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Vicksburg resident wins $15,000 landscaping prize in association contest

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Left to right: Shane Upshaw from Magnolia Estates of Vicksburg; Shyviqua Brooks, $15,000 prize winner; Jennifer Hall, executive director of MMHA; and Mark Holdiness, Magnolia Estates of Vicksburg salesman.

Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association has immersed itself into the spirit of giving by awarding $15,000 in landscaping to three lucky Mississippians. 

The association opened the competition to individuals who purchased a home from an MMHA retailer during May, June or July of 2019.

“As the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association, we represent the industry in the state of Mississippi,” said Lori Hanson, MMHA communications director. “Our board wanted to do something to give back to the residents of Mississippi, and we thought about what do homeowners really want after buying their first home. … We thought something that would be nice for everyone who entered the giveaway was to do a landscaping package and show them what their homes could really look like when proper landscaping is put into place. It really makes their house feel like a home.”

Applicants had to write an essay on why they chose manufactured housing and three winners were selected to receive the landscape giveaway prize.

Winners were located in All American Housing of Brookhaven, Springer Mobile of Woodland and Magnolia Estates of Vicksburg. 

Shyviqua Brooks was Vicksburg’s winner.

“Ms. Brooks wrote about how she was a first-time home buyer and didn’t want to throw away her money on renting and not ever getting anything out of that,” Hanson said. “So she decided to buy her own home and put those funds towards her mortgage to make her money work for her, which we thought was a great story with her being a young entrepreneur and an up-and-coming business woman.”

The idea for the giveaway came to the association after pondering over what more they could do for their buyers.

“We want to show the community that Manufactured Housing in the state of Mississippi is invested in their community,” Hanson said. “We care about our customers, and we want to show that to the community.”

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Vicksburg Young Professionals to host Downtown Crawl

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Vicksburg Young Professionals will host its annual Downtown Crawl, Thursday, Sept.19, starting at 6 p.m. at Cocktails 101, 1408 Washington St. The event will offer attendees an opportunity to travel through downtown Vicksburg and visit select restaurants while also making connections with other young professionals in the city.

“It’s been a successful event in the past,” said Tyler McNeal, an event organizer. “We just think it’s a great event for people to come out, get together and socialize in a relaxed setting. It’s also important that we promote local restaurants. so it takes care of both of those.”

The event takes attendees on a journey throughout the city to promote the area.

“We’ll meet at different restaurant locations and hang out, network and get together,” McNeal said. “Usually the Vicksburg Young Professionals group will provide appetizers for the event at each location and the locations will offer different drink specials and things like that. We’ll spend a little bit of time at each location and just make our way through the downtown area.”

The VYP saw a need for more attention to be drawn to downtown Vicksburg and hope to do just that with this event.

From the first meetup at Cocktails 101, crawlers will head to the Mississippi Barbecue Company, 717 Grove St., and finish up at the Cottonwood Public House, 1311 Washington St.

Downtown Crawl is free for VYP members and $10 for non-members. Register by calling the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce at 601-636-1012.

“This allows us to give young professionals a different, non typical event to go to,” McNeal said. “I’d encourage anybody that’s new to the town or just looking to branch out to take advantage of this event. It gives you a chance to meet new people and try new things.”

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Vicksburg’s Second Saturday showcases historic downtown for locals and tourists

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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. 

Second Saturday activities

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.

Second Saturday activities

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.

Second Saturday activities

“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 vicksburg2ndsaturday@gmail.com.

“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.

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Rooftop at Cottonwood to open Friday – video

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Friday night, Sept. 13, is the grand opening of the Rooftop at Cottonwood Public House. Ribbon cutting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and all kinds of special goodies will be available.

For eventual residents of the building (1311 Washington St.) the Rooftop will be another value-added benefit, and it will also be available as an event location.

Here to tell us about it is the owner, Tim Cantwell:

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