The anchor of the Golden Triangle in Northeast Mississippi, Starkville is home to about 23,000 citizens and one of Mississippi’s largest universities, Mississippi State University. Known today as “Mississippi’s College Town”, Starkville boasts a strong community of college students from around the world, as well as lifetime residents and those who couldn't resist this town’s Southern charm.
Originally one of Mississippi’s first Main Street communities, Starkville has had a long history of preservation of its downtown areas. Currently, the Starkville Main Street Association is part of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership (GSDP). The GSDP is the umbrella organization for the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, the Starkville Main Street Association, and Starkville Visitors & Convention Council.
Starkville’s downtown is divided into three main districts: Main Street, Russell Boulevard, and the Cotton District. Although Starkville’s downtown includes three separate districts, the entire area is connected in the center of town, boasting local shops, great dining, and it is also home to one of Mississippi’s best downtown, boutique hotels – Hotel Chester. There are several historic neighborhoods surrounding downtown Starkville, providing a great opportunity to live, work, and play all in one area.
One of Starkville’s greatest assets is its people, and its history as a college town has become a great resource for its exciting atmosphere. Essentially, the population doubles when school is in session, and these students support local boutiques and restaurants frequently.
The students’ youth also adds to the vibrancy of the town.
“Most of our students appreciate walkability and bike lanes -- they utilize them, and they want to spend time outdoors,” said Jennifer Gregory, Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. “This allows us to focus on livability and allows us to try new things that might not take-off in other communities.”
Starkville is one of Mississippi’s top tourist destinations, and whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll always be able to find something to do. Downtown plays host to community events and festivals all year long. Events like Pumpkinpalooza, unWINE Downtown, Cotton District Arts Festival, and the Downtown Block Party all allow people to experience Starkville’s beautiful downtown. There is also a Community Theater on Main Street, and the Starkville Community Farmers Market is located downtown.
Currently, the GSDP’s revitalization efforts are being directed to Highway 182 to redevelop an area that has fallen victim to the wear of time. A Redevelopment Authority is being established to help aid in this process. Once completed, this area will connect with the other main districts in downtown Starkville, providing even more area to live, work, and play in downtown Starkville.
“Being a Mississippi Main Street community has been one of the highlights of our efforts here at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership,” Gregory said. “The resources and encouragement from Mississippi Main Street Association have contributed to our recognition as one of the top downtowns in Mississippi annually by Mississippi Magazine's readers and others. We can't wait to see what the future holds!”
For more information about Starkville Main Street, go to http://visit.starkville.org/.
MMSA PR Intern