Stories take center stage at the 73rd Annual Columbus Spring Pilgrimage.
April 1 – 13, 2013
They come to tell you their stories. The real stories.
A slave girl tells you of learning to read. A wife of a Methodist theologian bears witness to the founding of universities across the South. A 19th century newspaper editor explains how he beat the clock in a pell-mell effort to publish. A Secretary of Health tells of being felled by a clock, literally, killed when the weights of the courthouse clock dropped on him.
That same richness also applies to Pilgrimage itself, the city’s annual two-week celebration of Southern history and culture. What began 72 years ago as a historic homes tour has grown into a vibrant city-wide panorama mixing fact and fun in an irresistible blend of festivities that include horse-drawn carriage rides, concerts, a barbecue cook-off and a 5K race. “Tales from the Crypt” originated twenty years ago as a high school research project, garnering numerous awards over the years, including a finalist designation in the History Channel’s 2006 Save Our History classroom competition.
This year’s 73rd annual Spring Pilgrimage will also celebrate the grand opening of the Josh Meador Trail, marking points of interest in the life of the Academy Award-winning Disney animator who grew up in Columbus. It was Meador’s animating genius that brought the Disney characters to life and made Disney stories dramatically real by creating effects like the rising waters of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the awe-inspiring night scene of Fantasia’s Baldor Mountain.
A complete schedule of events, tickets and more information are available at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, telephone 800-920-3533 or 662-329-1191, or on the web go to www.columbus-ms.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
For more information, contact
Nancy Carpenter, Executive Director
Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau
662-329-1191 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bringing history to life all part of the magic at 2013 Columbus, Mississippi Spring Pilgrimage.
Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society,
Columbus’ 73rd annual Spring Pilgrimage enchants and enlightens with the opening of a new attraction.
How to make one of the Southeast’s most magical visitor events more magical? For Columbus, Mississippi’s 73rd annual Spring Pilgrimage, the answer was simple: Add a touch of a true magician to the festivities. This year, the two-week tour and celebration of historic homes and Southern culture will be highlighted by the grand opening of the Josh Meador Trail, marking points of interest in the life of the preeminent Disney animator who grew up in Columbus. Meador lent his magic brush to a veritable roll call of Walt Disney Studio classics, from helping to create the wondrous workings of the fantastical Fantasia to engineering the marvels of Captain Nemo’s voyage 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, for which he won Disney Studios an Academy Award.
Though Meador did not draw the Disney characters, it was his animating genius that brought them to life and created such dazzling effects as the vividly rising waters of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. That kind of unique talent makes Meador a natural addition for an event known for its own dazzling stagecraft in bringing history vividly to life, from the War of 1812 at Plymouth Bluff to the grand gilded ladies of the Victorian age.
Rather than an artist’s brush, Pilgrimage works its enchantment through beautiful historic homes and churches where hosts dressed in period costume and immersed in period lore step out of the pages of the past to draw visitors into a world beyond time. Candlelight tours also help to cast a spell, as do horse-drawn carriage rides through the Downtown Columbus Historic Districts, while the dramatic graveyard presentations of the award-winning Tales from the Crypt do their part to enrich the experience, recreating the lives of noted Mississippians and others interred in the city’s historic Friendship Cemetery.
But perhaps one of the most magical elements of Columbus Spring Pilgrimage, notes Nancy Carpenter, Director of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the hospitality of the city itself. “The residents here are always delighted to welcome guests, and Pilgrimage is such a special time everyone in the city wants to be involved and play host.”
The hometown enthusiasm is matched by overflow attendance and is the result of more than just Southern hospitality. Over the years, working in conjunction with the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation, the CVB has waved its own magic wand over Pilgrimage, expanding home tours into a multi-cultural, multi-sensory feast that today draws diverse crowds from all over the world ready to enjoy fun for every age, at events like Grilling on the River barbecue cook-off, Noon Tunes concerts, a 10K run through Historic Southside, the Mayor’s Unity Picnic and Artisans Alley, where browsers can shop and savor handcrafted period items and foods.
The Pilgrimage Kickoff Party begins Monday, April 1st at 5 p.m. with a crawfish boil and live music on the lawn of the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center on Main Street. The former parsonage turned welcome center is the childhood home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and conjurer of such classics as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Streetcar Named Desire.
Carpenter notes that Spring Pilgrimage combines the qualities associated with both of Columbus’ famous storytellers. “Pilgrimage is resonant in the romance and glamour that was so vital to Tennessee Williams, yet it also offers the family-friendly quality typical of Josh Meador’s outstanding work for Walt Disney. Spring Pilgrimage truly has something for everyone.”
A complete schedule of events, tickets and more information are available at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, telephone 800-920-3533 or 662-329-1191, or on the web go to www.columbus-ms.org.
Carpenter named MDAH Board Trustee
13 June 2012
At its regular quarterly meeting in Jackson on Friday, January 20, the MDAH Board of Trustees elected a new member. Nancy Carpenter will fill the seat of Martis D. Ramage, Jr., who died November 28, 2011.
Carpenter is the director of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau. A former executive director of the Columbus Historic Foundation, Carpenter began her career as a banker in 1971 and rose to vice president of marketing and sales manager at Unifirst Bank in Jackson. After moving to Columbus in 1990 she served as vice president of marketing for First Columbus National Bank and then as regional vice president for Deposit Guaranty National Bank. In 2011 she was appointed to the Civil Rights Museum Advisory Commission by Governor Haley Barbour. All nominees to the board of trustees must be confirmed by the state senate.
At the meeting the board also awarded more than $440,000 in grants and designated new Mississippi Landmarks.
Two grants were awarded through the Community Heritage Preservation Program. Built in 1863, the Church of the Annunciation in Lowndes County is the oldest Catholic Church in northeast Mississippi. The award of $191,093 will cover the cost of roof replacement. Located in Marshall County, the Old Byhalia High School Auditorium was built in the Italianate style in 1921. The award of $100,000 will go to the rehabilitation of the auditorium.
Mississippi Landmark Program grants were awarded to the McElroy-Hoye House in Newton County and the Noxubee County Courthouse. The grant of $73,463 for the McElroy-Hoye House will go toward the completion of the exterior restoration and reconstruction and installation of electrical service to the house. The Noxubee County Courthouse will receive $80,000 for the purchase and installation of an independent generator system. The Neo-Greek Revival courthouse was built in 1952.
Mississippi Landmark designations were approved for Mendenhall Public School; Alexander Hall at Jackson State University; and the Natchez Toll Plaza. State Historical Markers were approved for Camp Williamson, Warren County; First Baptist Church of Bay St. Louis, Hancock County; Grant’s Mississippi Central R.R. Campaign, multiple counties; Gulfport Army Airfield, Harrison County; and Magee Plantation, Jefferson Davis County.
Members of the board of trustees are Kane Ditto, president; Rosemary Taylor Williams, vice-president; Reuben V. Anderson, Jackson; E. Jackson Garner, Jackson; Web Heidelberg, Hattiesburg; Valencia Hall, Natchez; Hilda Cope Povall, Cleveland; and Roland Weeks, Biloxi.