New park on farmers’ market site will be a huge draw for locals and tourists alike

Published 7:01 pm Saturday, January 26, 2019

Construction on the city’s latest park is under way and once completed will become an added attraction to downtown.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Dec. 12 accepted the $146,538 bid of Fordice Construction Co. of Vicksburg to build the multi-use park on the farmers’ market site at the corner of Jackson and Washington streets.

Russ Markle of Wier Boerner Allin architects of Jackson, who designed the park, in September, showed the board several conceptions of the park that included meandering sidewalks with landscaping, a stage for performing arts and green space for activities.

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The park design will also allow the city or organizations to show outdoor movies.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr., said the park would have one more addition — a statue.

“We’ve ordered a statue and it will have five names; I won’t name those names now, but these are people who have made giant contributions to Vicksburg and its progress,” he said.

Flaggs additionally said the downtown area would have two clocks, one with four faces near the convention center, and another with two faces to be installed in the Washington Street area.

The mayor is also working to add another attraction by moving the Fairground Street Bridge, the state’s oldest standing bridge, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and a Mississippi Landmark, to the park and developing it as a museum, giving its history.

The board has attempted twice before to build a farmers’ market on the property. The first time, bids came in at $600,000; the next time it came in at $700,000. Both plans called for a large pavilion on the site.

A pavilion would be a great addition, but a park with these types of amenities will work well with the riverfront development the city also has planned for downtown. In the near future, tourists and locals will be drawn to another area that means more economic development and additional revenue for downtown.