The cities comprising the Inland Mississippi region impress attendees with everything from great food and music to unique off-site venues for receptions, sit-down meals and more.

From the state capital of Jackson to Vicksburg, home of action-packed casinos, as well as the university towns of Oxford and Meridian, the interior of the Magnolia State provides a wealth of intriguing options for meetings and events.

Following is a roundup of six venues that provide a good representation of what the region offers, including a world-class museum in Jackson, a chic rustic barn in Hattiesburg and a downtown pavilion in Greenwood.

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson

The Mississippi Museum of Art, located downtown and conveniently situated next to the Jackson Convention Complex, offers various spaces for groups of five to 5,000 people.

“The space was thoughtfully designed to host a variety of events—from festivals in our 1.2-acre Art Garden to lavish galas held in the museum’s Trustmark Grand Hall,” said Shelley Yates, director of museum events and venue sales.

She added that groups can arrange to have the galleries open during an event, allowing attendees the opportunity to browse the museum’s impressive exhibits.

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson

Exterior spaces, all professionally landscaped and maintained throughout the year, include the Garden Gallery, the museum’s newest outdoor space with a pedestrian pathway that connects the Westin Jackson to the museum’s gardens and main entrance.

Among the interior spaces are the Trustmark Grand Hall and Selby and Richard McRae Foyer, which when used together allow for a flexible reception and meeting space complete with audiovisual capabilities, and the BancorpSouth and Entergy Classrooms, which according to Yates are well suited for hands-on art experiences and corporate teambuilding.  

“Our team of art educators will assist you with creating the perfect creative activity for your event,” she said. “We offer customizable experiences that include art-making, private tours, movie screenings, games, cooking classes, and dance and movement activities.”

The Barn at Bridlewood, Hattiesburg

The Barn at Bridlewood, constructed from an old timber-frame barn that was originally built in 1851 in Cooperstown, N.Y., was restored and re-erected in Hattiesburg.

Barn at Bridlewood, Hattiesburg
Barn at Bridlewood, Hattiesburg

“Our space has lots of charm and character,” said owner Tori Banks.

Small and large groups can rent Bridlewood for any type of event, from luncheons to corporate galas. There is a full on-site kitchen for caterers to use and a stage for a band, DJ or presentation.

“We have a beautiful covered outdoor pavilion area that is great for cocktail hours, overflow seating, or it can be used as a lounge area,” Banks added.  

The Venue, Meridian

Situated in historic downtown Meridian nearby the Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Experience, The Venue is located in the recently renovated Knights of Pythias Castle Hall, a circa-1907 Neoclassical Revival-style building.

According to lead coordinator Elic Purvis, The Venue books many different events, from holiday parties to business presentations, in its various rooms that accommodate 15 to 250 people. Additionally, The Venue works closely with local catering companies and third-party vendors when needed.

“With a chic, airy atmosphere, 16-foot-high windows in most rooms and views of the hustle-and-bustle of the heart of downtown, The Venue’s style makes any added decoration unnecessary,” he added. “Our Refectory boasts a subtle elegance without being too bold—it functions easily as the main draw of the space.”

For smaller engagements, the parlor works perfectly for hosting cocktail and mixing events for up to 35 people, and the lounge accommodates up to 100 in a private setting.

Rail Spike Park Pavilion, Greenwood

Located along the old C&G Railroad line is downtown Greenwood’s newest attraction, Rail Spike Park.

This linear park travels two miles and features a new farmers market pavilion at the intersection of Main Street that could also be used as a covered outdoor event space for groups of up to 150 people.

“The Rail Spike Park Pavilion would be a great spot for an outdoor cocktail mixer, music event or meal,” said Danielle Morgan, executive director for the Greenwood CVB. “The pavilion is simple and reflects the agrarian nature of the Mississippi Delta.”

She added that catering is available through several independent vendors. Interested groups can contact the Greenwood CVB to arrange a walking tour of its historic downtown from the park.

The Event Suite, Vicksburg  

Vicksburg’s newest off-site venue, the two-story Event Suite, includes indoor and outdoor spaces for group gatherings in historic downtown.

“We are capable of holding corporate events such as parties, workshops, seminars, receptions and more,” said DJ Hill, the venue’s founder and event specialist.

“We will be equipped with projector screens as well, for presentations.”

The venue’s ground floor accommodates up to 250 people, and the second floor is a walkable roof that provides additional space.  

“The first floor has a fountain and flowerbed in the center of the room,” Hill said. “The roof is open above the fountain, and when it rains it turns into a waterfall.”  

The second floor, she added, overlooks the fountain, and there is also a deck off the back of the building as well as a full kitchen for catering.    

Old Armory Pavilion, Oxford

Old Armory Pavilion, the site of the former National Guard Armory, is comprised of a large open-air pavilion with a peaked roof.

Old Armory Pavilion, Oxford
Old Armory Pavilion, Oxford

“Managed by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council [YAC], the Old Armory Pavilion provides space for a wide range of annual and special events,” said Wayne Andrews, director of YAC. “The large covered area with a rolling garage door provides a space that accommodates a large stage, or dinner tables and seating for 300.”

The Arts Council, he added, works with organizations to create experiences that capture the food and culture of the community. 

Inland Mississippi CVB Contact Information

Greenwood CVB
662.453.9197

Visit Hattiesburg
601.296.7475

Visit Jackson
601.960.1891

Visit Meridian  
601.482.8001

Visit Oxford  
662.232.2477

Visit Vicksburg
601.636.9421

Click over to page 2 for a Planner's Perspective on Inland Mississippi and the latest hotel and venue openings.