Murals recount Vicksburg’s past and present
Published 10:11 am Wednesday, August 14, 2019
With “real feel” temperatures reaching over 105 degrees, early morning or late evening walks have become commonplace. I set off on a walk a couple weeks ago with the intention of taking in the Yazoo Diversion Canal Waterfront and downtown murals.
I started by visiting the Wings on Washington Murals Project, which is located along the Margaritaville parking garage wall located near Gordon’s Alley. The murals bring new life to old, downtown alleyways by showcasing historical moments that define Vicksburg culture, as well as that of the state of Mississippi.
All of the murals, painted by local high school students, feature moments, places, and things that define the past and present of Vicksburg and Mississippi. I especially enjoyed the mural of the wings, which, if you look closely, features cooking utensils, crawfish, catfish, and musical instruments. These remind me of activities distinctive to Mississippi, like learning to peel crawfish for the first time, enjoying southern creole dishes and listening to the blues.
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I also passed by Vicksburg’s newest mural, commissioned by Lorelei Books owner Kelle Barfield, which welcomes all to Vicksburg with long abstract brushstrokes veering to-and-fro that represents the currents of the Mighty Mississippi River.
Making your way to the banks of the Yazoo through Catfish Row Art Park provides another artistic pathway into the city of Vicksburg.
The riverfront murals do a fantastic job of recounting the history of Vicksburg—what made our community what it is today. They detail the importance of cotton to the state’s economy; how
the longest-running melodrama “Gold in the Hills” started showing in Vicksburg and The Miss Mississippi Pageant came to town; and depict Carr Central High School, Koestler’s Bakery and more.
They tell of Teddy Roosevelt coming to Mississippi to go bear hunting and recount Vicksburg’s important role in the Civil War. They also tell about the role of The Vicksburg Post in covering
the tornado of 1953, which earned the newspaper the coveted Pulitzer Prize.
If you haven’t taken the time to walk by the murals and read the plaques in front of each one, I encourage you to do so. You’ll enjoy the time, get some exercise and have a better or deeper appreciation for the town we call home.