April 16, 2009
A 30-county region in North Mississippi, which includes Lowndes County, has been designated as a national heritage area.
The designation means the area will receive $1 million from the federal government annually for the next 10 years.
The money will be used to increase tourism revenue in the designated area officially called the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area.
The area designation spans almost 50 different events and locations within the 30-county area. The Mississippi counties included in the designation are Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, DeSoto, Grenada, Holmes, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, Winston and Yalobusha Counties.
Lowndes County can boast four attractions on the list: Market Street Festival, Mississippi University for Women, the Plymouth Bluff Center and the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center.
Clay County features seven attractions: the Howlin'' Wolf Blues Museum, the Howlin'' Wolf Memorial Blues Festival, the Kitty Dill Memorial Walking Park, the Mossy Oak Outlet Mall, Old Waverly Golf Club, Waverley Plantation Mansion and Waverly Waters.
Oktibbeha County has the most designated destinations with 10. They are the Aspen Bay Candle Company, the Charles H. Templeton Sr. Music Museum, the Cotton District Arts Festival, John Starr Memorial Forest, the Mississippi Horse Park and Agricenter, the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, Reese Orchard, the Cotton District and the John Grisham Room at Mississippi State University.
The official designation comes as a part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this week.
For more information, visit www.mshills.org.