Thursday, April 30, 2009
North Mississippi gets national heritage designation
On April 14 a huge stride was made when U.S. Senator Roger Wicker announced to a packed crowd at the BancorpSouth Convention Center in Tupelo that the Mississippi Hill Area has received national heritage designation!
The designation “will boost our state’s economy by increasing tourism opportunities,” said Senator Wicker. “Tourism is economic development. We already have visitors spending about $700 million in fiscal year 2008 in the region, and we feel we can expand that two- to threefold.”
The designation, which took effect with President Barack Obama’s signing of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, authorizes the heritage area to receive up to $1 million in federal funds annually for 10 years.
The boundaries of the 30-county Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area are Interstate 55, MS Highway 14, and the Tennessee and Alabama state lines. The Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance (MHHAA) is the management entity for the heritage area and will be working with communities across the region to develop a management plan and marketing strategy. For more information please visit www.mississippihills.org.
As treasurer of the MHHAA board of directors, I’m excited about all of the possibilities for Holly Springs with this designation. I have also joined the marketing committee for the project, where we are working on creating a brand identity and logo for the Hills region. We are also working on further partnering with the Delta Alliance and the Natchez Trace Compact to create further opportunities for federal and state funding.
A special thanks to alderman-at-large Tim Liddy, county administrator Larry Hall, famous bluesman Kenny Brown, as well as his wife, and organizer of the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, Sara Davis Brown, who attended the momentous occasion and to all who support our efforts.
As mentioned by many at the event – we have it all and we’re not afraid to show it!
Tourism traffic report
So far this year, we have welcomed 1,232 visitors and have 15 group tours scheduled for the coming months. So far this April we have welcomed over 600 guests, 345 during the week of Pilgrimage alone! Great job to all of you who assisted in the Pilgrimage which, once again, was a phenomenal event. As always, if you need any additional information on attractions and events in the Holly Springs area, please visit our website at www.visithollysprings.org, where you can also sign up to receive our email newsletter.
You can also give us a call at 662-252-2515 or stop by our office for a visit, 104 E. Gholson Ave.
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