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Chastain Park to get taste of Mississippi culture
by Nicole Dow
June 11, 2014 01:30 PM | 1959 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / Mississippi college officials were presented with a commemorative poster during last year’s Mississippi in the Park event. From left, Toni Jernigan, 2013 picnic chair; John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni at Mississippi State University; Ken Cyree, dean of the University of Mississippi School of Business; Rodney Bennett, president of the University of Southern Mississippi; Bill LaForge, president of Delta State University; and retired Maj. Gen. James Donald, 2013 golf chair.
Special Photo / Mississippi college officials were presented with a commemorative poster during last year’s Mississippi in the Park event. From left, Toni Jernigan, 2013 picnic chair; John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni at Mississippi State University; Ken Cyree, dean of the University of Mississippi School of Business; Rodney Bennett, president of the University of Southern Mississippi; Bill LaForge, president of Delta State University; and retired Maj. Gen. James Donald, 2013 golf chair.
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Atlanta will be infused with some Magnolia State culture this weekend as the Mississippi Society of Georgia hosts its sixth annual Mississippi in the Park celebration.

The festivities will kick off Friday with a golf tournament in Douglasville and an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. The main event will be the picnic held Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Chastain Park in Buckhead.

“Our theme this year is Catfish and Blues,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. James Donald, a Mississippi native and the founder of the events.

The picnic will include fried catfish and fried chicken plates from Penn’s, a Mississippi restaurant. Meals will be available for $20. There will also be free treats from other Mississippi companies, such as caramel cakes from Sugaree’s Bakery and sweet tea from McAlister’s Deli.

As far as blues music goes, the entertainment will pay tribute to two former picnic headliners who died since last year’s event — Chick Willis and Bobbye “Doll” Johnson. There will also be music from The Shufflejunkies, an Atlanta blues band, Donald said.

“Mississippi is the home of the blues,” he said. “We promote the rich heritage and culture. As it turns out, there are a lot of Mississippians in Georgia.”

All together, the festivities will make for an action-packed weekend, Donald said. Toni Jernigan, another society member and Mississippi native, said last year’s event was a success with more than 600 attending the annual picnic.

“When you get together with folks from Mississippi or connected to Mississippi, it’s like family,” she said.

Nevertheless, the weekend’s events are not solely focused on food, fun and fellowship.

“For the last four years, we have given a $1,000 scholarship to a Georgia student who is attending a Mississippi college or university.” Jernigan said. “It’s just not about getting together and having fun. It’s about education, too.”

Representatives from Mississippi colleges will also be on hand to provide information about their schools and speak to prospective students and their families.

ON THE WEB: For more information visit www.mssocietyofga.org.

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