Thursday, April 22, 2010

Washington County Welcome Center

The Washington County Welcome Center recently received a major facelift. But not only is the exterior more aesthetically pleasing, the interior now offers a comprehensive look at life in the Mississippi Delta with the Museum of Attractions and Tours, which officially opened today on the second level of the Welcome Center. Activities are planned all day to celebrate the grand opening. The new museum offers a great starting point for any visitor’s journey through the Mississippi Delta.

Exhibits tell the story of the Mississippi Delta with unique artifacts and memorabilia. One of Mississippi Slim’s colorful stage costumes adorns the exhibit area highlighting the Delta as the birthplace of blues music. (The man himself will entertain visitors this evening at a special edition of Business After Hours hosted at the Welcome Center.) Kermit the Frog welcomes guests with a smile and a wave reminding visitors that the Delta is home to creative geniuses like Muppets’ creator Jim Henson.

Other items like cotton bales, plows and other farm equipment recall the region’s glory as one of the state’s most active agricultural centers and tout the emergence of agritourism in the area. A myriad of photographs from yesteryear offer a glimpse into the Delta’s past and reminds visitors how the region has grown.

The Welcome Center facility is just as interesting as the museum itself. The building is a replica of a nineteenth century steamboat originally built for the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. The replica was taken apart and brought back to Greenville to serve as a tourist center in 1985. It now sits in 18 inches of water for an authentic look.

All aboard at the Washington County Welcome Center for a voyage through Mississippi Delta history!