“Catfish and the Blues”! If that doesn’t say Mississippi, nothing does! This spring New York City, of all places, hosted its 30th Mississippi in Central Park with 3,000 participants. Washington, DC has celebrated 19 years of Mississippi on the Mall. After 33 years Los Angeles is turning a simple picnic into an extravaganza on September 12. So it is time and only natural to bring “Catfish + the Blues = Mississippi” below the Mason/Dixon Line where it belongs. And since some 1 million transplanted Mississippians live in Georgia, what better place to hold this celebration than in the "Capitol of the South" – Atlanta.
The Atlanta Ole Miss Club is spearheading the event and will be joined by alumni from other Mississippi colleges and universities. "Catfish + the Blues = Mississippi" is scheduled for Saturday, August 8 from 10 am – 4 pm at the lovely tree-shaded Four Grill Pavilion area in Chastain Park in the Buckhead Community of northwest Atlanta.
Like the popular events in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, the committee hopes this landmark event will become an annual gathering that brings Mississippians, their families and friends together for a day of relaxation, fellowship and fun. "You will want to join us for platters of catfish farm-raised in the Mississippi Delta, famous “sweet tea” from McAlister’s Deli in Jackson, and other southern delicacies," says an enthusiastic Jim Donald, a retired Army General and Chair of the committee. "Bring your blankets, small grills and your best barbeque skills or a picnic basket if you should happen to be allergic to fish," he advises. In addition there will be authentic Mississippi blues and country music in celebration of the culture and history of this great state. Carrollton’s well-known bands Homegrown and Daddy-O’s will be featured as well as blues artist Chick Willis and his band. Local and state dignitaries from Georgia and MIssissippi will also be in attendance.
The catfish platters will be prepared by Ken Akins from Madison, who has brought the fish and fixings along with his crew to the picnics in NY and DC. For a nominal charge of $15 per plate, you will get the filleted fish, fries, slaw and hushpuppies. McAlister’s tea and cookies are a “free” bonus as are the cokes provided by Coca-Cola Enterprises, a prominent sponsor of this event. And as a reminder of this day, you will want to purchase a one-of-a-kind designer T-shirt and other souvenirs. Exciting prizes will be given away throughout the day.
Whether you drive in or fly in, Atlanta welcomes our southern neighbors with special discount rates at Atlanta’s SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Buckhead.
Sign-up today on-line at www.olemissalumni.com/legacy/event.aspx or contact the DSU Alumni and Foundation for more information.