The Mississippi Blues Trail will honor the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival with a marker unveiling at noon on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Pascagoula. The festival, celebrating its 25th year, will follow on Saturday.
“The Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival has the privilege of using our musical legacy to give back to Gulf Coast youth organizations with festival proceeds. We are honored to celebrate this particular contribution to the state’s esteemed blues history with this 191st Mississippi Blues Trail marker,” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray.
The festival was founded in 1991 by the newly formed Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission under the guidance of Winston Smith, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. When Smith arrived in Mississippi, he found there was no blues festival on the coast. To fill the void, he and a core group of supporters from the African American community pledged their own funds to co-sponsor the first Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Festival.
This blues trail marker is the sixth on the Mississippi Coast and the first in Jackson County.
For more information about the Mississippi Blues Trail, visit www.msbluestrail.org, explore the state’s official tourism website at www.VisitMississippi.org, or contact Mary Margaret Miller White, bureau manager for tourism development, at 601-213-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about the festival, visit www.msgulfcoastbluesfest.com, or call Phyllis Owens at (228) 282-0951.