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Great memories linger around Alcorn County Courthouse

Corinth's centennial parade, including a group from Farmington, goes by court square.

By Jebb Johnston

Daily Corinthian

Whittlers lined up on the bench out front, Elvis Presley singing in the courtroom and eager couples looking to get married are among the memories and stories stirred by the Alcorn County Courthouse.

Organizers of the 100th anniversary celebration are wrapping up plans for the Oct. 4 event, which will coincide with a regular installment of Pickin' on the Square.

It is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. that evening with the goal of an informal ceremony lasting about 30 minutes. If it's rainy, the event will move inside the courthouse.

After a welcome by local dignitaries, speaker for the occasion will be Todd Sanders, tax incentives coordinator in the Historic Preservation Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Burgers and hotdogs will be served.

The ceremony will give a nod to 100-year-old businesses. People who are 90 or older will also be recognized.

The planning committee hopes the event will spark interest among the many people who were married at the courthouse back in the days when the area was a marriage destination because there was no three-day waiting period as there was in some states.

Local artist Tony Bullard, who has researched Elvis Presley's Corinth performances, said Presley performed in the courthouse several times. The large courtroom had a balcony in those days and could accommodate a bigger crowd than it does today. Bullard will be at the ceremony displaying some of his art, including his tributes to Presley in Corinth.

With admission prices of $1 for adults and 50 cents for children, the Corinth Jaycees presented Presley on a bill that also included Scotty Moore and Bill Black, Bob Neal of WMPS, and J.E. and Maxine Brown. An ad in the Daily Corinthian described Presley as "that country music star" and singer of "That's Alright Mama."

Contact Tourism Director Christy Burns at 287-8300 to suggest older citizens to be recognized or to contribute courthouse photos.