It’s a good time to call Vicksburg home

Published 6:39 pm Saturday, November 4, 2017

Someone’s posting on Facebook on the Vicksburg MS page caught my eye this week.

A man asked, “Would you rather live in Vicksburg or Jackson.”

I laughed. He was asking a bunch of Vicksburg lovers whether we prefer Vicksburg or Jackson.

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My first thought: Who in the world who has ever watched a Jackson television news broadcast would choose Jackson?

I’m a Vicksburg lover, I admit. But the reasons to choose Vicksburg over Jackson or many, many other Mississippi cities are many.

I enjoyed reading the comments on the post. One woman wrote what seemed to sum up the sentiments of many: “Vicksburg. We have our problems but this town really pulls together in rough times. Not all towns and cities still do that but Vicksburg does.”

Another comment: “Vicksburg. That’s a no brainer.”

Another: “We in Vicksburg have Mayor George Flaggs, who tries hard to run this properly. He cares. Good Sheriff Martin Pace and a good police department. Volunteers on committees. Beautiful Mississippi River. Where else?

Another: Vicksburg is awesome and beautiful!

I agree with all of the above. I didn’t comment on the post, but if I had, I would have pointed out the many good things in the works in our city.

Our Board of Mayor and Aldermen is as strong as it’s ever been. Mayor Flaggs has engineered a number of changes that has the board working in unison and at full steam.

One of the best things happening now is the interest in developing and beautifying our riverfront. The city has formed a committee, which is busy fact finding, hence its trip last week to New Orleans.

Flaggs also hopes to take the committee to visit at least two other cities nearby that have made worthwhile and beautiful investments in their riverfront areas.

Those visits are a good thing. Rather than try to develop our riverfront in a vacuum, learning from the successes and failures of others will give Vicksburg a leg up when time comes to draw plans for our riverfront redevelopment.

I would pit our downtown against any other in the South. Renovation of many downtown district buildings into businesses and residences are under way. And the coming development of the Mississippi Hardware Building into a high-tech business incubator will bring many more downtown — to do business and to live.

The renovation of the hotel near the convention center into a Margaritaville will also bring families downtown, as well as provide much-needed hotel rooms near the convention center, opening it up to more conventions and gatherings here.

Vicksburg is home to some of the best restaurants in the South. Interest in arts and community theater here is strong and opportunities to be involved in both are abundant.

Vicksburg’s historic homes and the Vicksburg National Military Park have long been important draws for tourists. Tourism dollars are an important part of the Vicksburg economy, and that continues to grow.

Vicksburg businesses and city and county government are working together to make the experience of tourists to our city one they will cherish and share with their friends, which will bring more into our community.

The city is finally moving full-steam ahead with the development of the sports complex, and plans are still in the works for a major water park development here, even though it seems the land near the Outlets of Vicksburg is no longer in play.

When all of the programs and projects under way in the Vicksburg Warren School District crescendo, it will be unstoppable. I truly believe VWSD is less than five years away from being one of the top school districts in Mississippi.

We have the thriving and growing U.S. Army Engineer and Research Development Center, and several housing projects are under way to provide affordable, desirable housing for those who come to our city to work.

From the standpoint of industrial development, improvements at our port and the coming together of the city, county and port commission to consolidate and unify economic development efforts was a huge move. Though just getting started, work on a strategic plan, which is being led by someone with proven success in recruiting industries and manufacturers — Pablo Diaz — is sure to pay dividends to our city and county.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Good things are happening here, and all of us who live in Vicksburg are fortunate to be a part of it.

It’s a good time to call Vicksburg home.

Jan Griffey is general manager of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at or call her at 601-636-6488. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.