Top Events and Festivals in Mississippi
Explore this selection of the top annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in Mississipi.
Please note: Top Events USA does not include every single event on offer in Mississippi – only those recognized as the best by residents of Mississippi, visitors to the "Magnolia State", the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA and some officials of Mississippi too.
Mississippi is often referred to as the “Magnolia State” after all the area’s magnolia trees and flowers. The magnolia is also the official state flower and the official state tree of Mississippi.
Mississippi Blues Marathon/Half Marathon
Apart from the 26.2-mile marathon and the 13.1-mile half-marathon, this popular Jackson event attracting over a thousand amateur and professional runners and thousands of spectators also features increasingly popular, live, blues musicians playing around the course and at the finish line, as well as showcasing various arts and crafts vendors and high-quality food stalls.
For more information about the Mississippi Blues Marathon/Half Marathon in Jackson visit:
Spring Natchez Pilgrimage / Fall Natchez Pilgrimage
early March - early April / late September to mid October
Held in both the spring and the fall, the Natchez Pilgrimage event that started in 1932 features the opening and displays of dozens of antebellum mansions, pre-Civil War town houses, mansions and plantation homes built by the rich cotton plantation owners complete with 18th and 19th century furnishings and fittings and life-style artefacts from porcelain and silver to documents and diaries. Costumed hosts and hostesses dressed in period costume recount the history of each house and its various owners and occupants. Evening entertainment includes The Historic Natchez Pageant, a brilliant musical production of dancing, historic scenes, and elaborate period costumes.
For more information about the Natchez Pilgrimages in the Spring and in the Autumn visit:
mid to late April
The free, weekend-long Rivergate Festival, an event held in Downtown Tunica, highlights cooking, music and fun for the whole family. In some of the best competitive barbecue cooking in the South, thirty different teams battle to produce the best pork barbecue. Nashville artists entertain thousands of visitors with their music, and fun is the order of the day at Funland Children's Activities and Super Chikan in the Park, and at the 7th annual "Running of the Hawgs" and Flag Ceremony during the Rivergate Festival.
For more information about the Rivergate Festival in Tunica visit:
Coliseum Crawfish Music Festival
mid to late April
A popular event for over 20 years, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Crawfish Music Festival features the resource of more than 20,000 lbs of Cajun mudbugs, the Crawfish Cookoff at which the locals compete for cash and the coveted Budweiser Trophies, and the exciting midway rides, fun activities and a wealth of events and fun for the children.
For more information about the Coliseum Crawfish Festival in Biloxi visit:
Market Street Festival
Earning many prestigious awards in the USA, the 2-day Market Street Festival has been recognized as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society for 14 consecutive years and attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year to enjoy a multitude of special events including music acts, more than 250 arts, crafts and food vendors and dozens of special and unique events and activities.
For more information about the Market Street Festival in Columbus visit:
Canton Flea Market
mid May and mid October
Recognized as an "Outstanding Promotional Event in the State of Mississippi" by the Mississippi Downtown Development Association, the "Best of the Best of Mississippi" by the Mississippi Magazine, a "Top 100 Event" by the American Bus Association and a "Top Twenty Event in the Southeast" by the Southeast Tourism Society, the famous bi-annual Canton Flea Market attracts over 1,000 superior artists and craftsmen nationally to showcase handcrafted items such as pottery, jewelry, and unique arts and crafts.
For more information about the Canton Flea Market visit:
The Blessing of the Fleet ceremony in which a procession of shrimp boats in the Mississippi Sound marks the beginning of the fishing season for shrimp fishermen and ensures a safe and bountiful fishing season for each boat in the procession. The increasingly more popular event now also includes a Shrimp Festival that features all sorts of shrimp dishes, dancing, and the coronation of a Shrimp King and Queen (established by a pageant contest) who reign over the Festival and Blessing.
For more information about the Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet visit:
Tupelo Elvis Festival
The Tupelo Elvis Festival is a musical celebration designed to honor Elvis Presley, Tupelo’s native son, and the impact that his music has on the world. Each year's festival features regional, national and local artists along with a Sunday Gospel Concert and a Tribute Artist Contest that serves as a preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. In addition to all of the great music, the festival features a number of local food vendors, a carnival midway, pet parade, beauty pageant, 5k run, disc golf, movie poster exhibit, and more.
See the Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival site for more:
A tradition for over 21 years, this annual event is the ultimate tribute to the local culinary delight – the slugburger. The slugburger is a beef and soybean grits combination deep-fried instead of grilled as the usual hamburger is with a garnish of mustard, pickle and onion. Three days of fun in this event celebrating the slugburger are packed with live entertainment, amusement rides and great food.
For more information about the Slugburger Festival in Corinth visit:
Neshoba County Fair
late July - early August
Often referred to as Mississippi's Giant House Party, the Neshoba County Fair was established in 1889 to foster political, agricultural, and social exchanges of knowledge and ideas. Now the week-long attraction includes the nation's largest campground fair, as well as the extensive racing program with Standard bred harness horses and more.
For more information about the Neshoba County Fair visit:
BB King Homecoming Festival
Indianola is the hometown of legendary blues musician BB King. An international icon, BB King has entertained generations and inspired musicians from Elvis Presley to the Rolling Stones. Each year the BB King Homecoming Festival, which features the BB King Homecoming Concert, is held at Fletcher Park. At BB King's request, children under 12 are admitted free of charge, and regular admission is kept at a low charge with net proceeds going to Indianola Parks and Recreation. The festival attracts thousands of people every year. The crowds enjoy the music by BB King and other musicians along with food and fireworks.
For more information about the BB King Homecoming Festival visit: http://www.bbkingmuseum.org/2012-bb-king-homecoming
Biloxi Seafood Festival
A popular attraction for over 27 years, the Biloxi Seafood Festival attracts more than 25,000 festival goers, vendors and volunteers, and has been voted as the best Mississippi event of the year. Food fun events feature a gumbo championship, and a large selection of seafood including jambalaya, shrimp and fried fish. Live music, from country to rock, entertains the foodies.
For more information about the Biloxi Seafood Festival visit:
Mississippi Delta Blues Festival
Mississippi Delta Blues is recognized as one of America's most important musical forms. The Mississippi Delta Blues Festival celebrates and helps to preserve this culture. When the festival began in 1978 it was little more than a local community gathering. Today it is the second oldest continuously operating blues festival in the country attracting performers such as BB King, Sam Chatmon, Son Thomas, Willie Foster, Ruby Wilson, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Bobby Rush and Denise LaSalle.
For more information about the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival visit:
or see: http://www.deltablues.org
Cruisin’ the Coast
early - mid October
Attracting hundreds of automobile enthusiasts and thousands of spectators for over 16 years, the Cruisin’ the Coast event attracts over 5,000 antique, classic, hot rods, and custom vehicles for a week of rock ‘n’ roll, drag races, sock hops, swap meets, entertainment and fun.
For more information about the Cruisin’ the Coast event in Gulfport/Biloxi visit:
Mississippi State Fair
early - mid October
Mississippi State Fairground – Jackson, Mississippi
A popular event for more than 153 years, the Mississippi State Fair, principally an agricultural state show complete with traditional livestock shows and other typical state fair attractions, also features a wealth of amusements for all the family, from a wide range of music from folk and gospel to rock 'n' roll to fairground rides and a selection of activities specifically for children.
For more information about the Mississippi State Fair in Jackson visit:
Christmas in the Pass
Pass Christian, Mississippi
A popular event for almost 30 years, the annual Christmas in the Pass is an occasion for the whole family marking the beginning of the holiday season on the Gulf Coast and is loaded with a variety of attractions including the tree lighting in the town gazebo, a lighted boat parade, a parade for Santa Claus with his wife and their elves, and plenty of live entertainment, food, local arts and crafts and a boat parade and fireworks.
For information about Christmas in the Pass visit: