Tag: Deep South Travel

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Warm Weather Holidays: Four Ice Skating Rinks Found in the Southern States

November 29, 2011 at 9:56 AM | by | ()

The scene in downtown Raleigh...

Rolling hills covered with snow might be the typical scene around the holidays up North, but that’s usually not the case down South; however, that’s not stopping Southerners from celebrating the season. Here’s a few places where you can strap on a pair of ice skates and go for a spin in some southern spots:

· Dallas – Frisco Square’s Lights on Ice:
Apparently it’s been like a decade or so since the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area has hosted an outdoor skating rink, but things are changing this year. The Zamboni has hit Frisco, Texas, as the ice rink is open in Frisco Square between now and January 8. It’s just $10 per person to go for a spin, and that even includes skate rental. If you and your holiday crew want a more intimate skating experience, they’ll even rent the whole place out to you for around $200 an hour. The rink is open pretty much every day—except for Christmas—and is open until 10pm each evening.

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Get the Blues at the Mississippi Delta's Robert Johnson Festival

Where: County Road 518 [map], Greenwood, MS, United States, 38930-7324
October 5, 2011 at 2:48 PM | by | ()

You, Robert Johnson’s ghost, and some live blues artists. Just what the doctor ordered.

Last time we were down in the Mississippi Delta we were getting stuck in on local radio, but now here’s a reason to go back down there (and it’s not even related to The Help).

This year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of father of the blues Robert Johnson; and to mark it, next weekend, the people of Greenwood are throwing a blues festival. Not only that, but it’s a festival right in the cottonfields next to where Johnson is purportedly buried.

The King of the Delta Blues 100th Anniversary Remembrance Festival takes place October 15-16 on Money Road, outside Greenwood and by the premises of the fabulous WABG radio station. The lineup includes Rory Block, Dr Feelgood Potts, Maria Muldaur and Bobby Rush, and there will be tributes to blues artists who died this year, like Honey Boy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins and Mississippi Slim.

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Tour the Real Life Neighborhood That Inspired 'The Help' in Jackson, Mississippi

August 12, 2011 at 11:54 AM | by | ()

Fans of The Help, the bestselling novel by Kathyrn Stockett, aren't just heading to theaters to see the big screen version; they're also using the book for travel inspiration. The novel is about a group of black housekeepers and the white women who employ them in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and with the movie opening this weekend Jackson is catering to those who want to immerse themselves into the world of The Help.

The Fairview Inn, mentioned in the book, is offering a new package called "The Help Experience" including overnight accommodations, an authentic southern dinner for 2 at Sophia's Restaurant, Mint Juleps upon arrival, and a Help welcome basket. They will even throw in a deck of cards and instructions for playing Bridge, a favorite pastime of the women in The Help.

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Moonlighting as a DJ on a Mississippi Blues Radio Station

Where: County Road 518 [map], Greenwood, MS, United States
August 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM | by | ()

WABG and the surrounding plantation

One thing you’ll notice as you road trip through the Mississippi Delta is that listening to the radio can be a problem. There are country stations, pop stations and talk stations—but finding a blues station takes a bit of work. Which is silly, because the reason you’ve come to blues country is to hear the blues, right?

Luckily, one station hears your pain: WABG, aka The Awesome AM, based in Greenwood. You can listen to it on 960 AM or online at awesomeam.com, where it plays blues and classic rock. Not that it’s always been that way—at launch in 1950 it was a “farm/talk/country station” and when the present owners bought it in 2007 it was all talk.

But the very best thing about WABG is that it’s open to visitors. “Poe," the sole DJ and one of three owners of the station, spends half his life in the little whitewashed shack in a field in the middle of a plantation on the outskirts of Greenwood. And what may be bad for his social life is great for you, because it means that if he’s around when you pop by (and he most likely will be), he’ll invite you in, give you a little tour of the station, interview you about your travel plans live on air and even, if you're well behaved, let you indulge in a spot of DJing.

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Why Visiting Ground Zero In Mississippi May Make You See Red

Where: Clarksdale, MS
August 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM | by | ()

The unassuming Red’s by day

If you’re following the Blues trail around the Mississippi Delta, you’ll almost certainly have Clarksdale down on your hitlist. Not only is it the biggest of the blues towns (well, technically Greenville is bigger, but there’s not much going on round there these days), but it’s also the closest to civilization Memphis (75 miles south) and the town that’s adapted best to visitors with (gasp) a choice of nice places to stay, as well as restaurants and shops all within the teeny town center.

The blues clubs are what you’re really going for, though. Ground Zero is the most famous, possibly because it’s the largest, possibly because it’s the most geared towards tourists (announcing musicians well in advance and keeping to published opening hours) or possibly because it’s owned by Morgan Freeman.

Ground Zero

There’s just one problem with Ground Zero: having given it a go on three separate visits, we can’t help but conclude that it’s just not that great. It’s obviously very touristy and the clientele are, um, one of a kind – lots of girls in daisy dukes and cowboy boots without the figures to match, and guys whose hookup modus operandi is by asking you to come to their farm and “see my animals” (100% true story). Everyone’s too blitzed to listen to the music and the general atmosphere is one of meat market/country bachelorette party.

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