Located in the southern portion of the United States, Mississippi lies east of the mighty Mississippi River and resides on a section of the Gulf Coast. Home to great musicians like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Charley Patton, Mississippi is known as the birthplace of the blues, and any music lover will find enticing bits of entertainment to enjoy throughout this state. Aside from the amazing music heritage, Mississippi holds lots of wonderful surprises—from Southern cuisine and fresh seafood you’ll easily drool over to charming local customs and fun tourist spots. If you truly want to get to know this area of the United States, you have to read on to see the top festivals in Mississippi, USA.
1. Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival
Established in 1978, Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival is the world’s oldest continuously running festival. With its goal to celebrate and preserve blues music’s rich culture, this festival is a great community gathering filled with jubilant air, dynamic music, and a collection of great food from top vendors. Held every year on the third Saturday in September, Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival does not disappoint and is one of the most influential events—having featured legendary greats like the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Lee Hooker, and B.B. King in the past.
Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival
Address: 1040 S Raceway Rd, Greenville, MS 38703
Takes place: September
Price: 30 - 180 USD
2. Cruisin’ the Coast
Replete with heartstopping drag races, fun by-gone sock hops, lively music, and more is the stellar Cruisin’ the Coast. Held along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast on Highway 90, this wild and crazy event is a dream come true for automobile fans and curious spectators. Admire antique and classic cars along with souped-up hot rods and custom-made vehicles—polished and ready to race. This popular extravaganza began with simply 374 autos. Today, Cruisin’ the Coast hosts more than 7,000 amazing automobiles every year. A few of the designated stops on this cruise are Gulfport, Biloxi, and Gautier.
Cruisin’ the Coast
Address: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Website: Cruisin’ the Coast
Takes place: October 4 - 11, 2020
3. Biloxi Seafood Festival
Come get your spot! It's 200 feet of goodness!Posted by Biloxi Seafood Festival on Saturday, 9 September 2017
If you crave some of the freshest and most mouthwatering seafood in the state, then Biloxi Seafood Festival is not to be missed. A fun celebration of the city’s delicious seafood legacy, Biloxi Seafood Festival features awesome live entertainment, engaging arts and crafts venues, and fun-inducing activities for the children. And, of course, there’s all the seafood you can eat—from savory jambalaya to tasty shrimp and crispy golden fried fish. Don’t forget to check out the humongous 200-foot (61-meter) shrimp po'boy that’s assembled each year!
Biloxi Seafood Festival
Address: 710 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530
Website: Biloxi Seafood Festival
Takes place: September 12 - 13, 2020
4. Slugburger Festival
You make ask what is a slugburger, and you’re sure to find out when you attend Slugburger Festival. For those who are baffled, a slugburger is a traditional Northern Mississippi burger comprised of either ground pork or beef, soybean grits, and flour and deep-fried instead of grilled. The burger is usually topped with pickles, onions, and a slather of mustard. The three-day festival celebrates this unusual yet tasty concoction that has its roots in the United States’ Great Depression era. Other than eating your fill of slugburgers, you can also enjoy a party atmosphere filled with exciting amusement rides and body-swaying live music.
Address: Corinth, MS
Website: Slugburger Festival
Takes place: July
5. Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet
Beginning as far back as 1929, Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet is one of the earliest festivals in Mississippi. Boasting a beautiful tradition brought over by European immigrants who settled in the Biloxi area, this festival marks the start of the fishing season and offers a wonderful procession of shrimp boats that are blessed to ensure not just a bountiful catch but also a safe return. The popularity of Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet has grown over the years. As a result, this festival now includes a scrumptious shrimp festival that offers lip-smacking shrimp dishes, dancing, and a seafood cookoff.
Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet
Address: Biloxi, MS
Website: Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet
Takes place: June
6. Country Cajun Crawfish Festival
If you’re a fiend for crawfish—or Cajun mudbugs as the locals call them—then the only place to be is at the popular Country Cajun Crawfish Festival. Pleasing festival-goers for more than 20 years, this event praises everything crawfish related—from an intense crawfish cookoff in which locals compete for money and bragging rights to every imaginable crawfish dish. Even if you’re not a crawfish fan, there’s a wide variety of other tasty grub. Contributing to the fun are great carnival rides on the midway, cold craft beer from top-notch brewhouses, great live entertainment—particularly Cajun and country music acts—and so much more.
Country Cajun Crawfish Festival
Address: 2350 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531
Website: Country Cajun Crawfish Festival
Takes place: April 15 - 19, 2020
7. Tunica Rivergate Festival
Held in charming downtown Tunica is the family-friendly Tunica Rivergate Festival. Boasting the best competitive barbecue cooking in all of the Southern United States, this festival hosts a competition that pits 30 different teams against each other to create the ultimate barbecue. Along with a fabulous lineup of music artists and bands, this weeklong festival offers homestyle Southern entertainment like a moving flag ceremony, a car show, fun contests, interesting kids’ activities, and a spirited running-of-the-hogs competition.
Tunica Rivergate Festival
Address: Main St, Tunica, MS 38676
Website: Tunica Rivergate Festival
Takes place: April
8. Gautier Mullet and Music Fest
Combining music, mullets, shopping, and out-of-this-world Gulf Coast cuisine is Gautier Mullet and Music Fest. Entertaining tourists and locals of Gautier for over 20 years, this two-day autumn festival offers a jovial atmosphere packed with superb live entertainment, a captivating children’s play and activity area, a motorcycle and automobile show, a pet parade, and much more. Find a variety of belly-filling food among a collection of professional vendors, and shop great merchandise with an army of talented artists on hand to sell you their attractive wares.
Gautier Mullet and Music Fest
Address: Gautier, MS
Website: Gautier Mullet and Music Fest
Takes place: October 24, 2020
9. B.B. King Homecoming Festival
B.B. King Homecoming Festival is a way for Indianola residents to remember and appreciate its most famous citizen. A true inspiration to such classic artists as The Rolling Stones and Elvis, B.B. King is a beloved musical artist, and this festival reflects the indelible impression he made in the music industry. Held at the grounds of B.B. King Museum, this festival attracts thousands each year and features a large array of musical performances on two stages, a kids’ fun zone, and great food. A dazzling fireworks display concludes this fun-filled event and is a wonderful close to a celebration of the rhythm and blues master.
B.B. King Homecoming Festival
Address: 711 Main St, Indianola, MS 38751
Website: B.B. King Homecoming Festival
Takes place: June
Price: 20 USD
10. Gulfport Memorial Day Blowout
A rip-roaring annual event, Gulfport Memorial Day Blowout is an adrenaline-fueled festival perfect for those with a need for speed. Gulfport Memorial Day Blowout offers everything for festival visitors obsessed with motorcycle-style racing. This event even features golf-cart races! This celebration offers an ample supply of hearty food and sudsy beer. Live music is also on hand. With a wet T-shirt and bikini contest on the list of festivities, this is an adult-only affair. Over 100 acres (40.4 hectares) are cleared on the grounds for motor-home camping, but be aware there are no hookups available.
Gulfport Memorial Day Blowout
Address: 17085 Racetrack Rd, Gulfport, MS 39503
Website: Gulfport Memorial Day Blowout
Takes place: May
Price: 20 - 40 USD
Marvelous Mississippi fun
Whether you desire to groove to soulful blues music or bite into a freshly prepared shrimp po'boy or experience high-speed racing action, these fantastic festivals are your ticket to additional good times in Mississippi. If you don’t want to risk an incomplete adventure in this Southern state, then make sure to visit any of these incredible festive events.
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