RIPLEY • A block party was held Saturday to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the newly designed Mississippi Blues Alley located in Ripley.
The event, sponsored by Ripley Main Street, featured food, drinks, and live music from local favorites Tatum Shappley, Andrea Staten, and Grammy-nominated musician Garry Burnside. DJ Lametra Rogan provided music before and between sets.
Burnside and Kinny Kimbrough were on hand to pose with photos of their iconic fathers who depicted in the alleys murals. The murals highlight several Mississippi Hill Country Blues artists. Saturday night's music featured some of those artists' hit songs as well.
The alley, located behind popular downtown shops such as Stella Boutique, Beth’s Bungalow and the Dixie Theatre, showcases Ripley’s rich blues heritage. Besides murals, it features benches, a guitar table, a music ball, rustic doors and eclectic musical artwork.
"The purpose of the Mississippi Hills Blues alley is to shed light on a different historical era other than our usual Colonel Falkner era,” said Main Street Director Behm last year when construction began on the project.
The alley's rustic with its architectural appeal has served as a backdrop for photo shoots used in the Southern Sentinel’s Vibe magazine the last several years. Behm hopes that the alley’s updates will make the area more accessible for photographs and serve as a local mecca for the arts.
“The area is a nice place to have music, take pictures and has an outdoor art gallery feel to it. It is unique to this area of Mississippi!” said Behm.