Family Vacations: Delta Blues Festival

Photo courtesy Bob Hakins. Performers entertain the crowd at Greenville's big annual event.

The Mississippi Delta Blues Festival is the king of blues festivals. Founded in 1978, the Greenville-based blues festival is the second oldest continuously operating festival of its kind in the country. The festival is Mississippi's largest single-day event. Perhaps it has earned its regal status because of the way it was born -- from the heart and passion of the state's civil rights and anti-poverty movements.

The blues were born out of a folk culture context drawing elements from work songs, love songs, slow drags, rags, and spirituals. The Mississippi Delta Blues Festival is the flagship of the Delta Arts Project, founded by the Mississippi Action for Community Education Incorporated (MACE). Its mission is to confront the human rights issues that gave birth to the blues and empower African-Americans.


The festival began as a community gathering where locals played traditional blues on acoustic instruments. While it's still seen as a community event, the festival has drawn top-notch blues artists such as B. B. King, Bobby Rush, Albert King, Bobby Blue Bland, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, Furry Lewis and Big Joe Williams.

Delta Blues Festival Information

Address: MS-454 at US-1 S.

Greenville, MS


Telephone: 888/81-BLUES

Hours of Operation: Second week in Sept.


To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Mississippi State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Mississippi, as well as other recreational activities.