By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
RIPLEY – This could be the year that the Faulkner Heritage Fiction Contest reveals a talent in the mold of award-winning author William Faulkner for whom it is named, as Ripley celebrates the Faulkner Heritage Festival on Friday and Saturday.
The event assures that the author’s Tippah County heritage will not be forgotten, offering a variety of events for families, historians and Faulkner scholars to enjoy.
“This year’s focus is Faulkner the Soldier,” said Ripley Main Street Director Libbi Bryant. “Friday at 6:30 p.m. there will be a showing of William Faulkner’s “Two Soldiers” at the Dixie Theatre, followed by a reception at the MS Gold, Silver and Coin Exchange hosted by Kirby Carpenter and Amanda Leonard.”
Saturday’s events, beginning at 8:30 a.m., include:
• Registration and a tour of the Faulkner collection at the Ripley Public Library.
• A Tippah County Museum tour of the War Rooms, with a book signing by Allen Wildmon, author of “Death on the Courthouse Square.”
• A tour of the Hindman Cemetery.
• A luncheon ($20) and lecture by Dr. Ted Atkinson of Mississippi State University, followed by announcement of the fiction contest winners.
• Telling of the Willliam Clark Falkner story by author and storyteller Bruce Smith at the Tippah County Courthouse.
• Walking tour of Ripley historic district.
• Guided tour of Spirits of Falkner at Ripley Cemetery with tour guides in period costume.
“We also invite everyone to attend the Blue Mountain College presentation of a portion of Handel’s “Messiah” at 7 p.m. at Modena Lowrey Berry Auditorium on Saturday,” said spokeswoman Melinda Marsalis. “It isn’t often that in one day, in a rural Northeast Mississippi county, you can spend the day with one of the world’s most famous literary geniuses and the evening with one of the world’s most famous composers.”