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What’s New in Mississippi

Soul of Vicksburg

It’s difficult to pin down the precise geographical boundaries of the fabled Mississippi Delta region, but author David Cohn once said that it begins at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and ends in Vicksburg on Catfish Row. With an opening planned for late 2018 or early 2019, the Catfish Row Museum hopes to capture some of the cultural heritage and diversity that makes this city a unique part of the Delta experience.

The museum is being constructed in a 1911 building on Catfish Row that has housed a factory, a car dealership and other businesses. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was a club that hosted touring R&B acts. The museum organizers want to showcase these various elements of the city’s history and are planning to have a live-performance space in addition to the exhibit areas.

Groups that visit the museum will learn about the Mississippi River and how it has shaped the city, as well as various aspects of local history and culture.

Diving Deep

In Pearlington, a town on the Gulf Coast just across the border from Louisiana, the Infinity Science Center just unveiled a new $9.8 million overhaul that added several new immersive experiences for visitors.

Among the most popular of the new exhibits is Deep Ocean Explorer, an interactive simulator that lets visitors virtually dive into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico using joysticks and monitors to see dolphins, turtles and other sea life. A new 3D theater shows films about earth and space, and the Hurricane Prediction Lab allows visitors to try their hand at measuring atmospheric conditions and monitoring hurricanes in a digital environment. New outdoor features include a butterfly garden and a boardwalk through forests and wetlands.

The funding for the museum overhaul was provided by BP as part of its continuing efforts to help the Gulf Coast tourism community recover from the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.