A virtual vacation through Mississippi
There are many remarkable and historical places to visit in the state of Mississippi, many well known and some that are not.
The Friends of the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library will be hosting “A Virtual Tour of the Great State of Mississippi” this Sunday.
The program will be hosted by Crosby library staff member Missy Ellis.
Friends of the Crosby Library vice-chairman Kathleen Holland said she has known Ellis for about 25 years.
“Missy is very knowledgeable about the state, having worked at the Pearl River County Welcome Center,” Holland said. “When she went to work for the library, I spoke with her and discovered she had all this marvelous knowledge about Mississippi.”
Holland said this is a wonderful opportunity for Ellis to share all the wonderful secrets of Mississippi and help people plan vacations. This event will kick off the Friends’ fall program celebrating the Magnolia State.
For almost four years, Ellis was employed by the Mississippi Development Authority as a travel counselor at the Pearl River County Welcome Center.
A travel counselor educates visitors about local history, restaurants, attractions, activities, directions, and secures lodging accommodations and dining reservations, Ellis said.
“There are 13 welcome centers in the state,” Ellis said. “The goal is to intercept traffic coming into Mississippi in order to have an economic impact on county.”
Ellis said MDA plans about four annual trips for the counselors called familiarization of the state. Counselors are sent to every corner of the state and tour cities and towns to learn about their history, attractions and other amenities.
Travel counseling is a rewarding job, Ellis said, and she has met a number of different individuals.
“I met a German man who wanted to go to the Delta and learn about blues music,” Ellis said. “It was my job to find him hotels, sites to visit and foods designed specifically to his needs.”
The program will consist of a slideshow highlighting 13 cities in eight categories, Ellis said. The virtual journey begins with Picayune and from there participants will travel to Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenwood, Greenville, Clarksdale, Corinth, Tupelo, Meridian, Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis.
There will be a variety of categories including antiques and shopping, outdoors, sight seeing, festivals, dining and museums and history, Ellis said. Most people are unaware of the large number of free museums located throughout the state.
“In a two-day virtual journey,” Ellis said. “We will shed light on all the treasures of the state and see how many places there are to visit. The Pearl River County Welcome Center is ready to help people plan.”
Pearl River County Library System Director Carol Phares said she is glad to have Ellis as part of her staff.
Ellis is knowledgeable, helpful and most of all hospitable, Phares said. This is the first time a staff member has presented a program for Friends of the Crosby Library.
“I think this is a program everyone will benefit from,” Holland said.
The virtual tour will be held at the Crosby Library in Holland Hall from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14.
The event is free to the public, Phares said. There is currently a display in the library foyer showcasing the items Ellis collected during her travels.
The Friends of the Crosby Library will provide refreshments utilizing recipes from the group’s 50th anniversary cookbook, which will be available for $15.