Category Archives: Recreation

New Phase of Lowndes County Horse Park Has Begun

New Phase of Lowndes County Horse Park Has Begun

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders

“I got to thinking about how children in high school don’t enter these anymore, which is why we’re building (the park),” Lowndes County BOS President Harry Sanders recently remarked.  “Maybe we can get kids interested again in things we used to do when we were kids.”

He was speaking of the Lowndes County Horse Park which is situated on a 22-acre site west of Columbus, just off of Hwy 82 on Tom Rose Road. Sanders hopes it will become the perfect venue in Lowndes County to hold horse shows, livestock shows, county fairs, and other outdoor and agricultural activities. The site currently Lowndes County Extension Service office on 485 Tom Rose Road. Extension Agent Reid Nevins said the location has helped the department grow significantly within the past year:  “(The building) has been a godsend,” Nevins said. “Since we moved in during April of last year, we have had over 5,000 people walk through those doors. … That’s not phone calls, that’s coming in the door and interacting and asking questions and participating.”

The next phase is the horse park — a planned 45,000 square-foot open-air arena, which is projected to be completed in 2019.  Construction is set to begin before October of this year.

At least at the beginning, “[this] will mainly be used for rodeo show horses … the EMCC rodeo team doesn’t have a place to host rodeos,” said Sanders. “They’ve agreed to host their rodeos at our arena. That’s going to draw in a lot of tourist dollars. … It’s going to get used.”

“The sky’s the limit, let’s just put it that way,” Nevins said.

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Starkville Looking to Beat the Heat with First Annual Lemonade Day

Starkville Looking to Beat the Heat with First Annual Lemonade Day

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Starkville will be taking part in its first annual Lemonade Day – an extension of National Lemonade Day – in conjunction with a bunch of young entrepreneurs and Cadence Bank. The purpose of the vent is to help parents and their enterprising children learn more about running a business – both the good (profits) and the not so good (dealing with loans and permits). Signup is at 9AM sharp at the Glo office at 419 419 East Lampkin Street in Starkville.

Cadence Bank will be offering small loans to the participants to help them get started, and the organizers are set up to accept a hundred or so applicants: “Loosely, we’re thinking it will be for ages K-7th grade, but we’re not going to limit that if an older kid wants to participate,” said Jeffrey Rupp, Director of Outreach for the Mississippi State Entrepreneurship Center. “This is fun.” MSU and seventeen businesses have agreed to let the nascent shopkeepers set up on their sites.

Registrants will also receive a backpack with an entrepreneur workbook and access to an online interactive program that teaches them the lessons that Lemonade Day was designed to impart.

To learn more or to register for Lemonade Day Starkville, visit: https://lemonadeday.org/starkville

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Master Plan Has Been Approved for Starkville Athletic Complex

Master Plan Has Been Approved for Starkville Athletic Complex

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Starkville aldermen recently approved a contract with Dalhoff Thomas, a Memphis architecture firm. They are to be awarded $61,000  for a master plan of a proposed athletic complex at Cornerstone Park off Highway 25. Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker reports that this will become integrated with the master plan the city already has for its overall parks system. “This is for design purposes to get you to a master plan level,” he said. It is to be a basic, non-final plan/proposal for a possible athletic facility at Cornerstone Park, allowing the city to move ahead on getting the actual project in motion, pending approval.

Walker continued, “This is going to be the plan for us to decide how we want to do it, what we want to do and from that standpoint, there would be a separate contract that would go to construction documents to actually get the project built.” It will likely include things such as a projected square footage, drainage and other infrastructure requirements, et al.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill (courtesy photo)

Mayor Lynn Spruill said that the city might be eligible to receive roughly 114 acres in Cornerstone Park from the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority. “That gives us a whole lot of options we can use because we keep McKee, we keep the Sportsplex, and we have a real serious competitive opportunity we can use here,” she said. She also pointed out that success in this venture would eliminate the need to acquire similar land nearer the existing facilities: “Unless Cornerstone has … a huge wetland issue for mitigation, then the amount of acreage we were looking at (near the Sportsplex) was half of what we’d get at Cornerstone,” she said.

“We want to do high-end ball fields,” Spruill went on to say. “We want to be as competitive or more competitive than anyone out there. We want to do amenities to go with it — maybe a splash pad or a batting area. A jogging track — it’s very easy to put something around a facility to allow other facilities.”

Ward 5 Alderman Patrick Miller commented: “When the Outlaw Center at the Sportsplex fills up or there’s an event going on, I’d like to make sure that our youth or whoever it might have the opportunity to play basketball in other parts of the city as well and have good, nice facilities just like everywhere else in the city.”

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Caledonia’s Market on Main a Success

Caledonia’s Market on Main a Success

CALEDONIA – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Amanda Boltwood (courtesy photo)

Caledonia has joined the Golden Triangle’s habit of hosting Farmer’s Markets this time of year, and they have been met with rapid success. Their first outing (on May 4) featured eight vendors of all kinds, and this number promptly doubled for the second one. Market on Main in downtown Caledonia is open on designated Fridays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The idea originated with Amanda Boltwood, who also chairs the annual fall Caledonia Days festival. “I just really love being involved in the town,” Boltwood said. “I thought this would be a great way to get everyone out on Main Street and bring the community together for the summer.”

Alderwoman Tammy McCool remarked, “It invites people into our town; they’ll visit our restaurants and our businesses here. It’s just another way to showcase Caledonia.”

Vendor Callie Shelnut remarked, “I was just amazed, for such a small town, the number of people who came out — but then, this town pulls together so well.”

Market on Main dates in downtown Caledonia are Fridays June 1 and 22, and July 13 and 27, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. If interest warrants, more dates may be added in August.

For more information, interested vendors may contact Boltwood at 662-251-2875 or visit facebook.com/marketonmaincaledonia. There is no fee to participate.

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Starkville Coffehouse to Add Midtown Location

Starkville Coffehouse to Add Midtown Location

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

Starkville’s Midtown is a mixed-use development that will feature Orangetheory Fitness, 66 apartments and other businesses to be announced at a later date. (courtesy photo)

Strange Brew Coffeehouse owner Katelyn Reed recently announced the nascent opening of their second Starkville location; their intent is to open before September 1st. Their existing store, which has a drive-thru, is “busting at the seams,” Reed said. “So we are really excited to have some more space, and to now be walking distance from campus.” The new location will be in the Midtown development on University Drive, and is meant to be be “more of a ‘come sit a while’ feel,” Reed went on to say. Both locations will share the exiting menu, as well as new products that will soon be on offer.

A second Instagram and Twitter account was made for the Midtown location, and it can be found at @SBCoho for more updates

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Weekend Sports Tournaments Expected to Draw Large Crowds

Weekend Soccer & Tennis Tourneys Expected to Draw Large Crowds

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Nancy Carpenter reports that “Every hotel room is sold out in Columbus,” in anticipation of this weekend’s soccer and tennis tournaments. Over five thousand vistitors are expected to come to town for the soccer tourney alone. The Admiral Cup Soccer Tournament will begin Saturday at 8 AM, and will continue throughout the weekend on fields at Columbus High School, Joe Cook Elementary and the Lowndes County Soccer Complex.

Greg Lewis, CRA Director

“Any time that we can bring that many people into our city that have to spend the night, stay in our hotels, they have to purchase our food, they have to buy our gas, that’s a tremendous plus for the city of Columbus,” said Greg Lewis, director of the Columbus Recreation Authority. “And that’s really one of the reasons that we bid on the tournament, to make sure that we get people to come into our town.”

About 450 players are expected for the weekend’s Mississippi Over 65 USTA League Championship tennis tournament at the Magnolia Tennis Club; anywhere from another 1~2,000 visitors are expected to come in tow or just to watch.

Both of these events are packing GTR hotels to their limits, and this also means more business at gas stations, grocery stores, local restaurants, and more! And THAT’S Good for Business!

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Monthly Sunday Funday in Starkville to See Improvements Soon

SV ‘parthenon’ building – courtesy photo

A number of changes are incoming regarding Starkville’s “Sunday Funday,” which is a monthly local festival that includes food and art vendors, musicians, and more. The incoming Board of Directors, made up of chair Joe MacGown, co-chair Blair Edwards, Rosa Dalomba, Caleb Hutson and Bonnie Brumley, have stated that they wish to make the Board and the event itself more organized.
Among other things, the location has changed: the Funday will now be held on University Drive next to City Bagel Cafe and the Parthenon-style building, according to MacGown. “We think this is going to be a great area for us,” he said. “They are building the new Midtown Development and we are going to be in that Midtown area. We think it will be a great connection between downtown, MSU, and the Cotton District.”
He went on to state that they are currently looking for sponsorships that will allow the musicians and art vendors to have free sales booths this year; groups selling food will still need to pay a fee. Sunday Funday will begin May 27, and will continue on every fourth Sunday of each month until October, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.
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Bring Your Kids, Bring Your Cameras, and Come on Out to the XMAS Tree Lighting and Caroling Downtown!

Bring Your Kids and Come on Out to the XMAS Tree Lighting Downtown!

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Tonight is the annual lighting of the biggest and best Christmas tree around, says Main Street Columbus Executive Director Barbara Bigelow: “Everyone is invited to gather from 5:30-7 p.m. at the east end of the Tombigbee pedestrian bridge where the city will have one of the beautiful magnolia trees decorated.”

Kylee Price, then 3, is held up by her father Eliot Price during the 2015 Christmas tree lighting at the Riverwalk. This year’s official lighting festivities are Monday from 5:30-7 p.m. Photo Courtesy of The Dispatch

Fourth graders from Cook Elementary will be singing carols starting at 5:30PM, and Mayor Robert Smith will light the tree at about 6:15 p.m. Kids will be able to make craft items to take home, and everyone will have hot chocolate and cookies; representatives will also be accepting new, unwrapped toys for children aged 3 to 12 for the community toy drive.

Santa & Miz Claus will be on hand, along with a professional shutterbug to help preserve memories of the night’s festivities. Local event sponsors include Rex’s Rentals; Colin Krieger, RE/MAX Partners, Starkville-Columbus; DMayfield Photography; Visit Columbus; McAlister’s; and Coffeehouse on 5th.

“We hope everyone will bring their friends and families and enjoy this free community event,” said Bigelow. “This beautiful evening will give all kids, young and old, a wonderful, joyous time together — a night of family fun.”

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Starkville’s Newest (And Only) Vinyl Record Store to Open This Week

Starkville’s Newest (And Only) Vinyl Record Store to Open This Week

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

Scooter’s Records on University Drive in Starkville (photo courtesy of SDN – Ryan Philips)

Independent vinyl record shop, Scooter’s Records, moved into a former tanning salon’s location on University Drive this October; its owner, Scott Thomas, has been working hard since then to make his dream a reality: “I wanted to be where there’s walking traffic,” Thomas said. “If I had to be in a strip mall or on Highway 12, I didn’t think that was going to work out for me or I would be happy. I wanted to be in the middle of the students.” Plans are to formally open this Wednesday, making it Starkville’s only dedicated record store; he hopes to hold a formal Grand Opening sometime after Thanksgiving. At first, he will be open from 11AMto 8PM, seven days a week, though his hours may change based on how much business he gets, church crowds on Sundays, etc.

 

Thomas is excited about the prospect of filling this increasingly popular niche, and he is eagerly looking forward to future endeavors: “Eventually, I would like to get coffee into my place and push the hours back, open up earlier so people could come in and do coffee,” Thomas said. “ I want to have, when the weather is nice, set up a tent out front and still do these pop-up things.”

Thomas used to work for the City of Starkville; after 28 years of service, he retired and decided to dedicate his time to starting his own business. While he first became interested back in the early 90’s, he noted that “…records were going away,” Thomas said. “Records are going back in style and all of the college towns around here have record stores.”

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New Terry Brown Amphitheater Phase 1 Done, Usable for Free Events. Phase 2 Next Up

New Terry Brown Amphitheater Phase 1 Done, Usable for Free Events. Phase 2 Next Up

Columbus, MS – The Dispatch

The Terry Brown Amphitheater (Phase I) on the Westbank of the river

The new Terry Brown Amphitheater, located on the west bank of the river, as part of the Columbus Riverwalk, has completed Phase 1 of its construction, and they’re ready for Phase 2 to begin as soon as funding can be raised. The work thus far has cost about $3 million, and another $2.5 million or so is being called for in order to finish everything up.

City Engineer Kevin Stafford said that going over the usual list of making sure every little thing works properly is all that needs to be done before formally turning over the keys to the City itself: “We’ll be testing all the systems next week to make sure everything’s ready to go,” Stafford said. “What you have is basically the same thing as across the river (an existing outdoor stage under the Old Highway 82 bridge with grass seating). It’s just bigger, less likely to flood and is fully ADA accessible.”

Once these tests and inspections are all done, the amphitheater facility will be usable for free events; once everything else is done (such as fencing, ticketing, permanent restrooms, etc), it will be usable for private and paid events, as well. Stafford says that, once funding is secured, “I would estimate it would take about nine months, start to finish.” All of the physical infrastructure and groundwork is in place already.

“It’s a great facility,” said Barbara Bigelow, director of Main Street Columbus. “At this point, I haven’t discussed how we might use it. Sounds of Summer could certainly be held there, but people love where it is now, so I’m not sure my board would want to move. But I do think there is a lot of potential for the new facility. It’s another attraction for our downtown and we’re excited to see what happens there.”

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