City with the most going on is Tupelo

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TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - As winter shuffles away, Northeast Mississippi is finding plenty of reasons to celebrate, from cars to music to movies to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

A few festivals have already happened, including Oxford and Starkville’s film festivals and Tupelo’s Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel and Craft Beer Festival, but there’s still plenty to do this spring.

The city with the most going on is Tupelo.

New Albany, Starkville and Oxford all have their major festivals coming up soon, but Tupelo has eight big events this spring.

That makes sense to Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.

“We’re are a major hub, and festivals are not just for the citizens of Tupelo,” he said. “We take great pride in hospitality in Tupelo.”

Quality of life is something Shelton takes seriously. Fun events, whether for adults or the whole family, attract both single young professionals and families. The festivals bring in revenue for the city, too.

He’s been a supporter of NOleput, a reinvention of the former Oleput Festival that took place in Tupelo in the 1990s. The festival was Saturday in downtown Tupelo.

“While festivals like NOleput aren’t for everyone, the benefits they bring to Tupelo benefit everyone,” Shelton said. “NOleput is something to remind us that we can’t take ourselves too seriously, and to relax and have a good time.”

Here’s a roundup of major events happening in the area this spring.

Amory Railroad Festival: April 10-13, Amory. A 5k, live music, car and truck show, carnival, arts and crafts, food and more are at this 36th annual festival in downtown Amory. Entertainment includes former “The Voice” contestant Cole Vosbury, Greg Dillard, Bikini Frankenstein, Aaron Vance and Priscilla Barker. See a complete schedule at www.amoryrailroadfestival.com.

North Mississippi Green Festival: April 12, Tupelo. The Girl Scouts Heart of the South Council sponsors this annual festival that focuses on the environment. The fourth annual event is at Ballard Park, is free, and includes music, arts and crafts, face-painting, a petting zoo, games and more. Visit www.girlscoutshs.org/greenfest for more.

Cotton District Arts Festival: April 12, Starkville. More than 125 artisans, as well as a Juried Arts competition and show, are at this year’s festival in downtown Starkville. There’s also a 5k, Writer’s Village, pet parade, Taste of Starkville restaurant competition and student art competition. Live music includes Ace Cannon, Young Agent Jones and Big Joe Shelton. All festival information is at www.cdafestival.com.

Tupelo Film Festival: April 17-19, Tupelo. The 11th annual event has a new location: the Malco in Tupelo. The festival includes features, documentaries, shorts and more made both locally and all over the world. It also includes workshops and the Mississippi High School Film Competition. Look for updates at www.tupelofilmfestival.net.

Oxford Craft Beer Festival: April 19, Oxford. This year’s festival includes the first-ever South Eastern Pizza Classic, with pizzerias from SEC schools competing to win the best pie award. The fest is at the Colonel’s Quarters from noon-6 p.m. Tickets are $45/general admission, $15/designated drivers. There are also early bird discounts, and VIP tickets are available. Visit www.oxfordbeerfest.com.

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