The Mississippi Delta was the destination for a group of Peoples Bank Platinum Club members and friends on September 3.The day trip attracted 32 travelers who wanted to see the sights in Greenwood and Indianola and all along the way. With fall approaching, those sights included “King Cotton” blooming and opening and soy beans maturing in vast flat fields stretching along the highway.
Arriving in Greenwood, the group was met by a representative of the Alluvian Hotel, who conducted a short tour of the boutique establishment. Renovated from an older hotel, the Alluvian plays host to locals and many out-of-town guests, especially business people involved with the Viking Range Corporation.
Then it was back on the motor coach for a driving tour of the many local sites used in the filming of The Help. Though Jackson in the 1960s was the actual setting for Katherine Stockett’s novel, Greenwood was the primary location for the filming because more of its architecture retains the flavor of the ‘60s.
Greenwood’s tourism director, who narrated the driving tour, was an extra in the film and was able to bring a personal touch to her narration of the filming. She said that the film’s cast, which included Sissy Spacek, Emma Stone, Cicely Tyson and Viola Davis, loved being in Greenville because of the small town atmosphere that allowed them their privacy. “We don’t have the paparazzi here. They got to do regular people things,” she said. “You’d look up at Walmart and there was a movie star.”
After the tour, lunch was served at the Viking Cooking School. As the group was enjoying the meal, the chef prepared it again, demonstrating the steps and equipment required to produce each dish.
To walk off the calories, tour leader Lance Clay of Trek Travel suggested a bit of shopping on Howard Street, where the visitors could select Mississippi-made items from the Mississippi Gift Company and kitchen items from the Viking Retail Store.
From Greenwood, the group took Highway 82 into Indianola to visit the new B. B. King Blues Museum and Cultural Center. The museum is built into an old cotton gin and warehouse where King worked as a young man. Exhibits include items from the famous bluesman’s life, but visitors are also treated to films, music and displays that recreate the era and atmosphere in which King lived and developed his music.
Oliver and Donna McLean of Magee, Peoples Bank Platinum Club directors, accompanied the group.
On October 9 club members will depart for Dublin, Ireland, on a ten-day tour of Ireland. After Dublin, featured stops will include Kilkenny, Waterford, Galway, Blarney (where the most agile tourists are invited to “kiss the Blarney Stone”), the Ring of Kerry, Killarney, Limerick, Tullamore, Kingscourt and the Cliffs of Moher.
The final Platinum trip for the year is a three-day, two-night visit to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., to experience the Christmas atmosphere of the hotel and enjoy the Grand Ole Opry and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world famous Rockettes. Club members and friends depart on Nov. 29 and return Dec. 1.