July 7-8th: Slugburger Festival, Corinth, MS
How brave must one be to eat a slugburger? The people of Corinth have been celebrating this local culinary creation at the annual Slugburger Festival since 1988. A slugburger patty is a mix of meat with an extender, such as soybean grits. The festival celebrating the odd burger features live music, a carnival, and food, including, of course, plenty of slugburgers.
July 12-15th: Choctaw Indian Fair, Choctaw, MS
Explore Mississippi’s indigenous culture at the 73rd annual Choctaw Indian Fair in Choctaw, MS. The fair is a way for the Choctaw Indian Tribe of Mississippi to share their vibrant culture with friends and neighbors. The celebration takes place on the tribe’s centuries-old homeland and highlights the Choctaw’s heritage, featuring historical and cultural displays, tribal arts and crafts, the Stickball World Series in Warrior Stadium, and the much-anticipated Choctaw Indian Princess Pageant. The theme of this year’s fair is “The Choctaw Spirit Lives On.” Traditional Choctaw food will be served. There will be carnival rides during the day followed by musical entertainment at night.
July 14-15th: Mississippi Miss Hospitality Scholarship Competition, Hattiesburg, MS
A Southern Belle is described as a young woman from the South with characteristics that give them a warm, inviting demeanor. She exudes Southern hospitality. Some of Mississippi’s most hospitable contestants will gather in Hattiesburg for the 74th annual Mississippi Miss Hospitality Scholarship Competition. The winner will serve as Mississippi’s official goodwill ambassador for tourism and economic development during her reign, promoting Mississippi statewide, regionally, and on a national level.
July 14-15th: Watermelon Festival, Mize, MS
If you want an event that’s a little less formal, then the watermelon seed spitting contest at the Watermelon Festival in Mize may be for you. The festival started in 1978 to celebrate the sweetness of Smith County watermelons and it has expanded every year with food vendors, arts and crafts, a car show, and a 5K run. The all-volunteer run event takes place in Mize City Park in downtown Mize. The event is sponsored by the Mize Volunteer Fire Department and in addition to contests to find who is best at watermelon seed spitting and watermelon eating there is also a contest to determine the biggest watermelon. After eating all that watermelon, stay for the live music.
July 15th: Delta Soule Picnic Festival, Greenville, MS
Get your groove on at the Delta Soule Picnic Festival in Greenville. Bone 40 Productions has a great line-up of Blues and soul musicians including headliner H-Town, along with West Love, LJ Echols, Grady Champion and more. Non-stop music from 10am to midnight, so pack your lawn chairs and your picnic basket and head to 295 Warfield Point Park Road for a music-filled event.
July 21-28th: Neshoba County Fair, Philadelphia, MS
“Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty,” the Neshoba County Fair was established in 1889. Generations of people have braved the heat and red clay to hear the famous political speeches, make friendly bets on the harness races, get a thrill on the fair rides, and enjoy live music. If you’re lucky enough to have a cabin where you can stay, you can spend the entire week there, catching up with friends and enjoying the best pot-luck dinners in the state. There’s nothing like this unique event.
July 23-25th: JXN Film Festival, Jackson, MS
Lights, cameras, action! Film making in Mississippi is a big industry, and enjoying the films has never been better. Celebrate the kickoff of the JXN Film Festival with a viewing of The Wiz, featuring Diana Ross along with Michael Jackson in his feature film debut. This is the 45th anniversary of the historic, cultural, and cinematic musical adaptation of the original 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz, and will be shown on 7/23 at the Jackson Convention Center. Feel free to dress as your favorite Oz character. Other festival activities will take place in different venues, including submission screenings at the Capri in Fondren.
July 28-29th: Natchez Food and Wine Festival, Natchez, MS
Cheers! Wine glasses will clink, and forks will be filled with delectable bites at the annual Natchez Food & Wine Festival. The event will be held in the Natchez Convention Center and other venues around town. The “Tasting Along the River” event, hosted by Dickie Brennan, will benefit the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Natchez Stewpot. Chefs from near and far will prepare dishes to be sampled while dozens of wines will be on hand for tasting. Other events include dinners at Natchez mansions, as well as a Brats, Beer & Bocce event at Natchez Brewery. Check out the Natchez Food & Wine Festival page on Facebook for more details.