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Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

SHREVEPORT

The 350,000-sq. ft. Shreveport Convention Center is the most spacious setting for meetings in this northern Louisiana city nestled on the banks of the Red River.

The Multicultural Center of the South, located in the historic Pioneer Building, highlights more than 20 ethnic groups that have contributed to the history and culture of the region. The Southern University Museum of Art Shreveport and the Stephens African American Museum are two notable places that spotlight Black cultural achievements.

Other local attractions include the Sci-Port Discovery Center; the shops and restaurants in the Red River District; and gaming at area casinos and horseracing tracks.

MISSISSIPPI

Tucked into the Mississippi Delta Region most famous for its Blues heritage, Tunica is a favorite destination for gaming and entertainment, with seven local casinos. Visitors can also enjoy a Mississippi River cruise aboard the Tunica Queen.

In Columbus, part of the Pine Region of northwestern Mississippi, points of interest include a historically Black business district called Catfish Alley and the homes of Dr. Theodoric V. James Home (believed to have been the city's first African-American doctor) and playwright Tennessee Williams.

Located in the Hills Region that also includes the campus of Ole Miss in Oxford, Tupelo is home to the African American Historic and Cultural Society Museum & Gallery and the Elvis Presley Memorial Museum, honoring the city's most famous product.

Attractions in Vicksburg, part of the Capital River Region, include the Jacqueline House African-American Museum, riverboat gaming and cruising, and Vicksburg National Military Park.

GULFPORT

This Mississippi Gulf Coast destination offers a variety of meeting venues, from hotel properties like the new Courtyard by Marriott, with 6,300 sq. ft. of meeting space and the Island View Casino Resort, to the Bayou Bluff Tennis and Recreational Club, the Center for Marine Education and Research and the Harrison County Fairgrounds. The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, a favorite hangout for kids offering lots of hands-on experiences - from the "Celebrate the World We Share" exhibit to the Treehouse Village - also has event space.

The area's largest meeting venue, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi, has been fully restored since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and offers 180,000 sq. ft. of dedicated exhibit space and 23 meeting rooms.

Gulfport has earned a spot on the Mississippi Blues Trail with its production of the American Blues Network, a nationally syndicated radio program that debuted in 2000. There is plenty of live entertainment on tap at the Island View, which also has 83,000 sq. ft. of gaming and three restaurants. Options for outdoor recreation include teeing off at one of more than 20 championship golf courses in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area, checking out the races at Gulf Coast Motor Sports Park, attending a sports event or concert at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, chartering a boat for some deep-sea fishing, splashing around at Gulf Islands Water Park, and taking a ferry to Ship Island for some swimming, beach walking and dolphin watching. Indoor diversions include touring the CEC & Seabee Memorial Museum, browsing local art galleries, enjoying one of the Arts Under the Dome concerts presented at downtown's First United Methodist Church, and getting in some shopping therapy at Prime Outlets, the Crossroads Mall or the Hardy Court Shopping Center.

Lighthouse Park, whose centerpiece is a custom-designed fountain, commemorates the Gulf Coast experience of Hurricane Katrina and celebrates the region's recovery. A similar tribute is carried out through the art and photos in the Hurricane Katrina Exhibit in the Hancock Park Building.

JACKSON

Large groups meeting in Mississippi's capital city might access the accommodations at the Jackson Convention Complex, which now includes the 246,000-sq. ft. Convention Center with a 30,000-sq. ft. banquet hall, a 60,000-sq. ft. exhibit hall and a 33,000-sq. ft. registration lobby. The new convention center is located next to the 74,000-sq. ft. Mississippi TelCom Center. There are 5,500 guestrooms citywide.

Once the hub of Black business and culture in Jackson , the Farish Street Historical District is the site of Ace Records, the Alamo Theater, Farish Street Baptist Church, the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center and Birdland the live music venue where Ellington, Hampton, Armstrong and other jazz legends performed when it was known as the Crystal Palace Night Club. The Trumpet Records studio on Farish Street is part of the Mississippi Blues Trail, which has another trail marker at the Summers Hotel, which years ago housed the legendary Subway Lounge in its basement. The historic blues, R&B and gospel music company Malaco records offers tours, and there is more music to explore at the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in Jackson/Evers International Airport.

Jackson's Old Capitol Museum houses the first permanent Civil Rights exhibit in America. The city's list of Black cultural and historical attractions continues with the Medgar Evers Home Museum, the Margaret Walker Alexander National African-American Research Center, Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, whose campus includes the Woodworth Chapel and the Boddie Mansion, one of the few homes in Jackson to survive the Civil War.

Other major cultural and historical attractions include the Eudora Welty House Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Jackson Municipal Art Gallery, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Children's Museum, which has a new $24 million, 40,000-sq. ft. home under construction in Lefleur's Bluff State.


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