Memorial Day Weekend in Oxford a busy time

Published 8:51 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

Courtesy of YAC

While a long summer weekend can be a reason for people to start the vacation season there are a variety of activities this Memorial Day weekend in Oxford.

The events cover a range of interests from sports, live music, literature, and culinary events.

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Leaning into the idea of a long weekend is Wonderbird Spirits in Taylor hosting a special event on Thursday on the lawn and inside the distillery. Wonderbird welcomes the founder of the James Beard Award-winning New Orleans bar, Cure, to Wonderbird Spirits Distillery.

In conversation with Oxford’s own John Currence, Neal Bodenheimer will discuss and sign his book, “Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em.” Together with Square Books, attendees are invited to pick up their own signed copy while enjoying cocktails by the Cure team, food by Homeplace Pastures, music by The End of All Music & more.

Square Books, will also be hosting a literary evening welcoming author Pete Candler for his new book, “A Deeper South: The Beauty, Mystery, and Sorrow of the Southern Road.” Candler will be in conversation with friend and local author John T. Edge for this event at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, at Off Square Books.

Candler offers a travel narrative drawn from 25 years of road-tripping through the backroads of the American South.  Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Pete Candler is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Bitter Southerner, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Memorial Day weekend is the 50th anniversary of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. The annual event features performers from around the world competing in contests and performing a special event.  Music lovers can watch the contest or join the festival for evening performances.

The performances include a performance by Grammy Nominated Judy Carmichael one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride piano and swing on Thursday. Count Basie nicknamed her “Stride,” acknowledging the command with which she plays this technically and physically demanding jazz piano style. Judy has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion, NPR’s Morning Edition, Entertainment Tonight, CBS’ Sunday Morning.

Friday Night offers a chance to see all the contestants in the Tune-Up Party as they show out in preparation for Saturday’s finals. Saturday features a sing-along of classic American Tunes while Sunday offers a Red, White, and Blue Finale.

To see a complete schedule visit

Friday and Saturday also feature the Grand Fundo a bike ride and party through the Hills Country of Lafayette County. The event draws over 200 riders of varying skills with courses ranging in distance from 20 miles to 70 miles. The event culminates in a community Tail Gate Party that is open to riders and the public. Unlike a bike race, this event is a chance for bike enthusiasts to ride and explore communities. The rides feature stops and experiences for the riders from Pop Up Photo booths, cheerleaders, and homemade cookies.

Learn more at

The members of the local Veterans of Foreign War, American Legion, Marine Corps. League and Disabled American Veterans invite the community to its annual Memorial Day Ceremony from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Veterans Park on Veterans Drive.

The event honors veterans and first responders and will feature speakers and a cookout.