Vicksburg, MS, Arts and Culture Overview
Beloved annual events like the Miss Mississippi Pageant give Vicksburg residents much to cheer for, while live theater, art galleries and museums provide entertainment and inspiration.
The Vicksburg Theatre Guild is the oldest chartered community theater in Mississippi, offering live performances for the past seventy-plus years with the goal of “stimulating an interest in local, original, and other dramatic, literary, and musical productions.” Recent performances have included Cats, Driving Miss Daisy and Man of La Mancha, with shows held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Parkside Playhouse. The Westside Theatre Foundation is a nonprofit community theater group that hosts live performances and a cinema series at a pair of venues – the Coral Room Theatre and the historic Strand Theatre.
Lesley Silver’s Attic Gallery – on Highway 61 in downtown Vicksburg – is filled to the brim with fine crafts and works by local and regional artists. For its part, the River Bend Gallery features watercolors, oils, photographs, pottery and jewelry, though it is best known for its unique, preservation-quality framing. And artist H.C. Porter (1963-) maintains a home and gallery on Washington Street in the historic downtown district, where she displays her paintings, prints and photographs.
The Old Court House Museum contains thousands of artifacts of significance to Vicksburg and U.S. history, alongside a gift shop that sells books, souvenirs and authentic Civil War relics. The Old Depot Museum features a 250-square-foot diorama that represents the siege at Vicksburg, one that includes 2,300 miniature soldiers. Yesterday’s Children: An Antique Doll & Toy Museum displays more than a thousand dolls and toys dating back to 1843. And the interactive Lower Mississippi River Museum allows visitors to explore the river’s illustrious past, examine the science behind water movement and learn about future plans for the Mississippi Valley.
Annual Festivals and Events
The annual Miss Mississippi Pageant has been held in Vicksburg since the late 1950s. And each April since 1987, the city has staged an annual music & arts festival, RiverFest, which features live music, an arts and crafts show and a diverse array of food vendors.
The Vicksburg Christmas Parade of Lights takes place annually in early December, with a different theme each year. The city also holds an annual Independence Day celebration, with a fireworks extravaganza on the mighty Mississippi.