Scott Coopwood Commentary — Taste Of Mississippi Hits Central Park

On June 14, the New York – Mississippi Central Park Picnic will take place in New York.

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Scott Coopwood

This will be the 35th year New Yorkers and Mississippians have celebrated a little taste of the South in downtown New York City.

The theme for this year’s annual event is “Mississippi Homecoming in Central Park”.  As usual, the picnic will showcase some outstanding music, inspiring art, delicious food and, of course, Southern hospitality.

Mississippi’s own four-time Grammy winner, Marty Stuart and his fabulous Superlatives band will headline this year’s picnic. The New York City Slickers, featuring Mississippians, Annie Chadwick and Fraser Hardin, will also perform their special blend of blue grass pop and noted blues musician, Jon Paris, who is a regular at the event, will perform again this year. Other entertainers will include Britt Gully, an incredible Jimmie Rodgers tribute artist, from Meridian.Besides music, picnic goers always look forward to enjoying some great catfish provided by the Mississippi Catfish Cooking Team who will return again this year to prepare Mississippi’s Simmons Farm-raised fried catfish and hushpuppies from Yazoo City.

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Marty and Dolly perform.

For the third year, McAlister’s Deli will serve their famous sweet iced tea. A special author’s tent will also be displayed and featuring the work from Mississippi writers. And, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will bring greetings from Mississippi around 1:00 p.m.

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The New York City Slickers

The event is one incredible public relation’s bonanza for Mississippi as the national media always  attends and writes about it. This is a fantastic opportunity to promote Mississippi to the nation and world as a viable place to live and work, to increase tourism, to recruit potential retirees to Mississippi, and to introduce the state’s culture and assets to prospects. A number of Mississippi colleges and universities will attend the picnic to reconnect with their alumni in Central Park and promote their curriculums to potential students in the Northeast.

Founded 35 years ago by Mississippian, Rachel McPherson and a few of her friends, the mission of the picnic, is to “preserve the culture and heritage of Mississippi by supporting and promoting artists, authors, musicians and culinary artists”. This is accomplished each year at the New York Mississippi Picnic. In addition,  the society educates children in the state of Mississippi about the rich culture and heritage of the state.

The picnic will begin at 11:00 a.m. in New York and end at 5:00 p.m.  The location of the event is Central Park at 5th Avenue and 72nd Street (on Dead Road between the Bandshell and Sheep’s Meadow).  For more information, visitwww.nymspicnic.com.

Scott Coopwood, a seventh generation Deltan, lives in Cleveland, Mississippi, with his wife Cindy and their three children. Scott is the publisher and owner of Delta Magazine, one of the South’s leading lifestyle publications, the Delta Business Journal, the first business publication in the Mississippi Delta; and Cleveland’s weekly newspaper, The Cleveland Current . 

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