By NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Mississippi congressional leaders and officials of the National Park Service will help start the 75th anniversary celebration of the Natchez Trace Parkway at 10 a.m. May 18 at the parkway’s administrative headquarters near Tupelo.
The headquarters is located on the parkway at milepost 266.
The Trace, as the 444-mile route from Natchez to near Nashville is known, began May 18, 1938, by congressional act, a construction process that would not be completed until 2005.
Saturday’s celebration will include vintage cars on display and concession food at 1938 prices.
The events are free for the four-hour commemoration.
Dignitaries, including Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, will speak. All other activities will begin at 11 a.m.
The celebration will include people dressed as historical characters important to the Trace, including a “Kaintuck,” Meriwether Lewis, a War of 1812 soldier, a Confederate soldier, and a Union soldier from the United States Colored Troops.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will share traditional dancing between music sets and present displays of traditional clothing and beadwork.
Local musicians will take visitors on a musical history tour. Starting with music played on the dulcimer, leading to bluegrass and gospel, and ending with a rock ’n’ roll tribute to Elvis Presley.
Live music will be presented by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association, Pickin’ n’ Grinnin’, St. Luke United Methodist Church bluegrass band, Redoak Grove Church Choir and an Elvis Presley stylist.
This event is sponsored by the National Park Service, Eastern National and the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.