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One Day. 50 Towns. One Goal: Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi

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Mississippians in 50 communities around the state will share one goal at 9 a.m., Saturday, November 8, as they join together for the first statewide Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi event.

Held in partnership with the Mississippi Main Street Association and the leadership of the 50 communities, hundreds of people will take part in downtown walks in their own hometowns.

“This day is about promoting walking as an important part of a healthy life, and showing people how simple it is to go walkin’ in their communities,” said John Sewell, spokesperson for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, which created the Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi Program.

“The purpose of this collaborative program is to promote quality of life in our downtown communities in Mississippi,” said Bob Wilson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Main Street Association. “The health and wellness of those who work, play, shop and live downtown is crucial to our downtown revitalization efforts.”

“Healthy employees mean healthy businesses, and healthy citizens mean healthy communities,” Wilson said. “The life of our downtowns depends on the lives of those who dwell there.”

“This day will show the leadership and energy in communities around the state,” said Sewell. “And it shows how Mississippians are focusing on creating healthier lifestyles. Just 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week, can improve health tremendously.”

Each of the 50 communities is organizing its own Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi event promoted with the message: One Day. 50 Towns. One Goal. They all will have sign-up tables where the first 50 people in line will get free commemorative T-shirts. Walking routes will be a mile or less in each
community.

Carthage embraces new vision

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Main Street Carthage moved well off Carthage’s Main Street last week.

While a team of architectural and community planning specialists established that Main Street in the Leake County seat went a long way toward tying the community together geographically, the vision offered in a Wednesday evening, Sept. 17, town hall meeting escaped all those bounds.

So grand were the visions that Dr. Cheryl Morgan, at the end of the one-hour meeting, confessed there was so much that didn’t get covered.
“There are things we didn’t even talk about,” she said, “things like long-term possibilities for schools.”

Things the team presentation covered, however, often left the gathering of 70 or so local residents and business operators oooh-ing and aaah-ing.

Brought to Carthage under the auspices of the newly minted Main Street Carthage and Mississippi Main Street, the team of professionals spent Monday through Wednesday of last week surveying the town, its assets and its possibilities.
Team members included:
• Randy Wilson, director of design services for Mississippi Main Street;
• Dr. Cheryl Morgan, professor of architecture at Auburn University;
• Ben Muldrow, community identity and marketing specialist with Arnett Muldrow and Associates;
• Tripp Muldrow, urban planner;
• Bob Wilson, executive director of Mississippi Main Street;
• Jan Miller, program director, Central Division, Mississippi Main Street;
• Sam Agnew, program director, Northern Division;
• Belinda Stewart and Maggie Bjorgum, of Belinda Stewart Architects, Eupora;
• Sam Kaye, architect & preservationist.

Similar teams are slated to visit new Mississippi Main Street members Holly Springs and Winter Valley, in a pilot program bringing Alabama’s experience to Mississippi. Eventually 14 communities will participate in the two-year program funded by Appalachian Regional Commission and the West Alabama-East Mississippi (WAEM) Regional Initiative, the latter includes East Central Community College in its members and ECCC was represented in last week’s efforts.

The survey and assessment process, called a charrette, included an earlier town meeting, also in the Old Main office on Main Street, in which about 70 locals contributed to the effort. From there, working out of Ramzy Hall, the team complied information, projections and plans, part of which showed up Wednesday in a computerized presentation.

“We had a ball,” Morgan told Wednesday’s audience. “We found so much to work with here.”

Mayor Jimmy Wallace had said earlier the plan encompassed work for the “next 40 to 50 years.”

Morgan emphasized the plan, expected to arrive in final form in about two months, would require starting with cosmetic improvements, linked to hard work.
“We know it’s not just about make-it-beautiful-and-they-will-come,” she said, “but we know if we don’t make it beautiful, they won’t come back.”

Initial assessments focused on the strength of Main Street as a gateway to the rest of the town. “Gateways to us,” Morgan said, “are important to us because they are the areas that make the first impressions.

Corinth lights up the sky with its first grand illumination

CORINTH, Miss. - On Saturday, November 8, Corinth will be aglow with eight thousand luminaries sponsored by the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center.

These luminaries are symbol of the number of casualties from both the North and South during the Civil War Battle of Corinth, which took place on October 3-4, 1862. The luminaries will be placed at the site of Battery Robinett and then form a path into downtown highlighting antebellum homes, the Contraband Camp and the historic railroad crossings. The luminary event will run from 5:00 - 8:30 p.m.

The public is also encouraged to come early to take part in the many events scheduled throughout the day on Saturday. Main Street merchants are kicking off the holiday season with open houses and specials; the Verandah/Curlee House is hosting its annual Heritage Festival with craft and art displays; the Crossroads Museum and Corinth Artist Guild Gallery are having special exhibits; and the Corinth Coliseum is opening for special tours. At the Civil War Interpretive Center, living history enactors will be camping and giving demonstrations; a special book signing will be held; and at 7:00 p.m., Old Towne Brass will be presenting a free concert.

Free carriage rides will be available from 2-7:30 p.m. for those wishing to see the town from a different perspective. For a complete schedule of events and a map of the luminary route, contact the Corinth Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-748-9048 or http://www.corinth.net .


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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
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District Offices:
P.O. Box 445 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662- 364-0435
426 Northpointe Lake Dr. | Oxford, MS 38655 | 601-941-5409
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Mississippi Main Street is a program of the National Main Street
Center and the Mississippi Development Authority