By Lena Mitchell | NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Two very special guests at Corinth’s Grand Illumination will travel all the way from Germany for next weekend’s event.
Adam and Jennifer Cooper live in Wiesbaden, Germany, where Adam Cooper is a United States Department of Defense employee working at the Wiesbaden Education Center.
The trip to Corinth and other destinations in their week-long visit is part of the grand prize won by Adam Cooper in the “USO Civil War 150 Giveaway.”
The contest, which was held in early September, was open to all soldiers and civilians working for the military. Contestants had to call in to an American Radio Network program during one of several times a day from Sept. 6-23 to be qualified, or send an email with a Civil War-themed photo to USO Europe.
The grand prize won by the couple includes:
• Round trip airfare from Frankfurt, Germany, to Memphis, Tenn.
• An overnight stay in Memphis, where they will receive complimentary tickets to Graceland and other attractions.
• An overnight stay in Greenwood, with free passes to CottonLandia and BB King Museum.
• An overnight stay in Vicksburg, which includes a Vicksburg Military Park tour.
• An overnight stay in Oxford, with a tour of Rowan Oak, the William Faulkner home.
• An overnight stay in Corinth, with participation in Saturday’s Grand Illumination.
The contest was coordinated by the Mississippi Tourism Association, with prizes provided by United Airlines, CWTSatoTravel, Memphis and Mississippi Convention and Visitors Bureaus, USAA, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
• $500 cash.
All of the tourism groups involved are really excited to host the couple, said Kristy White, executive director of the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Coopers’ stay in Corinth will culminate with the Grand Illumination beginning at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, when 12,000 luminaries are lit in memory of soldiers who died during the 1862 Battle of Corinth.
Other activities on Saturday that the Coopers and thousands of other visitors to the event can enjoy include open houses at businesses throughout downtown Corinth; a living history presentation at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center; historic walking tours; live entertainment at Trailhead Park; story-telling and poetry at the Corinth Contraband Camp; carriage rides through town; and an evening concert of period music at the Interpretive Center. All of the events are free.
On Sunday, the living history presentation at the Interpretive Center continues, and the National Park Service will offer a three-mile hike of Corinth battlefields.