Photo: 2015 Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival courtesy of Keenon Walker Photography

Celebrate Tourism Week: 10 Ways to Rediscover your Town!

Happy National Travel and Tourism Week! I’m celebrating by writing my very first blog entry! It has been on my to-do list to start a blog, but fear and procrastination kept getting in the way. In the world of social media, I have hidden behind content from others, sharing event planning tips or great facts about my hometown and state from other sources, never feeling like my own content would quite measure up. It is time to stop hiding and to emerge with some original content of my own.

I feel very lucky to be running an event planning business in a town like Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I was quoted in ConventionSouth Magazine recently as saying this about my hometown: “I may be biased, but our town is busting at the seams with talent! We have amazing musicians, artists, chefs and brewers, and I can pretty much find all that I need for an event right here in this town.” To celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, this inaugural blog post of Emerge Events is dedicated to discovering and rediscovering hometowns, encouraging us all to become tourists in our own cities, and celebrating local, whatever that means to you.

“Local” has become a new buzzword. “Shop local”, “Think local”, and “Eat local” are just a few of the many slogans out there. It seems as the world gets more connected and as we become more global, the more we appreciate “local”. When we travel, we not only want to see the tourist attractions, many of us also want to eat local food, drink local beer, and visit the local hang outs. But what about your own town is left to discover or rediscover?


  1. Learn the history of your town. Visit your local historical society, libraries, and historical sites. Listen to stories from older residents and look at old photos.
  1. Walk through neighborhoods and business districts that you normally drive through.
  1. Write down the name of every restaurant in your town that you have not been to. The next time you go out to eat choose from that list.
  1. Play host! Invite friends or family to town and show them around.
  1. Visit your tourism, city, or chamber of commerce websites. Make a list of attractions, places to visit, or interesting businesses you haven’t been to and check off as you visit.
  1. Attend an event that you either normally would not attend or just have never had the opportunity to attend, such as a late-night live music event, an orchestra performance, a play, a baseball game, a local street fair or festival, or sports, arts, or other events at the local high schools or colleges.
  1. Drive your town. Take a Sunday drive visiting unfamiliar neighborhoods, the countryside and outskirts, downtown, and even the new developments.
  1. Bring locally made art, books, and other locally made products into your home and workplace. Keep some on hand to give as gifts for guests who visit.
  1. Listen to a radio station that plays local music.
  1. Visit your local visitor’s center for any ideas you may have missed.

How will you #RediscoverYourTown?

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