Tupelo, MS Culture Overview

By Barbara Biehler on May 7, 2014 at 7:00 am EST
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Tupelo's many community arts programs and historic attractions engage and educate visitors and residents.

Tupelo's Civil War Battlefields

See where Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest earned a significant victory over Union troops at Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield, just 15 miles north of Tupelo near Baldwyn. At the Brices Crossroad’s Visitors and Interpretive Center guests learn more about the conflict through informative exhibits and recovered battlefield artifacts.

Nearby is the Tupelo National Battlefield, where Confederate troops under Forrest were defeated a short time later in the Battle of Tupelo. This battlefield is the last place Forrest’s famous cavalry troops would fight Union forces during the Civil War.

Tupelo’s Museums

Tupelo Automobile Museum packs a diverse collection of classic cars into its 120,000 square feet of exhibition space, making it one of the biggest car museums in North America. Cars on display include an 1886 Benz and the 1976 Lincoln Mark IV that Elvis Presley gave to a Denver police captain.

The history of Tupelo and its surrounding area comes alive in exhibits and artifacts at the Oren Dunn City Museum. The museum's permanent displays convey the stories of early European settlement, Mississippi statehood and the Civil War.

Love art and historical architecture? Visit the GumTree Museum of Art, located in a downtown Beaux Arts building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The GumTree hosts high- quality art exhibitions, workshops, lectures and many more events for the public.

Celebrating Mississippi Artists

To view works by dozens of Mississippi artists, look no further than 122 West Main St. in downtown Tupelo, the location of Caron Gallery. Named for its owner, Kim Caron, the gallery showcases works by established and emerging artists in all types of media, from oil and acrylic paintings and photography to pottery and handmade jewelry.

Prefer to create your own masterpieces? Check out Wet Paint, a paint-your-own pottery studio.

Theater and Ballet

Tupelo Community Theatre, which calls the Lyric Theatre home, presents a variety of regular-season performances and special events.

The Tupelo Ballet performs several full-length productions such as The Nutcracker and Don Quixote, from September through March. The organization also sponsors the performances of guest artists and other professional companies throughout the year.

Free Summer Concerts

Enjoy live music in the summertime at Down on Main, a free concert series that takes place on the second Thursdays of July, August and September. Performers from a wide range of genres take the stage, including rock 'n' roll, blues, bluegrass and folk. Each concert is held in downtown Tupelo's Fairpark Amphitheater from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Learn more about the arts in Tupelo, MS.

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City Accolades

Our town has a unique sense of civic pride, generosity and hospitality that sets us apart from anywhere else. I am proud to call the City of Tupelo home and hope that you will be too.

Jason Shelton, Tupelo mayor