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HottyToddy Hometown: Brandon, Mississippi

Located in Rankin County in between Pearl and Pelahatchie, the place I call home, Brandon, Mississippi, is a small town with a lot to offer. 21.3 square miles long with a population of around 22,000, it’s proximity to Jackson gives Brandon all the benefits of a large metropolitan area with the comfort of a tight-knit community. The city, which used to be inhabited by Native Americans, was named after Gerald C. Brandon, the first native-born governor of Mississippi.
Citizens of Brandon have more attractions than one might think, as the town is ever growing. New restaurants are added each year, including a Chick-Fil-A that was added in 2012. Brandon is a 10-minute drive from the Dogwood Festival Market Flowood, a large outdoor mall that includes various popular shops and restaurants.
Friends and Company, a local restaurant located downtown, epitomizes the feel of Brandon, MS. A small diner with low lighting and friendly staff, Friends and Company is one of those places you only know about if you grew up in Brandon. The restaurant is hard to find, nestled in an alley in between two other stores. Homemade chicken salad, club sandwhiches, and delicious sweet tea are homemade every day. Friends and Company is a delicacy of Brandon, MS that truly represents Mississippi and southern culture.
The city is also home to the Black Rose Theatre, a local theatre that puts on various plays and musicals throughout the year. Some shows well known, others not, the Black Rose Theatre is a cultural experience every time the curtains unfold.
Brandon High School is a 5A public school that provides excellent education as well as plenty of extracurricular activities for character growth. Students can choose from a variety of electives, from band to ceramics. Sports include football, volleyball, and cross country, and the school’s theatre department travels every year to Hattiesburg for competitions.
Brandon Day, a festival held every year, is highly anticipated by citizens. Rides, food booths, and a concert are always aspects of the weekend. Local vendors set up camp at Shiloh Park, a large area with numerous softball and baseball fields, and brag to friends and family about their merchandise. Kids play in the fields while eating sno cones and cotton candy, and young couples come early to lie on the grass and get ready for the concert, which normally features a country artist.
Brandon will always hold a special place in my heart. Though it is small, the relationships I have formed during my childhood are something that will always stick with me. Residents of Brandon are truly hospitable and caring people, who love their friend’s and neighbor’s children just as much as their own. I was very blessed to grow up in this city, where I had several people looking out for my well-being. It has shaped the person I am today. I am forever thankful that I had the opportunity to live and grow in such community.
Miller Hollingsworth is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and Brandon native. She can be reached at mmhollin@go.olemiss.edu.

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