Oxford, Mississippi: Small Town, Big Appeal
Words by Paige Townley
Oxford, Mississippi, is known for many things, particularly its thriving culinary scene and rich history for artists, writers, and musicians. As such, it’s no surprise the city is often touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South.” There is perhaps no better time to visit this charming, cultural mecca than the springtime, when the city is in full bloom and the outdoors are calling.
A highlight of Oxford in the spring is the annual Double Decker Arts Festival, a two-day celebration for the very things in which the city is known: food, music, and the arts.
The festival was originally inspired by the Double Decker bus that the town imported from England back in the early 1990s. The event, celebrating its 25th year in 2022, started out small: with a flatbed truck serving as the musical stage and only a handful of local art and food vendors in attendance. To be held April 22 and 23, this year’s event will fill the Oxford Courthouse Square with more than 150 booths featuring a variety of arts and crafts from artisans across the country, 20-plus food vendors, and shopping opportunities of all types. The Double Decker Arts Festival, which is free to the public, also boasts an incredible musical line up: The Revivalists, Brett Young, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Mavis Staples, Samantha Fish, Maggie Rose, Buffalo Nichols, 49 Winchester, The Wilkins Sisters, and Happy Landing.
In addition to its incredible offerings for food, music, and the arts, Oxford is also known for its athletics. As home to the University of Mississippi, the town has been recognized as America’s Best College Town by ESPNand is the epicenter of all things sports in the spring. Ole Miss is abuzz with basketball throughout the spring with both the Men and Lady Rebels continuing Southeastern Conference (SEC) play through March. Ole Miss baseball and Lady Rebels softball both open up SEC play in March, and football is even celebrated on April 23 with the Grove Bowl Spring Game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Oxford also offers plenty of opportunities to explore all of the nature it has to offer with the South Campus Rail Trail, which provides a clearly-marked path through a canopy of trees in an old railroad bed, and the Bailey Woods Trail, which provides just as beautiful of a trail but is a little shorter of a hike at one-mile. The Bailey Woods Trail actually connects the University of Mississippi Museum with the grounds of Rowan Oak, which was home of the renowned Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner.
With so much to see, do, taste, and hear in this small Mississippi town in the spring, one thing is quite clear: there’s no place like Oxford for a well-rounded experience.
For more information and to plan your next trip to Oxford, visit VisitOxfordMS.com.