The City of Tupelo ushered in the new year Tuesday night with a countdown to 2020 and a fireworks display that exploded a myriad of color in all shapes and sizes that could be seen for miles. The city not only welcomed in the beginning of a new year, but embraced the opportunity to kick off the celebration of its 150th birthday.

We applaud the efforts of city leaders and all involved to make the start of this year of celebration a success, deemed so by the community turning out in large numbers to be a part of the special evening at Fairpark. The downtown area was not only filled with Tupeloans, but many from all over Northeast Mississippi, who came to participate in the day and evening activities.

Incorporated in 1870, Tupelo would most likely be unrecognizable to those early settlers. Over the past 150 years, the city has become a commercial, industrial, and cultural hub of north Mississippi. For the 10th time since 2005, the Tupelo region has been recognized for its economic and business activity by Site Selection magazine’s list of most active micropolitan areas for new and expanding industries, ranking fifth in the nation among the 575-micropolitan areas.

Tupelo is also known for service to others. Columnist Leesha Faulkner, curator of the Oren Dunn City Museum, recently wrote, “The Tupelo Spirit is a living, breathing essence inside almost everyone who lives here in the All-America City. From our research here at the Oren Dunn City Museum, we’ve discovered that Tupelo folk have always exhibited the Tupelo Spirit – some more than others – since the city was founded nearly 150 years ago.”

And that Tupelo Spirit will be seen this year even more with your involvement. With such a rich history, including being the birthplace of Elvis, there will be something for everyone. Mayor Jason Shelton’s column in tomorrow’s Daily Journal outlines a special focus for each month of this special year in an effort to “educate, engage and inspire.”

The city has spent countless hours preparing a celebratory year that will be one for the history books. We encourage you to not only be a recipient of this year’s festivities, but be a participant.

Be a part of Tupelo’s story.

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