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What’s Going On, Mississippi?...

What’s Going On, Mississippi? Things to do in May.

By: Susan Marquez - May 2, 2023

Things to do near you in the month of May in Mississippi.

There’s nothing like spring in Mississippi! The weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and there are many exciting activities planned around the state in the month of May.  

Cinco de Mayo: May 5

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a celebration of the day in 1862 when Mexico’s army defeated France at the Battle of Puebla during the Frano-American War. But for many Americans, it’s the day we celebrate drinking margaritas and eating Mexican food. Many Mexican restaurants go all out for Cinco de Mayo, so head to your neighborhood taqueria and celebrate this Friday! If you are in Central Mississippi, Taqueria la Guadalupe in Madison serves up some authentic tacos. On the more outlandish end, Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant in Biloxi will be hosting “Cinco de Mayhem” with Lucha Libre Wrestling. Aye caramba!

Art, Wine & Wheels: May 5-7

A jam-packed weekend filled with three of Ridgeland’s signature cultural and outdoor events – all in the same epic weekend. The Fine Arts Festival in the parking lot of The Renaissance at Colony Park draws artists from around the country. The Sante’ South Food & Wine Festival is a delicious event that pairs exceptional wines with food from local restaurants at St. Andrews School. Best of all, it benefits The Mind Center. And the Natchez Trace Century Ride, Mississippi’s premier cycling event, takes cyclists along the beautiful and historic Natchez Trace.

Jimmie Rodgers Festival: May 6-14

Known as “the Father of Country Music,” Jimmie Rodgers was born in Meridian in 1897. He is best remembered for his distinctive style of rhythmic yodeling and has been the inspiration of many recording artists. Meridian is proud of this native son, and they should be. He was inducted into numerous halls of fame during his career.

For 70 years, the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation has presented an annual music festival. Just as Rodgers influenced all genres of American music, this year’s lineup will include artists performing blues, rock & roll, country, and gospel music. The festival will take place over an eight day period, with events taking place in Meridian’s diverse and historic performance venues.

For more information and to order tickets, go to 70th Annual Festival | Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival | Meridian, MS

Canton Flea Market: May 11

The Canton Flea Market Arts and Crafts show began in 1965 when local artists hung paintings on the iron fence surrounding the Madison County Courthouse for an art show. Over the years, it has grown to be one of the one of the Top Twenty Events in the southeast. The Canton Flea Market attracts over 1,100 artisans from across the country who showcase handcrafted items such as pottery, jewelry, and unique arts and crafts. This bi-annual event takes place on the beautiful grounds of the historic Madison County Courthouse and throughout the surrounding area. Canton Flea Market Arts & Crafts Show — Canton Tourism

Pepsi Pops: May 12

Pack up your picnic basket and head to the Rez on May 12 for the 42nd annual Pepsi Pops concert by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will be held on May 12. Expect to hear popular music from Broadway shows, movies, and more. The event will take place at the scenic Old Trace Park in Ridgeland, which offers a beautiful setting for this outdoor concert. A variety of food truck vendors will be on hand. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display over the water.

Advance tickets are $15. Gate tickets will be available for $20. Tickets for children and students ages 4 to 21 are $5. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Visit to purchase tickets and learn more.

Gumtree Art & Wine Fest: May 11-14

Founded in 1971, The Gumtree Art and Wine Festival is presented by the Gumtree Museum of Art in Tupelo. It has become a cultural landmark, bringing thousands of visitors to Tupelo to celebrate the visual and performing arts, as well as to offer rare opportunities to interact with the artists while viewing and purchasing fine works of art. The festival also features educational art activities, youth art award ceremonies, live music and entertainment, local food vendors, and of course, wine and food tastings and pairings.

Mother’s Day: May 14

Don’t forget to honor your mother on her special day. She’s the one who loved you first! Make your Mother’s Day brunch reservations now!

Natchez Festival of Music: April 20-May 20

Founded in 1991, The Natchez Music Festival presents a wide range of world-class music and live theater from internationally and nationally recognized performers. This year’s festival will feature music from Broadway musicals, to jazz, Blues, and other special concerts.

Snappy Sync Firefly Tours: May 19-21

Seeing a sparkling carpet of fireflies in your backyard can be a magical experience. But imagine seeing them all flashing at once—in a symphony of light. Synchronous species of fireflies are very special—and they love the backyard of the Waller Craft Center. The wooded area between the back deck of the Craft Center and the Trace is the ideal breeding ground for the “snappy syncs.”

The Snappy Sync Soiree will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 18. Guests at the exclusive preview party will enjoy live music, light refreshments, wine, and a guided firefly tour. Tickets for the event are $40. Guided tours will be held nightly from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21. Each tour is given by Mississippi Master Naturalists and lasts about 20 minutes. Tickets for the firefly tours are $8.

A special nighttime photography workshop will be held on Thursday, May 18 by master photographer Kim Rushing. The workshop will begin with classroom instruction at the Craft Center from 7:00 to 7:30, followed by a photo session along the Natchez Trace Parkway when darkness falls. Tickets for the photography workshop are $65 and include admission to the Snappy Sync Soiree. The Waller Craft Center is located at 950 Rice Road. Tickets are available online at 2023 Snappy Sync Soiree and Firefly Tours Tickets, Thu, May 18, 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

Blessing of the Fleet: May 27-28

A tradition in Biloxi since 1929, the event marks the beginning of the fishing season for shrimp fishermen. The event kicks off on May 27 with the Shrimp Queen Pageant held at 6pm at the Biloxi Civic Center. The Blessing of the Fleet takes place in Biloxi Harbor, where the priest from St. Michael Catholic Church gives each colorfully decorated boat a blessing for safe sailing during the fishing season.

About the Author(s)
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Susan Marquez

Susan Marquez serves as Magnolia Tribune's Culture Editor. Since 2001, Susan Marquez has been writing about people, places, spaces, events, music, businesses, food, and travel. The things that make life interesting. A prolific writer, Susan has written over 3,000 pieces for a wide variety of publications.