If spring is festival season in Tupelo, May and June are the pinnacle of the most jubilant time of year in the All-America City. From special events that celebrate one of Northeast Mississippi’s delicacies to showcasing classic cars and celebrating the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Tupelo’s festivals are fabulous in every sense of the word.
Blue Suede Cruise Tupelo celebrates the history of the American automobile with a huge cruise-in featuring over 1,000 classic, antique, and specialty cars during the annual Blue Suede Cruise. The three-day event is held in the west parking lot of the BancorpSouth Arena in Downtown Tupelo. It kicks off Thursday night with a drive-in, classic Elvis movie. Engines rev Friday and Saturday when all of the cars come to town and participants enjoy great food and live music from the 1950s and 1960s. Saturday morning brings the parade of classic cars from the Malco Theatre in the Barnes Crossing District to the BancorpSouth Arena. A highlight this year will be live performances by Ronnie McDowell, both Friday and Saturday nights. The festival concludes Sunday morning following the awards ceremony and giving away of twenty $500 cash prizes. This event is free of charge and is open to the public.
Dudie Burger Festival During the Great Depression, people would add things like flour to their meat in order to make it last longer for their families. Through this, the doughburger was created. Known as Northeast Mississippi’s delicacy, the doughburger has taken on many different forms and names. In Corinth, they refer to it as a slugburger and celebrate it at their own festival each July. In Tupelo, Johnnie’s Drive-In, where Elvis Presley ate as a child, sells the doughburger still today. Truman “Dudie” Christian had his own take on the doughburger and sold it at Dudie’s Diner, a converted streetcar in Tupelo. Now, his famous streetcar sits at the Oren Dunn City Museum and his burgers are celebrated each May during the Dudie Burger Festival. Over 1,000 burgers are sold during the event that also features “doo wop” music and children’s activities.
Gumtree Arts Festival Tupelo’s annual juried arts festival presented by the Gumtree Museum of Art, the festival features around 120 find artists showcasing their works on the courthouse square in Downtown Tupelo. A Mother’s Day tradition, the weekend celebration of all things arts includes a singer/songwriter competition, culinary arts, performing arts, and so much more. The weekend includes a 10K race that weaves its way through some of Tupelo’s oldest neighborhoods, with a fun finish in Fairpark.
Tupelo Elvis Festival Held the first full weekend each June, Tupelo’s festival season culminates with the Tupelo Elvis Festival. A celebration of all things Elvis, the weekend festival includes live music in Fairpark, an Elvis Tribute Artist competition at the BancorpSouth Arena, Running with the King 5K, Elvis Look-A-Like Pet Parade, and so much more. People
from all over the world travel to Tupelo to participate in the festival that pays homage to the city’s favorite native son. This family-friendly weekend has something for even the youngest fans to enjoy.
With a ton of fabulous festivals to enjoy during the months of May and June, there is no excuse not to get out and explore all that Tupelo has to offer.
Blue Suede Cruise May 4-7, 2017 www.bluesc.com
Dudie Burger Festival May 6, 2017 www.facebook.com/dude-burger-festival