By Charlotte Buchanan • Photography by Ashley Gatian
Laura Beth Strickland is a native of Vicksburg and is Executive Director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. Even in these trying times when the Covid 19 virus has brought much of the country’s festivals and conventions to a temporary halt, Laura Beth is hard at work planning for future events.”We are continuing to grow Vicksburg tourism very seriously. There has been a great foundation laid and I will do all I can to take it to a higher level,” says Strickland.
Vicksburg is a top tourist attraction, attracting people from all over the United States as well as overseas. It is located on a high bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi River right across from Louisiana. Vicksburg was first settled by French columnists in 1719. Through the years, visitors have kept coming back for events like the Miss Mississippi Pageant and places like the old Warren County Courthouse, now a museum.
Strickland has been involved with the chamber since 2009 after she completed her double major in English and Journalism at the University of Mississippi. She was named Executive Director in 2019. While she was in college, she interned at the Vicksburg Post. She is optimistic about the future for tourism in her city. “We are working everyday with our partners to make sure Vicksburg is ready to welcome visitors when officials say it is safe to travel again. Vicksburg has so much to offer with great restaurants, museums, a bustling downtown, and the famous Vicksburg National Military Park. We are looking forward to showing off our beautiful town again,” she says.
There are events still on the calendar this year “We have many wonderful events scheduled and are awaiting recommendations by our government officials and medical experts. In the meantime, I encourage people to go to our website, visitVicksburg,com/events for the latest updates.
Her passion for her hometown is reflected by the honors bestowed upon her. She was named Mississippi Tourism Association Member of the Year as well as Downtown Hero by Mississippi Main Street. She was also featured in Mississippi Business Journal as one of Top 50 Under 40.
Strickland currently serves on the board of the Vicksburg Rotary Club and is a member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary where she has served as Public Relations Chairman. She serves on the board for the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta Tourism Association. She is the chair of the Mississippi Summit for the Southeast Tourism Society Congressional Summit and a member of both the U.S. Travel Association and Destination International.
She and her husband, Michael are parents of two active toddlers, May and Michael. Between the hustle and bustle of raising her children, she enjoys outdoor activities, reading, and traveling.