BY KRISTEN ALLEN

With the arrival of warmer temperatures, Mississippi takes celebrations outdoors and to the next level with a slieu of summer festivals that celebrate great music, regional food, Southern culture and most often, a combination of the three.  Add these five Mississippi festivals to your calendar to ensure you can feast and fest all summer long.

JIMMIE RODGERS MUSIC FESTIVAL

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Get down and pay homage to the Father of Country Music at the annual Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival. Now in its 64th year, the festival draws top country music talent to Meridian for two days of memorable performances and events including a top-notch talent competition. This year’s acts include Wynonna Judd, Chris Knight, Lydia Loveless, Cowboy Mouth and Grammy nominee, Brandy Clark among others. The Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival is May 5-6 on the Meridian City Hall Green.

For tickets and more information, visit jimmierodgersmusicfestival.com.

PEPSI POPS

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Beat the heat with an ice-cold Pepsi and symphonic sounds at Ridgeland’s 34th annual Pepsi Pops, an event fit for the whole family.  Park your picnic blanket on the lawn of Old Trace Park on the Reservoir while the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra plays patriotic favorites.  Picnics are welcome but if packing a basket is not your style, The Manship will be on-site with a delicious summer spread. Youngsters will love the Pepsi Playground and grand fireworks display after the symphony performance.  Pepsi Pops is Friday, May 12th.

POUR MISSISSIPPI BEER & MUSIC FESTIVAL

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Because good times are a guarantee in the Delta, head to Cleveland for the third Annual Pour Mississippi Beer and Music festival, a celebration of Southern beer and its devoted drinkers. Founded in 2015 by Keep Cleveland Boring, this all-day event features over 30 breweries, food trucks and live music performances, proving Cleveland is anything but boring. Was there ever any doubt? The 2017 festival will take place Saturday, May 13th at Otherfest grounds, just north of Cleveland on Highway 61.

For information and tickets, visit keepclevelandboring.com.

                                                   HATTIESBURG CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL

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Craft beer enthusiasts will flock to Hattiesburg in June for the fifth Annual Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival. Held during FestivalSouth, a multi-week, multi-genre arts festival, this craft beer event makes a point to showcase the art and artists behind craft beer, and this year will commemorate Mississippi’s bicentennial. Over 100 craft beers from 30 breweries will be on-site for sampling. The festival is scheduled for the evening of Saturday, June 10th.

For information and tickets, visit hattiesburgcraftbeerfest.com.

SLUGBURGER FESTIVAL

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Head north to Corinth in July where the only thing hotter than the summer heat will be the hundreds of slugburgers coming off the grill. The Annual Slugburger Festival is a tribute to North Mississippi’s version of a hamburger, distinguished by its patty composed of beef or pork and an extender such as soybeans. Between slugburgers take in live music and the World Slugburger Eating Championship. The 30th Annual Slugburger Festival is scheduled for July 13-15.

For information and tickets, visit slugburgerfestival.com.