Friday, July 24, 2015

Does Jackson, #Mississippi Deserve Entertainment?

Another opportunity missed in the capital city of the Magnolia State. The state of Mississippi is known for its parks, waterways, and museums. All of that is an awesome opportunity to educate yourself on nature, history, and more. However, what's a state without a little fun now and then? And what's a capital city without family fun events to treat the kids?

For those not familiar with the capital city of Jackson, there really isn't a lot to do when it comes to tourist entertainment. We locals can usually find things to do to occupy our time now and then.  Whether it's eating out or visiting live music venues. But, visitors don't have it as easy. There just isn't enough on the menu to make someone say, "hey, let's spend a weekend in Jackson!"

The citizens have blamed the politicians for this dilemma and normally, I would agree with them. But, not this time. This time the citizens appear to have no one to blame but themselves.

An event called "Slide the City" started advertising on social media towards the beginning of Spring. They were taking advanced sales for admission to the biggest water slide the city has ever seen. It's a huge, mobile water slide that tours cities across the nation and allows people to slide as far as three blocks. What kid wouldn't enjoy a water slide that goes that far? You would think that people would be all over it and that the advanced orders would sell out quickly. Wrong.

Welcome to Jackson, Mississippi.

A place where people complain that there needs to be more to do, but won't support what's already here or wants to come here. SMH. We've seen miniature golf courses, go-kart tracks, bowling alleys, arcades, movie theaters, and more all go the way of the dinosaur over the past couple of decades. Once the newness wore off, people stopped going. Once they stopped going, the places basically ran themselves into the ground.

When I was growing up, we had four or five movie theaters in the city. However, we haven't had one in roughly 20 years and I'm thankful that someone is finally building one that opens next year. I wouldn't be surprised if Jackson was the only capital city in the nation without a movie theater.

I know that the citizens aren't 100% the blame for the lack of things to do. I just get frustrated when there's an opportunity to support something and we choose not to do it. We had a Strikeforce mixed-martial arts event back in 2010 at the Jackson Convention Center. Showtime was there to film the event and there was a huge production behind it. I got my tickets and had a great time watching the fights. But, the enthusiasm and support just wasn't there.  I don't think that Showtime has been back to Jackson since and I'm guessing that they won't ever again.


It's time to stop blaming politicians for everything. Yes, they can do more to help the city's entertainment venues grow, but we need to do our part as well to entice entertainment opportunities to come. Businesses see other businesses pulling out of the city and it deters future businesses from coming.

Besides, to deny a water slide in August in Mississippi is just craziness to me. It's 95+ degrees and you don't want to slide in water for a weekend?  Now the kids who had their parents pre-order their tickets are disappointed.  They have nothing different to discuss when school returns.

I guess it's just another day in the capital city.

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