go up to St. Louis, he’ll take me to the gayborhoods and gay bookstores and buy me queer books, and I really find a lot of strength in having those.”  

Raymond Walker (right), a student at Northwest Rankin High School, and his mother Katie Rives (left).

Walker, who switched districts from Madison County to Rankin County Schools to give him a fresh start when transitioning, said he has found his new district more accepting.

Though the bans come at no surprise, he wishes there was more pushback from the community. 

“They can’t erase queer history,” he said. “It’s impossible. The only thing they’re going to succeed in doing is confusing young queer kids, pushing the denial that some queer kids have even deeper by erasing the part of themselves they can see in literature.” 

Walker’s mother, Katie Rives, said she believes people advocating for book bans are just scared that their children will end up identifying as LGBTQ+. 

“I just always think, I wish they could meet Ray, and just see what he is, there’s nothing to be scared of,” she said. 

Jerome Moore, Serenity’s father, told Mississippi Today he thinks it’s a good thing his daughter has access to books like “The Hate U Give” and that she enjoys reading. 

“Information is always a good thing,” he said. “She’s being exposed to things and learning as she grows, and that’s great.”

Thomas, the author who spoke at the panel, is a Jackson native whose books have been put on restricted lists. This is a travesty, she said, not just for the kids who won’t have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in her work, but for children to learn about people and experiences unlike themselves.

“Kids that see themselves in my books need those mirrors,” she said. “But there are other kids that need those sliding glass doors and those windows because when you have young people who don’t see lives unlike their own, who don’t understand people unlike themselves, they grow up to be narrow minded leaders who don’t care about nobody beyond themselves.” 

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Mississippi Songwriters Festival Ocean Springs 2022


2022-09-19 11:08:18, 1663603698

What a great time I had at the 2022 Mississippi Songwriters in . Met some good and talented folks.

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The Mississippi Songwriters Festival Returns to the Coast


by John Dolan, Our Mississippi Home

The Mississippi Songwriters 2022 officially commenced on Thursday night with the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural and Art Center was buzzing with local officials and music enthusiasts as live music is set to take place all weekend across and Gautier.

“It is a pleasure to be here in the City of Ocean Springs this evening for this wonderful event,” Gautier Mayor Casey Vaughan said.

Vaughan shared the stage during the ceremony with the many VIPs who attended, all of whom expressed their support for the annual cultural music event on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“Mississippi has a rich cultural heritage of songwriting,” George Cumbest, President of the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance, said. “That has made a powerful…

This article first appeared on Our Mississippi Home.

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Deadline to submit art for Gautier Mullet and Music Festival approaching


www.wxxv25.com – Janae Jordan – 2022-09-01 15:05:06

The deadline for artists to submit their work for the 32nd annual Gautier Mullet and Music is fast approaching.

The Gautier Mullet and Music Festival is a free arts and crafts festival open to the public where guests can enjoy local cuisine, fine arts and crafts, and a mullet toss.

Artists who are interested must include the name and theme of the festival, must have a mullet somewhere as the focal point of the artwork, and the work must be 16” x 20” in either landscape or portrait orientation.

The winners of the art contest will have their work featured on…

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Mark Your Calendar For Can’t-Miss Fall Fun In The Magnolia State


by Cherie Ward, Our Mississippi Home

Hot air balloons, cruising cars, two kinds of nuts, blues music, and tamales can only mean one thing-summer is winding down and fall events will be sprinkled throughout the Magnolia State.

And there will be so much to do and see it will be almost impossible to get bored when autumn finally graces us with crisp weather, pumpkin picking, and red, gold, and orange foliage.

Mark your calendars for these spiced-latte events that promise to usher in the fall season.

Grenada is holding a downtown Jubilee in the city’s historic square on Sept. 10 from 9 am until 4 pm. The event promises to be a fun-filled family day of music, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and much more.

The Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage in Greenville is set for Sept. 17. This is the largest blues…

This article first appeared on Our Mississippi Home.

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Mississippi Songwriters Festival 2022 is Taking the Stage!


by John Dolan, Our Mississippi Home

2022 Mississippi Songwriters will be held September 15th – 18th, 2022.

A four-day annual event packed with live music from local and national working musicians features original songs performed by the writers. It is a fun filled four-days of music on the Mississippi Coast with 100 plus musicians contributing across a dozen stellar venues.

The Mississippi Songwriters Festival 2022 will take place in 12 separate locations over the four days. There will be multiple acts taking the stage, artists will rotate across the many participating venues. Come out, have some fun and hear some original music. This event is open to the public, and there is no admission fee

The kick-off on Thursday, September 15th, is at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center at 7pm, and then continues at…

This article first appeared on Our Mississippi Home.

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