OUR OPINION: Vicksburg’s waterfront getting a much-needed fresh face

Published 8:00 am Friday, November 4, 2022

The addition of a mural on the floodwall at the Vicksburg waterfront is an exciting development for tourists visiting our city via the water — and the first in a string of improvements that will hopefully come to that area soon.

The mural project has the support of the Downtown Vicksburg Main Street Program and the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the city, and it seems like it will be a fine addition to an otherwise blank space.

Vicksburg’s riverfront murals on the land side are well-known and one of the most iconic sites in the city, with each block depicting a different chapter of its story. However, in recent years the city’s vibrance has been largely shielded from those arriving on cruise boats, for example.

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While we are a city known for its hospitality, a gravel parking lot and chipping concrete do not a warm welcome make.

Perhaps it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” situations — driving down Levee Street, the average resident wouldn’t know that, just on the other side of the city’s beautiful murals is a rather blank canvas.

Bravo to the city, Main Street and VCVB for recognizing this blank canvas as a grand opportunity to put Vicksburg’s best foot — or fin, perhaps — forward and make a positive cosmetic change in a high-traffic tourist area.

Hopefully, brightening up the space will encourage more improvements at the waterfront. When a space looks taken care of, it’s less likely to be trashed by litterbugs and misused by malcontents. This mural is the first step in setting a positive example for the way we can all take a little more pride in our city and keep it beautiful for the benefit of all who walk her streets.

Still, a mural, no matter how grand, is only one piece of the updating puzzle for the city waterfront.

The parking lot is in desperate need of re-surfacing and re-striping. The boat launch always needs maintenance, for the sake of both recreational and emergency use.

We’re optimistic that the floodwall won’t be the only thing getting a facelift at the city waterfront, but only time will tell.