This year the Art and Books committee of the Rockin’ Railroad Festival is very pleased to announce Dr. Howell Garner, Dr. Jim Brewer, and Latricia M. Nelson-Easley as authors that will be signing their books from 10 a.m. – 12 noon on the day of the festival.
Dr. Garner has been the Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Foundation (MCCF) since his retirement as President of Copiah-Lincoln Community College in June, 2008. He served in various administrative positions at Copiah-Lincoln before becoming President in 1997. Garner holds a bachelors degree from Mississippi State University and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has taught at the doctorate level at both Mississippi State and the University of Southern Mississippi. Garner currently serves as Director of the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy as a part of his responsibilities at MCCF. He will be signing his books entitled Leadership Tested and Leadership Provided.
Dr. James Brewer is sharing Mississippi’s music with thousands each year. Since founding the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, Brewer has produced a book, induction galas, CDs, teacher guides, and music industry seminars, all featuring Mississippi musicians. In 2004 he led the establishment of the Music Heritage Restaurant at the Jackson/Evers International Airport. The restaurant affords over two million weary travelers each year an opportunity to rest, eat, and experience Mississippi music and musicians through live performances, exhibits, and media. Dr. Brewer originated the slogan “Mississippi, birthplace of America’s Music” that appears on highway signs throughout the state. The slogan will be on all new car tags starting in October. Dr. Brewer will be signing his book, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.
Latricia M. Nelson-Easley is the President of the Copiah County Historical and Genealogical Society and an instructor at Holmes Community College. She spent many hours reviewing photograph collections of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the county libraries, and several private collections in order to find the images that are found in her book about Copiah County. She will be signing her book entitled Images of America Copiah County.
A new feature this year will be a cookbook table featuring recipe books for sale by local organizations. This table will be located in the same building as the local authors are.
The ever popular People’s Choice Art Contest will once again be held in the Depot during the Festival. Students from area schools will compete for cash prizes in one of three categories – preschool, elementary, and high school, using artistic themes relating to music and/or railroads. Art work is submitted to the committee, displayed in the Depot, and then voted on by the public during the Rockin’ Railroad Festival. Balloting determines the winning entries, so the public is encouraged to view and vote between 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on the day of the Festival. Support your local artists! Prizes include $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place in each category.