Classic ‘Sip Fest coming in March

Published 7:43 am Friday, March 1, 2024

Vicksburg’s Mighty ‘Sip Fest made its debut in 2023 and will return to the River City this month for a second shot, but this time with a chaser of Coca-Cola.

Visit Vicksburg Executive Director Laura Beth Strickland said this year’s event has been dubbed Vicksburg’s Classic ‘Sip Fest and will focus on celebrating the 130th anniversary of the bottling of Coca-Cola, in partnership with downtown Vicksburg’s Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum.

“This is the 130th anniversary of the bottling of Coke in Vicksburg and to commemorate that, we’re having a week of celebrations surrounding Coke,” Strickland said. “We thought it would be a lot of fun and that’s how the Classic ‘Sip Fest was born. We’re celebrating our history and celebrating being the home of the bottled Coke.”

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“Though today there is almost nothing as ubiquitous as a bottle of Coca-Cola, this was not always the case. For the first several years of its existence, Coke was only available as a fountain drink, and its producer saw no reason for that to change. It was not until March 12, 1894 that Coke was first sold in bottles,” the History Channel chronicles on its website. “The first person to bottle Coke was Joseph A. Biedenharn, owner of a candy store in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Correctly determining that bottles could boost sales, Biedenharn’s put the drink into Hutchinson bottles, a common and reusable glass bottle.”

Today, 130 years removed from Biedenham’s novel approach to Coca-Cola, Vicksburg’s Classic ‘Sip Fest will kick off its celebration Monday, March 11, at 4 p.m. with a proclamation and kickoff party at the Coca-Cola Museum.

“We’ve got the sock hop and the classic movie being shown and the extended shopping hours night,” Strickland said of the week’s events. “We’ll have the kickoff party that Monday with the business after hours and we’ll be running some promotions that week. Some of the bed and breakfasts have gotten involved and one is doing a rum and coke tasting. The Vicksburg Cruisers are bringing some classic cars to Washington Street Park that Saturday. We wanted it to just be a good community

The official schedule for Vicksburg’s Classic ‘Sip Fest includes: Monday, March 11: 4 p.m., historic marker proclamation and kickoff party at Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, located at 1107 Washington Street; Tuesday, March 12 – Wednesday, March 13:
free bottled Coke with admission to the Coca-Cola Museum; Thursday, March 14: 5 to 7 p.m., Vicksburg Main Street presents Classic Shops & Soda Pops in downtown | 6 to 8 p.m., Rum & Coke Tasting at The Inn at Cedar Grove, located at 2200 Oak Street; Friday, March 15: noon until 6 p.m., Class ‘Sip Fest Stroll over the Mississippi River at the Old Mississippi River Bridge | 7 p.m. Classic ‘Sip Fest Sock Hop at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center; Friday March 15 – Sunday March 17: Gold in the Hills at Parkside Playhouse, performances – 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; Sunday, March 16: 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Classic Wheels Show at Washington Street Park | 4: 30 p.m., Coca-Cola Party at the Duff Green Mansion, located at 1114 1st E. Street | 6 p.m., Classic ‘Sip Fest Movies on the Lawn at Levee Street Warehouse featuring “The Love Bug.”

For more information on this year’s events, visit