Oxford has become the jewel of North Mississippi with a vibrant community, top education systems, social events, culture, shopping and exquisite dining. We also are able to boast the home to many great writers, including William Faulkner, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, and, for a time, both Willie Morris and John Grisham. With the many accolades given Oxford it is little wonder why this quiet town is such a fine metropolis. These honors include the sixth best retirement community by CBS, one of the 20 best Small Towns in America by Outside Magazine, first city in Mississippi to become a Bicycle Friendly Community, and the host of the first 2008 Presidential Debate.
There is always something to do in Oxford. Starting with the Yoknaptawpha Summer Writer’s Workshop, Oxford Film Festival, Double Decker, Thacker Mountain Radio Show, Blues Festival, and many more festivals.
The Historic Oxford Square has a wide variety of restaurants – with the distinction of having several chains originating from “The Square”, art galleries, specialty shops, and boutiques. There is always live music in any of the numerous local stops, the Powerhouse Community Arts and Cultural Center theatre, Neilson’s the South’s oldest department store, Square Books, William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, and the Lyric Theatre. With the great culture of Oxford, MS it is no wonder that Elvis Costello and Counting Crows chose to record albums here.
Lafayette County hosts 4 schools. The City and County school systems have the highest ranking available, “5 star”. Two private schools – Oxford University School and Reagents School – are also located in Lafayette. It is also home to the main campuses of the University of Mississippi and Lafayette-Yalobusha Center of Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Baptist Memorial Hospital provides complete health care services with a draw area of several counties. Over 100 physicians are located in Oxford to facilitate every aspect of health needs. We are also home to the North Mississippi Regional center which is a state-licensed Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Underdeveloped.
Lafayette County has become an incubator for businesses and industries. There are almost 4,000 companies and dozens of industries located in the Oxford community. The Entrepreneurial Development Foundation has developed a culture to enhance the benefits of this quaint town to encourage even more growth of small businesses.
The economy of Oxford is primarily driven by tourism, the universities, industrial centers, and the retirement community. There are also many economic incentives for new business. The existing cultural scene brings in a wide variety of tourism.
USA Today named Oxford one of the top six college towns in the nation. The universities and the local communities work together and have become a driving force for each.
The University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, is as much a part of Oxford as the trees. The university is located in the center of town. There are almost as many students at Ole Miss as there are residents of Oxford. With a 20 percent growth in the past five years the University is expected to continue growing as more students are drawn in by the beauty of the campus.
The sports teams are officially referred to as the Rebels. Ole Miss plays in the SEC Western Division. The sports arena ranges from football to rifle in over 50 sports. Many of these offer summer camps for youth. Yearly several teams take NCAA Championship bids.
Aside from the SEC sporting events, the campus has constant entertainment with films in the Grove, theatrical performances, book readings, lectures, art exhibits, and greek life. Some of the events are co-sponsored by the city of Oxford, such as the Oxford Shakespeare Festival.
One of the main attractions is tailgating in the Grove. This beautiful area was ranked the 2nd college football tailgating spot in the country by ESPN. This 10 acres grove shaded by oak, elm and magnolia trees hosts up to 25,000 on football game day and the entire campus has been known to hold 130,000 Grovers. Described as “the Holy Grail of tailgating sites” by Sporting News, tailgating participants usually dress in their Sunday best while hanging chandeliers from their tailgating tents.
It is little wonder why Oxford is a growing community. Our metropolises truly make for an oasis of the South. To see the majesty of this unique town click here.