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Visit Mississippi: Blues, Blueberries and Blue Jeans

Mississippi is known around the world as the birthplace of the blues. Now its creative economy is adding two other shades of blue to its palette:  blue jeans made in Oxford, and blueberries grown locally and exported internationally

1. Blueberriesblueberries

Recently, members of the Miss-Lou Blueberry Co-op, which includes farms from Poplarville, Purvis and Lumberton, exported their berries to India and the United Arab Emirates.

The idea began in January, when Dinesh Shinde, owner of Anusaya Fresh Worldwide in Mumbai, India, visited Miss-Lou co-op farms and decided he wanted blueberries for the first USA Blueberry Blast Celebration in India and Dubai. Anusaya Fresh will distribute the product throughout the two countries. The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, which is a member of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, coordinated the exports. Read the full story on Mississippi blueberries here.

2. Blue Jeans

blue delta image

Mississippi business Blue Delta Jean Co. (BDJ) recently opened a studio in Oxford, the company’s first retail location open to the public. The company, originally based in Tupelo, has a focus on raw denim and uses all domestic materials.  It also allows customers to customize their blues by selecting from a collection of denim, thread and hardware. Their Oxford studio carries custom shirts, hand-sewn leather goods and other unique American and Mississippi made fashion products. Get started designing your own pair of Mississippi blue jeans here.

3. Blues Music

blues crossroads

In May, Mississippi laid to rest B.B. King, the King of the Blues, and the world was reminded of Mississippi’s influence, past and present, on America’s music.

King, born in Berclair and raised in Indianola, went on to produce No. 1 hits, receive GRAMMY awards, tour nationally and internationally, make television appearances, accept hall of fame inductions, and ultimately gain a following that launched his role as a music icon. All the while, he never forgot where he came from, and rarely missed the chance to tell the world about Mississippi.

Markers dedicated to King can be found in Berclair, Kilmichael, Greenwood and Indianola, and he is mentioned in more than 20 markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail. A dedicated to the musician is also located in Indianola, King’s final resting place.

To learn more about King and other Mississippi blues musicians, plan your trip to tour the state’s blues trail, and experience first-hand where America’s music was born.

Whether it’s blueberries, blue jeans or blues music that strike your fancy, you’ll find all three in Mississippi.  Plan your trip  at www.visitmississippi.org.

Story and photos courtesy VisitMississippi.com

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