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Vicksburg: Open for Christmas

(VICKSBURG, MISS.) December 19, 2013: Vicksburg museums are opening their doors this year on Christmas Day to assure the Vicksburg experience to visitors traveling on the holiday.

The Old Depot Museum, Old Court House Museum, Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum and the Yesterday’s Children Doll and Toy Museum will be offering special Christmas hours. Prompting the decision to keep their doors open was the arrival of the American Queen where nearly 300 passengers will be docked in Vicksburg for Christmas Day.

This is not the first year that the Old Depot Museum opened its doors on Christmas day. Last year, Lamar Roberts, owner of the Old Depot Museum, made the decision to open the doors for the holiday so visitors would be able to check out at least one of Vicksburg’s attractions while visiting our city.

“I thought it would be a good way to show gratitude to them [American Queen] for stopping in Vicksburg,” said Roberts.” “They’ve been a good customer to us all year and we would like to help them out by giving something for the passengers to do instead of sitting on the boat all day. The boat is going to be docked from 9-1 so we are going to be open during that time. We would be glad to have anyone else that would like to come as well.”

Special Christmas hours:

  • 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Old Depot Museum
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Old Court House Museum
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Yesterday’s Children Doll and Toy Museum

For more information, call the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Visitor Information Center at 601-636-9421 or visit www.visitvicksburg.com.

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Vicksburg is Your Key to the Holidays

(November 1, 2013): Named one of the top 10 holiday towns in Mississippi by Mississippi Magazine, Vicksburg is your key to the holidays this season. With plenty of family friendly events and beautifully decorated attractions, Vicksburg is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit.

The holiday season kicks off in Vicksburg Saturday November 9th at the Annual Outlets at Vicksburg Tree Lighting with live entertainment, horse and carriage rides and Santa! Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen Anne Elizabeth Buys will host the event. The festivities continue throughout the month in November at the Vicksburg High School Fine Arts Fall Festival and Concert and at the Warren Central High School Madrigals Feaste, both held at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.

Several restaurants in Vicksburg will be serving Thanksgiving meals. Visitors can enjoy dining options on Thanksgiving Day at Café Anchuca, Cedar Grove Mansion, Cracker Barrel, and Shoney’s. After getting full on turkey and dressing, avid shoppers can head to the Outlets at Vicksburg at 11:00 pm for Moonlight Madness to take advantage of early Black Friday deals. Continue to find deals throughout the weekend at the outlets, Vicksburg Mall, and at boutiques along Washington Street in downtown.

On Sunday December 1st, Vicksburg Main Street will host the Downtown Old-Fashioned Christmas Open House from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm and be giving a poinsettia for every $25 spent at downtown retail shops. Live music, refreshments and special Christmas deals will also be offered.

The entire city is preparing for the holidays from decked out bed and breakfast inns to Santa’s Lane along Catfish Row. Enjoy “Vicksburg: Your Key to the Holidays” packages at historic bed and breakfasts as well as special Christmas pilgrimage tours the first two weekends in December. Make plans to attend the Holly Days Arts & Crafts Show and the Christmas Parade of Lights on December 7th to complete your holiday weekend in Vicksburg.

Weekend two is just as busy with the “Vicksburg: Your Key to the Holidays” home tours continuing as well as family friendly events like Breakfast with Santa and the Saint Joseph Community Orchestra Concert. The Old Court House Museum is offering period dance lessons on December 12th and 13th leading up to the Confederate Ball on Saturday December 14. Dresses are available to rent at the Vicksburg Visitors Information Center located at 52 Old Highway 27 across from the Vicksburg National Military Park entrance.

For more information on holiday events in Vicksburg, visit www.visitvicksburg.com.

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VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK NAMED TRAVEL ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR
Vicksburg Receives Seven Mississippi Tourism Association Awards

(TUNICA, MISS.) September 24, 2013: During the Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the Mississippi Tourism Association announced winners of the Governor’s Awards naming the Vicksburg National Military Park as Travel Attraction of the Year, one of seven awards presented to the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
(VCVB). 

“It is an amazing honor to receive these two prestigious awards!” said Michael Madell, superintendent of the Vicksburg National Military Park. “The staff at the Vicksburg National Military Park worked hard for more than three years to plan for the sesquicentennial commemoration.  I am thrilled that their hard work has been recognized.

“I am also thankful for the many community partners and citizens of Vicksburg who contributed their time and resources to make the sesquicentennial a success. These awards belong to them, also!"

Other categories presented to the VCVB as top winners were the Vicksburg National Military Park Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event for Large Festival of the Year as well as media awards for coverage on Vicksburg by Legends Magazine “The Art of Vicksburg” for Consumer Magazine, AAA Southern Traveler Magazine for Travel Trade Publication, Suzanne Corbett with AAA Magazine for Travel Writer, The Vicksburg Post for Newspaper  and Walt Grayson’s “Vicksburg: A 150 Year Walk Through Vicksburg History” for Broadcast.

“Many, many people worked to make the Sesquicentennial of the Siege of Vicksburg commemoration that all of Vicksburg and all of Mississippi could be proud of,” said Bill Seratt, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “We congratulate the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Friends of the Vicksburg National Military Park for receiving the recognition that they so richly deserve.  It is impossible to thank our media partners enough for all that they to shine the spotlight on Vicksburg.”

The Mississippi Delta Tourism Association, which the Vicksburg CVB is a member, was also presented with the Tourism Achievement Award for “Bridging the Blues”. This year’s “Bridging the Blues” event kicks off this Friday in Vicksburg at Ameristar Casino, Walnut Hills and Lady Luck Casino with live blues shows. 

Other awards presented at the Mississippi Tourism Association’s Governor’s Awards Luncheon can be found at www.mstourism.com. Entries are submitted to the Mississippi Tourism Association and judged by selection committee. The Governor’s Conference on Tourism is held annually in September. 

For more information, call the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at 601-636-9421 or visit www.visitvicksburg.com. For information about the Governor’s Conference and the selection process, contact the Mississippi Tourism Association at 601-605-1825. 
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Vicksburg’s First Stand-Alone
Chick-fil-A Restaurant Opening May 16;

 First 100 in Line at New Restaurant to Win Free Year’s Supply of Chick-fil-A Meals

Restaurant on Halls Ferry Road Creates More Than 65 New Jobs

VICKSBURG, Miss. (May 16, 2013) – Vicksburg’s first Chick-fil-A® restaurant will open May 16 bringing more than 65 new jobs and the chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year as the chain reaches the 10th anniversary of its signature grand opening celebration.

Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” event, which began as a way to celebrate the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Arizona in 2003, immediately became the cornerstone of every Chick-fil-A grand opening when the first person arrived more than 18 hours the day before, wondering where to get in line. Others soon followed and by the time the restaurant opened for business the next day, more than 100 were waiting.

Humbled and surprised by the dedication of its fans, Chick-fil-A quickly implemented the “First 100” at every grand opening and in the past 10 years has given away more than $18 million in free food at almost 700 grand openings. An additional $2.5 million is slated to be given away at 102 grand openings this year.

The new Vicksburg restaurant at 3403 Halls Ferry Road will be the scene of the latest Chick-fil-A grand opening celebration when the first 100 adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open about 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, each will win a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A
® Meals (52 coupons with each consisting of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries™ and a medium drink) – a total of nearly $30,000 in free food. The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, May 16, about 6 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. If there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15, all 100 spots will be determined by raffle held that morning with those selected needing to camp out to secure their spot. For complete rules, see Chick-fil-A First 100 Promotion.

For 10 years, Chick-fil-A has hosted the parking lot parties, providing security, entertainment and, of course, plenty of

Chick-fil-A to its dedicated fans who often arrive more than 24 hours in advance prepared with TVs, computers, tents, games and other gear to make their stay more comfortable. Over the past decade, the First 100 Celebrations have been the backdrop for family reunions, girls’ nights out, birthday celebrations, college study parties and several marriage proposals as people come from around the corner or across the country to be part of the festivities.

Consumer habits have changed dramatically since 1967 when S. Truett Cathy opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall. While that tiny location pioneered the mall food court concept, the majority of the chain’s new restaurants today cater not only to customers who want to dine inside
but also to those who prefer the convenience of drive-thru service.

Vicksburg first Chick-fil-A restaurant features the chain’s latest interior and kitchen design along with dual drive-thru ordering lanes to expand its award-winning drive-thru service. Two drive-thru lanes will welcome motorists who will place their orders at separate screens and then merge into a single lane to pay for and pick up their food. With a majority of customers at Chick-fil-A stand-alone restaurants choosing drive-thru, the ability for two drivers to simultaneously order should mean quicker service.

Chick-fil-A opened its first Mississippi restaurant in 1978 and continued expanding over the next 35 years. The new Vicksburg location is the first for Warren County. Currently, there are 29 Chick-fil-A locations in the state of Mississippi.

This year Chick-fil-A will open more restaurants than ever before. The new Chick-fil-A at Vicksburg is one of 102 new restaurants the chain plans to open across the country in 2013, creating more than 6,200 new jobs.

 Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy first began serving his boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich, pressured cooked and served on a buttered bun with two crucial pickles, at the Dwarf Grill which opened in Hapeville, Ga., in 1946. It was the signature menu item when the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967
and though many other items have joined the menu over the years, it remains the centerpiece of the menu as the chain has grown to 1,700 restaurants in 38 states and Washington D.C.

Franchised Chick-fil-A Operator Nick Jones has been selected to operate the first stand-alone restaurant in Vicksburg. Jones’ first job was at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Georgia, while in high school. Nick was a recipient of the Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship and attended the University of Georgia where he graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Jones has served as an officer in the National Guard for 11 years and is currently a Captain. He completed two combat tours, one to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Jones Family recently moved from south Atlanta to Vicksburg and is excited to serve the community.

 “Our focus on freshly prepared food and personal customer service is as central to our new restaurant as it was the day Truett opened his first Chick-fil-A location,” said Jones. “That
commitment continues for me and my team members at our new Vicksburg location where we can’t wait to welcome and serve our guests.”

The new restaurant has seating for 104 with additional outdoor seating and has warm colors and wood accents and an interactive play area for children. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. As part of the chain’s ongoing commitment to offer fresh, delicious and nutritious options, the restaurant’s menu will feature an early addition of its new line of premium salads that are handcrafted
onsite using top-quality ingredients and include Cobb, Asian and Grilled Market Salads and a Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap. They are now available nationwide.

Chick-fil-A continues to win industry accolades including research firm Technomic’s 2012 Customer Restaurant Brand study which analyzed 52 restaurants. The firm polled 38,000 consumers in the categories they said mattered most – food, cleanliness, service, value, beverage and atmosphere. Chick-fil-A was the only chain to rank in the top five of all six key categories.

Men’s Health “Eat This, Not That” 2013 edition again gave the chain high marks (A-) and named it one of the top two restaurants providing healthier menu options. Chick-fil-A continues to rank high in QSR Magazine’s annual Drive-Thru Performance Study which in 2011 was narrowed to only measure the six best, consistent brands. These “benchmark” brands, joined by one rotating regional chain, are measured in categories ranging from speed of service and order accuracy to customer service and cleanliness. In the 2012 study, which included more than 2,000 visits to restaurants around the country, Chick-fil-A was number one in order accuracy and had the friendliest service. The study also found Chick-fil-A team members displayed a “pleasant demeanor” 94 percent of the time, a full 14 percentage points above the next highest-rated restaurant chain.

For more information on the first Vicksburg restaurant visit
https://www.facebook.com/ChickfilAatVicksburg or http://www.cfarestaurant.com/vicksburg

 About Chick-fil-A, Inc. 

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is the nation’s second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain (based on sales), with more than 1,700 restaurants in 38 states and Washington D.C. In 2012, Chick-fil-A produced record sales of $4.6 billion. In 2013, Chick-fil-A will add 102 new locations around the country, including 78 stand-alone, one drive-thru, four in-line and two mall restaurants along with 17 licensed locations. Credited with inventing the boneless breast of chicken sandwich and first introducing the chicken nugget concept, Chick-fil-A serves nutritious and freshly prepared food products in mall locations, stand-alone restaurants, drive-thru-only restaurants, Chick-fil-A Dwarf House® and Truett’s Grill® full-service restaurants, and through licensed outlets in college campuses, hospitals, airports, businesses and industrial sites. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain’s websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com, www.chick-fil-apressroom.com, www.truettcathy.com,www.twitter.com/chickfila, and www.facebook.com/chick-fil-a.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Daniel Boone

601-529-7252

Vicksburg Theatre Group Celebrates Weekend of Filmmaker Charles Burnett

(VICKSBURG, MISS.) April 4, 2013: The Westside Theatre Foundation is presenting A Weekend with Charles Burnett (the man and his films) April 26 – 28 in downtown Vicksburg at the historic Strand Theatre, 717 Clay Street.

Writer/director Charles Burnett was born in Vicksburg in 1944. As a young man, he moved with his family to Los Angeles, returning to the South periodically to visit relatives. His first feature, Killer of Sheep (1978) was one of the first 50 films to be selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and was chosen by the National Society of Film Critics as one of the 100 Essential Films. He was the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 1988 and the Internet Movie Database says he is “considered one of America’s greatest filmmakers.”

“Bringing Charles Burnett home to Vicksburg has been a longtime dream of mine,” said Daniel Boone, film programmer for the Strand Cinema. “He deserves our attention. Even though most of his films are not set in the South, they are informed by his connections to Vicksburg and give us insight into our home and its people. I am excited about the possibility of the community recognizing one of our artists.”

The program at the Strand will include screenings of four feature length films as well as shorts and a compilation of excerpts from this celebrated director. Burnett will share insights about his life and work at discussion sessions at the screenings on Friday and Saturday.

The weekend celebration begins on Friday at 7:30 pm with “A Conversation with the Director,” an interview with Burnett punctuated by some of his short films and illuminated by clips and trailers from his features. Following the program, the audience will convene in the lobby for desserts and a meet and greet with Burnett.

On Saturday, Burnett’s film “A Killer of Sheep” (1978) will be presented at 5:30 pm. After the film, the director will answer questions and join the audience for a buffet supper in the lobby at 7:00 pm. At 8:00 pm, “To Sleep with Anger” (1990) will be featured on the Strand’s screen. The weekend will conclude with two film presentations on Sunday: “My Brother’s Wedding” (1983) at 5:00 pm and “The Annihilation of Fish” (1999) at 7:00 pm.

All programs will be at the historic Strand Theatre. The Strand opened in the Adolph Rose building in 1934. It closed as a movie theatre in the 1960’s and has been recently brought back to life through the efforts of the Westside Theatre Foundation (WTF). WTF is a non-profit organization that presents live theatrical performances and arthouse films in the Strand Theatre and live performances in the Coral Room Theatre located two doors down in The Vicksburg building on Clay Street.

For more information or online ticketing, visit www.westsidetheatrefoundation.com. Advance tickets also available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse, 1101 Washington Street. 

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Vicksburg Named Top Place to Travel in 2013 by AAA Traveler Magazine


VICKSBURG, MISS.-- Vicksburg has been named by AAA Southern Traveler and AAA Midwest Traveler as one of the top 13 places to visit in 2013. Other destinations named include Christchurch, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Mexico, Orlando, Panama, San Francisco, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Las Vegas.

This year brings lots of excitement to Vicksburg with Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration events. Events start in April with Tapestry: The Pilgrimage to Vicksburg and the Vicksburg Heritage Fair and continue until July 4, the anniversary of the Siege of Vicksburg’s surrender. 

The Vicksburg National Military Park has also been chosen by the National Park Service as a venue for a Civil War sesquicentennial signature event which has been scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. Activities include: concerts by the U.S. Navy Band, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Jackson State University Mass Choir and the 41st U.S. Army Band; commemorations of the first assault on the city and the second assault of Vicksburg’s defenses; living history presentations that include cannon demonstrations and interpretation of soldier everyday life during the Civil War; Shadows of the Past; a display of Special Boat Unit 22, part of the Navy’s modern river forces; a rededication of the Iowa Memorial; special programs on Civil War engineering and siege tactics and on African- Americans and the Civil War exploring the roles of freeman, U.S. Colored Troops and enslaved peoples; and Soldiers through the Ages where a timeline of the military will be presented through static displays and programs. 

Civil War history is simply part of Vicksburg’s tapestry and can be found throughout the city at attractions including historic tour homes, the Old Court House Museum, the Lower Mississippi River Museum and the Old Depot Museum. Licensed guides are also available for personal guided tours through the city and the Vicksburg National Military Park. 

Full listings of events and things to do in Vicksburg can be found at the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at www.visitvicksburg.com or by following Vicksburg on social media at Visit Vicksburg. 

About AAA Southern Traveler and AAA Midwest Traveler
AAA Southern Traveler and AAA Midwest Traveler offer timely coverage of local issues, plus consumer information about travel, automobiles, and safety issues. In addition, the magazine contains departments offering advice for travelers and motorists, and money-saving opportunities on local attractions, events, and travel. AAA Southern Traveler is a magazine edited for Automobile Club members in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and AAA Midwest Traveler is a magazine edited for Automobile Club members in Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and eastern Kansas. For the full article in AAA Southern Traveler and AAA Midwest Traveler visit http://www.autoclubmo.aaa.com/traveler/mid/2013/01/tips-on-travel.html?zip=39180&devicecd=PC&referer=www.autoclubmo.aaa.com. 

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Vicksburg Offers Picture Perfect Getaway

VICKSBURG, MS -- The Vicksburg, Mississippi Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the launch of its Vicksburg Picture Perfect Getaway sweepstakes. The online sweepstakes will reward a grand prize winner and a friend with a two day and two night stay in historic Vicksburg complete with a professional, on-location photo shoot to document the trip.

The winner will take home a CD of hi-def photos taken by a Vicksburg professional photographer during the trip.  One of the South’s most scenic destinations, Vicksburg offers a number of picture perfect locations for the professional shoot. 

The two-day Vicksburg Picture Perfect Getaway also includes a private guided tour of the National Military Park and the Old Court House Museum, two tickets to select Vicksburg attractions, a $500 gift card for shopping Vicksburg’s boutiques and outlets, a Vicksburg culinary gift pack and a point-and-shoot camera.

Winners will also be treated to two nights of rest and relaxation at a luxury or boutique hotel or bed and breakfast as well as mouthwatering meals at Vicksburg’s top restaurants.

Entries will be accepted until October 19, 2012. The winner will be randomly selected from all received entries and notified on October 21, 2012.

To enter the Vicksburg Picture Perfect Getaway, visit http://www.visitvicksburg.com/picture-perfect/default.aspx and fill out the online form or enter on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/visitvicksburg.

Entrants will also be able to sign up for exclusive deals and offers from the Vicksburg CVB. Learn more about Vicksburg, “The Key to the South” at http://www.visitvicksburg.com/.

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LOCAL VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI GUEST WINS BIG
Marking its 25th Anniversary Fairfield Inn & Suites Awards Free Trip


(Bethesda, Maryland): September 19, 2012 – Just yesterday, a guest at Fairfield Inn & Suites, was awarded a weekend trip for two to one of four select destinations as part of its Silver September to mark the 25th Anniversary of the brand. From September 1-25, guests staying with Fairfield Inn & Suites around the country will receive an envelope at check-in, with only 25 lucky people finding a winning silver ticket.

“We are extremely excited about having a Silver September winner at our property. I am so proud to be a part of such a great brand! Winning the Silver Ticket gives us great visibility in our community and lets everyone know that when you stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites you’re always winner,” said Keith Rogers, General Manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites Vicksburg, Mississippi. 

Twenty-five winners will unwrap a silver ticket declaring their win. They will then have the chance to arrange a weekend trip for two to one of four exciting Fairfield Inn & Suites locations – New York City, NY, Washington, DC, Orlando, FL, and San Diego, CA – to be used before September 2013. Bronze ticket winners will also have the chance to win a free trip by uploading a photo of themselves with their ticket in hand to the Fairfield Inn & Suites Facebook page. 

Through this fun, new giveaway, Fairfield Inn & Suites aims to thank its loyal business and leisure guests who choose to stay with them – while also adding a fun element into their trips during the month of September. “We look forward to celebrating our Silver Anniversary with our loyal guests and inserting a little excitement into their stay this month,” said Shruti Buckley, vice president, Fairfield Inn & Suites. “Our frequent business travelers put the productivity of their trips in our hands, and we are thrilled to include them in celebrating our rich history.”

About Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is designed for today’s traveler who is looking to be productive on the road, whether for business or leisure. In addition to free breakfast and high-speed Internet access, Fairfield Inn & Suites offers thoughtfully designed rooms and suites that provide separate living, working and sleeping areas. With more than 675 properties throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, Fairfield Inn & Suites hotels participate in the award-winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay. For more information, visit www.fairfieldinn.com. 
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Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

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VenuWorks Locations named Prime Site Award Winners

(VICKSBURG, MISS.) September 11, 2012: For 19 years, Facilities Media Group has been bestowing its annual Awards of Excellence to public assembly facilities and meeting destinations in North America.   Venues are nominated by clients based on a number of criteria including attractiveness and functionality, quality of staff, food & beverage/catering, set-ups/breakdowns and many others.  The Award is based on opinions of professionals involved in site selection and meeting management.

"We at Facilities & Event Management Magazine would like to congratulate the Vicksburg Convention Center and Auditorium for winning a 2012 Facilities Prime Site Award. Our Prime Site Awards are based on the opinions of those in the industry directly involved with site selection - booking agents, promoters, talent buyers and special event planners. By winning a Prime Site Award, it is obvious that your staff does a fine job of serving your event clientele. Your staff, city and community should be proud."


VenuWorks President Steven Peters said he was delighted by the recognition bestowed on VenuWorks venues and staff members.  “It is really gratifying to see the dedication, innovation and expertise of our people recognized.  We are fond of saying that our business is ‘all about the events’ but executing successful events is really all about the people who make it possible.”

Several VenuWorks managed locations were recognized with the 2012 Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award of Excellence from the Facilities Media Group for venue excellence.  The nine VenuWorks honorees include convention centers from across the US:
-        Sanford Center – Bemidji, MN
-        Clay County Regional Events Center - Spencer, IA
-        Hurst Conference Center – Hurst, TX
-        RiverCenter - Davenport, IA
-        Swiftel Center - Brookings, SD
-        Vicksburg Convention Center – Vicksburg, MS
-        Toyota Center/Three Rivers Convention Center - Kennewick, WA
-        Magouirk Conference Center – Dodge City, KS
-    Racine Civic Centre – Racine, WI

BACKGROUND
VenuWorks provides comprehensive management and consulting services for arenas, theaters and convention centers throughout North America. Committed and innovative facility operators, VenuWorks provides customized management services in areas of administration, food and beverage, programming, marketing and sales, and operations to over 40 venues.  For more information, please view www.venuworks.com.

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Vicksburg’s Old Depot Museum Has Grand Opening Sunday

VICKSBURG, MISS.  (July 11, 2012)- The Old Depot Museum, located in downtown Vicksburg in the former Yazoo and Mississippi River Valley Railroad Depot, will have its grand opening this Sunday July 15 at 2:00 pm after over five years of planning.

“It feels so good to finally be at this point,” said Lamar Roberts, the museum’s owner. “I feel a cinch of accomplishment that we made it this far and couldn’t be more thankful to my wife and family who have been really supportive.”

Roberts said that the museum has something for the entire family to enjoy. The museum features the world’s largest collection of WBTS ship models and a collection of riverboat models and naval vessels with Mississippi names. The museum will also have model railroad layouts on display.

The museum was made possible by a $1.6 million grant awarded by the Mississippi Department of Transportation in December 2006. The  transportation museum is part of an overall redevelopment of the Vicksburg riverfront area that already includes the Riverfront Murals and Catfish Row Children’s Art Park as well as the Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Site set to open August 24. 

“I think it’s a chance to be a big draw for Vicksburg,” said Roberts, who is also a Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau board member.

 “We welcome the addition of the Old Depot Museum to our collection of historic attractions,” said Bill Seratt, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are to be commended on their tireless dedication to seeing this project through.”

The grand opening will include a welcome by Mayor Winfield as well as comments by Mississippi Department of Transportation officials, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Seratt and Roberts. The ceremony will close with the Mississippi Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Color guard in honor of the 150th anniversary of the CSS Arkansas steaming down the Yazoo River into Vicksburg July 15, 1862. The museum will provide refreshments and admission will be free during the grand opening.

For more information about the museum and its exhibits, call the Old Depot Museum (601) 638-6500 or visit www.theolddepot.net.

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Vicksburg Releases Arts of Commemoration Guide at 
Vicksburg National Military Park

VICKSBURG, Miss. – What has been viewed as monuments to a battle and struggle long past have now been captured as works of art in a new guidebook to the Vicksburg National Military Park.

 The Art of Commemoration will be unveiled 10 a.m., Friday, June 29 on the steps of the Park’s Illinois Monument.

 “The purpose of this work is to enhance viewer appreciation of the commemorative memorials in the Vicksburg National Military Park by pointing out details in the art and architecture, and by providing interpretive information,” said the guide’s author, Parker Hills, Brig. Gen. (Retired). 

The 100-page guide was made possible by a grant from the National Park Service’s Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative.

 “This is a great example of community cooperation, where the Vicksburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau worked with the Park Service on a project that enhanced both organizations’ missions,” said Bill Seratt, CVB executive director.

 During the event, Park Superintendent Michael Madell will announce plans for the yearlong observance of the 150th anniversary of the siege of Vicksburg.

 Also, Hills will present the first signed copy of the book to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker at a reception at the adjacent Shirley House immediately following the unveiling.

 

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Contact:

Mayor’s office 601-631-3718
mayor@vicksburg.org


Vicksburg to Commemorate 2011 Historic Flood

(Vicksburg, MS) May 16, 2012: The City of Vicksburg, in conjunction with the US Army Corps of Engineers – Vicksburg District, will commemorate the 2011 historical Mississippi River flood with a ceremony on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. The Mississippi River crested in Vicksburg on May 19, 2011, setting a record at 57.1 feet. The ceremony will be held at the Vicksburg waterfront and will include the official high water floodwall marking.

Mayor Paul E. Winfield, along with other federal, state and local dignitaries, will address the crowd. The event is open to the public. Reserved parking is available for officials and media inside the floodwall by entering through the Clay Street entrance. All other parking will be outside the floodwall near the Old Depot building.

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Contact:

Laura Beth Lyons
Marketing & Special Events Manager
(601) 636-9421
laurabeth@visitvicksburg.com

Tapestry: The Pilgrimage to Vicksburg Named Top 20 Event by Southeast Tourism Society

(VICKSBURG, MS)- March 5, 2012-  One of Vicksburg's most popular events, Tapestry: The Pilgrimage to Vicksburg, has been selected as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS). The event will be featured in the STS listing for the month of April 2012.
The fourth annual Tapestry: the Pilgrimage to Vicksburg shows off 19 of Vicksburg's most historic properties during the month of April. Tapestry has grown from approximately 480 participants in its first year to 1,200 in its third year. Tapestry allows the visitor to experience Vicksburg through interpretive presentations of Vicksburg's history that bring to life the heritage and culture of this remarkable river city. 
This year, Tapestry is preparing for the Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of the Civil War and Battle of Vicksburg (1863). Each property will have a Civil War theme throughout its presentations including topics such as the African American's role in the Civil War and the occupation of Vicksburg at the end of the Civil War.  
"We are very pleased that the hard work of the Tapestry presenting properties is being awarded this prestigious honor," said Bill Seratt, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Since 1985, the STS has published the Top 20 Events. Each month, hundreds of the best events across the Southeast can compete to be named a Top 20 event. STS publishes the list of winners quarterly and sends the list to over 300 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations and others, as well as 125 AAA publications. The combined circulation runs into the millions. STS Top 20 Events are published on their website, www.southeasttourism.org, and at their consumer website, www.escapetothesoutheast.com
Founded in 1983, the Southeast Tourism Society is dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism to its member states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The membership includes state travel offices, attractions, hotels, motels, resorts, convention and visitors bureaus, airlines, bus companies, car rental agencies, newspapers, magazines and other travel related organizations. The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau is a proud member of Southeast Tourism Society. 
Special overnight rates will be offered at bed and breakfasts participating in Tapestry during the time of the event. Ticket prices for Tapestry events are $30 for three presentations or $15 for one presentation.  Tickets are available at each venue and at the Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3300 Clay Street. For a complete schedule and other information please visit www.vicksburgbedandbreakfast.com, www.visitvicksburg.com, or call the Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-221-3536.
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Vicksburg CVB Welcomes Group Services Manager


(VICKSBURG, MISS.) February 15, 2012- The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce Ashley Gatian as a new edition to the CVB team. 

Gatian has been hired as the Group Services Manager and began her employment on February 7. The Group Services Manager responds to inquiries from tour operators, group leaders, meeting planners and other potential visitors to Vicksburg as well as follows up on sales leads that are generated by the VCVB executive director, sales staff and industry partners.  She also books and maintains group tour and meetings/conventions accounts that generate or potentially will generate room nights to Vicksburg.  

Gatian, a native of Star, Miss., has had a position in customer services for over a decade and recently worked in Retail Advertising for the Vicksburg Post. She also has worked as a Vacation Planner for Armed Forces Recreation Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany for three years. She is currently an Ambassador for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce and was a chairperson for the United Way campaign in 2010.

Gatian has lived in Vicksburg for over seven years. She has an 8 year-old daughter, Shelby, and is a member of Bowmar Baptist Church. 

Please stop by the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1010 Levee Street, and help us welcome Ms. Gatian to the tourism community.

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Vicksburg CVB Announces New Destination Brand


(VICKSBURG, MISS.) February 3, 2012- The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau will unveil its new brand on Monday, February 13 at the Holiday Inn in Vicksburg at 10:00 am. 

The VCVB hired Nashville research firm North Star Destination Strategies in October 2010 to conduct the branding study that included in-depth research on the Vicksburg's visitors as well as creative concepts to market tourism. 

North Star conducted planning audits, communication and media audits and organized focus groups and interviews, consumer surveys and demographic studies. Its work was presented to the VCVB board in two phases: research, insight and evaluation; and creativity and action.

"The bureau is excited about the launch of the new brand elements," said Bill Seratt, executive director of the VCVB, "Much time has gone into research and development of the new image and accompanying advertising and marketing strategies."

The Holiday Inn in Vicksburg is located at 115 Cypress Centre Boulevard next to El Sombrero off of I-20 South Frontage Road. 

For more information on the presentation or tourism in Vicksburg, contact the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at (601) 636-9421 or www.visitvicksburg.com. The VCVB can also be found at www.facebook.com/visitvicksburg and on twitter @VisitVicksburg. 

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Vicksburg CVB Makes Move to Downtown 

VICKSBURG, MISS. (January 31, 2012)- The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau makes its long-awaited move downtown to the former Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Levee Depot at 1010 Levee Street today, February 1. 

The new offices will be within walking distance to important downtown amenities including shops, restaurants, the Grand Station Casino, the Riverfront Murals, Biedeharn Coca-Cola Museum, Yesterday's Children Antique Doll and Toy Museum and the future Lower Mississippi River Museum & Riverfront Interpretive Center and the Old Levee Depot Museum which will be on the first floor as well as sharing space on the second floor of the building with the VCVB. 

The VCVB will also have a tourist information desk on the first floor of the museum. The Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Center and the Old Levee Depot Museum are both scheduled to open in August 2012. 

About the Vicksburg CVB
The Warren County Tourist Promotion Commission of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was established in 1973 by authority of Senate Bill 2322 of the 1973 Session of the MS Legislature with the purpose of encouraging and promoting tourism for the Vicksburg/Warren County area.  In 1987, the Warren County Tourist Promotion Commission became the Vicksburg/Warren Convention and Visitors Bureau – a change in name only.  

The State of MS Dept of Finance & Administration (Treasury) issues monthly payments to the Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau from a 1% Food & Lodging Tax collections of the gross proceeds of sales or gross income of restaurants, hotels and motels located in Warren County.

The Bureau is Vicksburg’s liaison between potential visitors to the area and the businesses which will host them.  It acts as a marketing organization, an information clearing house, and a promotional agency for the City/County and its attractions.

More Information
For more information on the bureau or on tourist activities contact the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at (601)636-9421 or visit our website at www.visitvicksburg.com. The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau can also be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/visitvicksburg as well as twitter @VisitVicksburg. 


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Vicksburg CVB • PO Box 110 • Vicksburg, MS 39181
Phone: 800-221-3536 • Email: info@visitvicksburg.com

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