RIPLEY • The Ripley Main Street Association held its annual awards social on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Thirteen people received awards, and a memorial award was added to the list this year. The night was filled with music, food, mingling and as always, everyone had a great time.

“This is really an exciting event because we get to celebrate the members of Ripley Main Street who help make our downtown so beautiful” said Main Street Director Elizabeth Behm.  “If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to complete any projects or hold any festivals. We are extremely grateful.”

“Mardi Gras” was the theme, which is why the event was held on Fat Tuesday. Tatum Shappley entertained while locals and small business owners enjoyed socializing and networking.

Leslie Caviness said, “The annual Main Street awards event proves that the City of Ripley is thriving. This night is always filled with fun and reminds us why we love our hometown so much. Everything was perfect from the decorations to the food and music.”

John David Brown with Ripley Sport Grill prepared a true Cajun spread including crawfish dip, muffuletta pasta salad, catfish po’boys, boudin bites and Cajun wontons. Brown prepares everything he makes from scratch and uses his own recipes. You can enjoy John David’s culinary talents at Ripley Sports Grill Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5-10 pm.

The awards social is designed to recognize talents and efforts of Ripley’s community. Patti Duncan has dedicated many hours to Main Street from helping with events and design projects to day-to-day chores at the office. The board of directors was thrilled to honor her with Volunteer of the Year.

The Annual Awards were presented to the following people or groups:

Philanthropy Award- Gerald Crabb

Leadership Award- Joyce Graddy

Civic Award- Tippah County Animal Rescue

Community Service Award- Civitan

Downtown Investment Award- JC Media

Downtown Improvement Award- Sean Akins

Historic Preservation Award- Kelly Bullock

Spirit of Ripley- Sandra Love

Downtown Window Display- Moxie Hair Salon

Innovation Award- Rip Jax

Cornerstone Award- Biscuit’s Steakhouse

Community Investment Award- Coombs Gas

Ripley Main Street Memorial- Alex Rayburn

“It means so much to us that in our son’s short life of 20 years he had such a positive impact and was so well thought of,” said Alex Rayburn’s family (Scott, Tonie, Elissa, Jayden Rayburn and Mikayla and Trenton Myers). We received this with heavy hearts because of the loss of our son and because he is so missed, but also with much joy and heartfelt gratitude that he was and is so loved by this community. Thank you to this community for all your prayers and all you have done for our family. Your loving gestures have brought joy in the midst of our deep sorrow.”

If you would like to become a member of Ripley Main Street, you can do so by visiting their website at or by going by the office located at 111 East Spring Street.

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