Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mississippi Blues Trail License Plates


INDIANOLA, MS - After working for almost two years to get Mississippi Blues Trail license plates approved by the state legislature, pre-sold to meet the required minimum, in production, and available at the local tax assessors' offices, members of the Mississippi Blues Foundation can finally see the fruits of their labor. "We had a Blues Trail marker unveiling in Benoit this week, and it was a great feeling to see several vehicles there with the new tags," said Janet Webb, a member of the Miss. Blues Foundation. Luther Brown, who is also a member of the Blues Foundation and a major proponent of the license plates, attended the unveiling and echoed the sentiments of Webb. They explained that it had not necessarily been an easy sell early on when they were trying to get people to commit to purchase a tag, not knowing exactly when they would reach the magic number of 200 to satisfy the minimum requirement. There were also people who wanted to wait until closer to the time that their current tags would expire.

These specialty tags cost $31 extra, with $24.50 of that going to the Miss. Blues Commission to help fund its projects, including aid for older musicians as well as helping with expenses of the Miss. Blues Trail marker program. Brown, who is the director of the Delta Center at Delta State University, conducts many bus and blues tours throughout the year and knows how important the exposure of the Blues Trail is to visitors to the state. "It's like a miniature billboard," Brown said. "Someone may see the tag and start asking questions about the Trail, and it gives us a great opportunity to tell the person about our musical heritage and how proud we are of that," he continued.

Now that the license plates are in production, anyone interested in having one can order it from their tax assessor's office. It typically takes from seven to ten days to receive it after the order is placed. Webb thinks that the final product was worth the wait. "I've had many people call me and tell me how proud they are to finally have it on their car," she said.

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