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Hello, my name is Lakeisha Bowdry.

I am a second grade teacher at Lawhon Elementary School in Tupelo. I am married, and we have two energetic boys. My life is centered around my family! I have lived in the Tupelo area my entire life. There are so many things that families can do in Tupelo.

have a question for me? ask away!

Frequently asked questions

What is your favorite thing to do in Tupelo?
My favorite things to do in Tupelo is go to my kids Tupelo Park and Rec baseball, basketball, and soccer games. As I said earlier, my life is centered around my kids.
Where is your favorite place to experience Tupelo’s local flavor?
Romie’s is my favorite place to experience Tupelo’s local flavor. We usually eat there at least once a week. We go there so much, that several of the waitresses know us by name.
What’s your favorite Elvis song and why?
“Blue Suede Shoes” – It has such a happy uplifting beat.
....we will be purchasing a home with a USDA rural home loan which means we cannot purchase in the city limits of Tupelo. We are looking at a home in Saltillo on Barns Crossing. We are a mixed race family. My husband is Ethiopian and speaks broken English. Is this an area of town we will feel welcomed in? If not, what areas might you suggest. We are moving from rural Oklahoma where my husband has had mixed reception, hence my concern. We may find it to be a non issue in MS, however...We are searching for a lending institution that works with USDA rural loans in the area, any suggestions? Also, we are in need of a real estate agent. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your service and I look forward to your response. Melanie
Melanie, I feel pretty sure that the Barnes Crossing area would be very welcoming to you and your family.  That area is very racially mixed.  If you have school age children, I would check to see if that house is zoned for Tupelo Public Schools or Lee County Schools.  If you are zoned for Tupelo schools, I can definitely say that your child and family would be welcomed in our schools.  Guess what?  Children in grades 2-5 actually go to Lawhon which is where I teach 2nd grade.  That's why I can say you would be welcomed.    We have a very diverse population in our school.  Am I saying that you wouldn't be welcomed in Lee County schools?  No!!! I am just saying that their schools aren't as diverse as ours.  Tupelo has many mixed race families, and your family will be welcome.  When are you moving to the area?  I will find out information about realtors and get back with you. Contact the Community Development Foundation at (662) 842-4521 for relocation information.
I'm planning a weekend getaway, I love to gamble and good down home soul food, especially bar-be-que as we say up North and how far from Columbus Mississippi my father was born there.
I can help you with the food, but I'm afraid that Tupelo doesn't offer any gambling.  Tunica, MS, which is about 100 miles from Tupelo,  is the closest place to gamble.  So, you are interested in some good down home soul food during your visit to Tupelo?  I highly recommend Romie's.  They sell plate lunches, a meat and 2 or 3 vegetables during lunch hours Monday-Friday and on Sunday.  You will love their vegetables and cornbread.  My baby always asks for cornbread with whatever he eats.  Steele's Dive in West Tupelo also has plate lunches Monday-Friday and on Sundays.  Their food is good, but I prefer Romie's.  For the bar-b-que, I will suggest Bar-b-que by Jim.  I love their pulled pork, ribs, and baked beans.  My second choice for bar-b-que is Bishops.  I hope this helps.  Columbus, MS is about 70 miles from Tupelo.
Have you ever known the Dilworth family? African Americans?
Sorry, but I do not know the Dilworth family.  Where are they from?  Do you know any names?  If so, I would ask around.  Are you related to them?
Hello Lakeisha,My name is Alessandra, I'm brazilian and I'm planning my next trip to memphis/tupelo. I will go in January/2016.As you may realize, I am Elvis fan, and will be my second time in Tupelo. The first time, I went with two friends, but now I'm going alone. It has two locations that have not met the first time, Lawhon Elementary and Princeville Cemitery to see the grave of Jesse Presley. I wonder what you would say to me about these places. I do not drive, so I will bus down the Greyhound station, and then I'll take a cab.Thank you very much
I think those are 2 great places to visit to learn about Elvis.  Our school is used to groups touring the outside of the campus especially in January.  Our school doesn't allow tourist groups to enter the building for safety reasons. Groups must stay on the outside of the gate.  If you are coming alone, you may call ahead of time and ask to schedule a tour of the inside of the school. Someone will gladly show you around.  I know that you will love touring the inside of the building because we do have some Elvis memorbilia, and you will see the stage that Elvis performed on while in elemetary school.  Trying to find the unmarked grave of Jesse Presley should also be interesting.  You should also be able to visit both of these places in one day because they are both on the east side of town.  I'm going to assume that you have already visited his birthplace since this is your second visit.  If not, I think you should consider visiting his birthplace as well.    
I'm looking for a restaurant to eat soul food, but has a buffet. Is there any place like that in Tupelo? If not, do you know where any others are?
Soul food is my favorite type of food to eat.  I know that you want a buffet, but my favorite place to eat soul food is Romie's Grocery.  They serve the best vegetables around, and they are very inexpensive.   During lunch hour they sell plate lunches which consists of 1 meat and 2 or 3 vegetables.  Don't let not having a buffet stop you from eating delicious food.
Hello, How is your day going, Mrs. Bowdry?
My day is going great!!! How about yours?
Hi Lakeisha,I'm looking for a place to have meet & greet with girlfriends ant noon on a Saturday. I'd like a spot that serves alcohol but that's not too loud. Any suggestions?
There are several options that you can consider. 1.  Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe is a fairly new place in the Barnes Crossing shopping area, but they only serve wine.  I love this place.  My favorite is the lamb gyro. 2.  Harvery's on South Gloster has a party room that you can reserve.  I'm not sure how many people have to be in your party in order to reserve it.  They serve all types of alcohol/drinks.  They have the best broccoli bites around. 3.  Fairpark Grill in the downtown area has an area that can be blocked off for groups.  It can still get a little loud, but you will be seperated.  I think you may have to reserve it in advance.  They serve all types of alcholo/drinks.  I love their Bayou Chicken. 4.  Woody's on North Gloster serves alcholoic beverages.  Feather will be more than happy to have you.  This would probably be my first or second choice for a Saturday night.  I would call her ahead of time to let her know how many will be in your party.  They have the best steaks around.  My favorite dish is the shrimp and grits.   Posting this makes me want to go there. 5.  Nautical Whimsey in the downtown area also serves alcoholic beverages.  This restaurant would also be in the top 2 choices.  All of her sauces, dips, and food are made from scratch.  Her stuffed filet mignon is to die for.  I can't say enough good things about this place. I hope these help!!
Are you related to Thomas Carlyle Dilworth (deceased) I am his daughter
I am sorry, but I don't know him.
Hi Mrs. Bowdry. I wrote you an email but I don't think it went off because the screen just went blank. So if you got it, this is a duplicate. I am driving by myself from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Muscle Shoals/Florence for a seminar the weekend of November 13-14. After the seminar I would like to travel to Tupelo to explore all things Elvis. I have loved him since I was a small child. One of my most famous memories of my childhood was riding around Baton Rouge in my Dad's yellow Mustang Convertible with the top down and Jailhouse Rock blaring from the radio!!! We thought we were so cool!I am going to try to see Helen Keller's House before I leave the Muscle Schoals/Florence area, but my main focus is really on Elvis. I do have a few questions for you about Tupelo. I have his birthplace, the stature and the Hardware Store on my places to explore. Is there anything else you consider "not to miss"? (Are these within walking distance or do you need to drive around to see them? Is there parking if you can walk? As far as shopping, I have a silly rule when I travel: I must return home with a tee-shirt and a refrigerator magnet as souvenirs. I also need something for my 12 year old grandson. Where is the place to pick these up? As far as eating: is there like a quaint little diner that something that Elvis would have liked when he was alive. Something with Elvis "flavor". Or if not, your favorite place to eat?What would be a good amount of cash to bring to accomplish all the above things? And if there is anything else you can think of, or anything this a "must see" that I didn't find, please let me know.Thank you so much for volunteering to do this. I think it is great for tourists like me who have no idea what to do... And thank you for teaching our future. I know that is a hard job. God bless you and your family.Jane Ray
Hi, Jane! This is Jennie Bradford Curlee with the Tupelo CVB. We are so excited to welcome you to Tupelo to experience all things Elvis! We have an Elvis' Tupelo Driving Tour that takes you to 13 stops that were influential in Elvis' 13-years coming of age here. Stop by our office at 398 East Main Street in the Renasant Center for IDEAs so we can give you the official Elvis' Tupelo Driving Tour map. Most stops are pretty close together, but you will need to drive your car. One stop on the tour is Johnnie's Drive-In, where you can eat a hamburger like Elvis did and sit in the Elvis booth where he sat. Get a chocolate milkshake as you leave. You can thank me later! The Birthplace has a great gift shop where you can pick up a t-shirt and magnet, or stop by one of our fabulous downtown retailers when you're visiting Tupelo Hardware to pick some up. Your ticket for the Birthplace will be approximately $17, you can eat lunch at Johnnie's for less than $10 (including that milkshake!), and all of the stops along the driving tour are free! We look forward to welcoming you to Tupelo and will be happy to answer any other questions you may have when you get here!  
Hi Lakeisha, I want to take my two little (energetic as well) girls to the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra playing this Saturday. I can not reach the office, so I am hoping you can help answer this very important question. Will I need to purchase a ticket for my one year old?
Hi! All kids 12 and under are free. Enjoy the symphony tonight!  
I am wanting to plan a family reunion for the Gray Family from Blue Mountain, MS, and am told that Tupelo is a good location for it. What are the nicer hotels that can accomodate 75 - 125 people in June of 2016?
Hi. This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. Tupelo is a great location for your family reunion and we look forward to having your family with us in June. Demetra Sherer is our Leisure Sales Manager and is here to help you plan the perfect family reunion for your group. You can e-mail her at [email protected] or call her at (800) 533-0611 so she can start helping you plan your special event. Thanks so much.
We are coming to Tupelo from Minnesota and would like some authentic soul /southern food . Where should we go ? BTW both teachers at Forest Lake High School in Forest Lake Mn ( math and special ed)
Hi, Julie. This is Jennie Bradford Curlee with the Tupelo CVB. We have lots of great soul/southern food in Tupelo and can't wait for you to get here and try some! Simply visit the Eat section of our website and you will find a list of our top southern dining establishments. I would highly recommend any of those restaurants for some amazing southern food. Stop in and see us when you come to Tupelo!
Is it true that Elvis' favorite malt shop is in Tupelo? If so, where? Are there other obscure Elvis spots there (I mean, beside the birthplace museum and hardware shop where his mom got his first guitar)? We are looking for other spots in addition to those!And, do you have a local place you recommend to stay - preferably not a chain, but something with local flavor?Thanks!Daisy
Hi, Daisy. This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. We have an Elvis' Tupelo Driving Tour that will take you to many places that influenced Elvis as a child growing up in Tupelo. You can stop by our office at 399 East Main Street in Tupelo to pick up a brochure or you can access the Driving Tour on our website. Tupelo has many affordable, accommodating hotels. Visit our STAY section on the website to learn more and find a property that is just right for you. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] Thanks so much and safe travels!
Hi Lakeisha, Looks like I may be moving to Tupelo early next year. I work with NPS and they are shutting down our office in Homestead, FL. We have been given 3 choices of where they will pay to move us. In other words. "Move or you don't have a job". Yeah!!Just doing research and I know I don't want to move to Atlanta. Too political. Just trying to find out what area of Tupelo not to look at. I live myself with my four cats, so safety is a major importance. Thanks for your time in advance, Mitzie
Hi! This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. Tupelo is a wonderful place to live and work and we are excited that you may be headed our way. The Community Development Foundation is a great resource for anyone looking to relocate to our area, so reach out to them and they will be happy to help. Safe travels!
hey Lakeisha, I'm planning a trip to Tupelo soon and am looking for the best restaurant in town for a casual, yet trendy dinner for couples. Thanks for your help ;) Ray
Hi! This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. Tupelo has many great restaurants for a fun, casual night out. If you're in the mood for a unique dining experience with locally sourced meats and produce, try Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen.  Love live music and eclectic bar food? Try Blue Canoe (you have to order the Connie's Blueberry Donut Bread Pudding for dessert!). Harvey's is a mainstay in Tupelo and is a great place for dinner with friends. Also, South has some new dishes on their menu that I can't wait to try! We look forward to having you and your couple friends in Tupelo.
Ciao Lakeisha,Happy Holidays!I just want to get away for NYE....new to Tennessee(Memphis area) and not wanting to spend NYE alone in a house surrounded by boxes. Just moved from Europe.Suggestions on where to stay and places to see, and I am also a foodie.Just staying one night.Hope to hear from you soon.Victoria
Hi, Victoria. This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. We have several great places that will be perfect for your New Years Eve stay. Visit tupelo.net/stay to see all of our properties and book online. If you want to stay in downtown Tupelo, the Hilton Garden Inn is our full service property there. It is situated on the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail, so you can walk, bike, or easily drive to visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace, a must see on your trip to Tupelo! If you want to ride a bike, stop by CRAVE our local coffee and dessert cafe, rent a bicycle, and explore Elvis sites and Downtown. Tupelo is definitely a foodie destination! While you're on our website, check out tupelo.net/eat to search restaurants by cuisine. If you have specific questions about any restaurants you see, feel free to email me at [email protected] Welcome to Tupelo and Happy New Year! Best, Jennie Bradford
I am looking for a place to have monthly prayer classes. Price is an issue as I will be paying the monthly fee out of pocket. Do you know of any places that is not so expensive. The motels the lowest I can find is $100 plus you have to pay for any equipment that you use.
Hi! This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. Have you considered hosting the class at one of our many local restaurants? Visit the EAT section on our website to see the list of the many places from which you can choose. Some places even have backrooms to accommodate a larger group of people. Good luck!
Will They Celebrate Elvis Presley's Birthday This Year At The Birthplace.
Absolutely! The folks at the Elvis Presley Birthplace will host a birthday celebration from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on his birthday this Sunday, January 8. We hope you'll join us!
Hello Lakeisha!My husband, daughter and I are planning to visit Tupelo on our way to Memphis and would like to spend the night on Friday, June 2. I know that is the Elvis Festival weekend and we don't mind staying a short distance away from the city center. What motel would you recommend? We want as far under $100 as possible but as clean and safe as we can get. Please let me know your thoughts at your earliest convenience.I hope that your school year has gone well---it's almost over! I teach elementary music in SC and am counting the days :-)Thanks for your help,Jana Curry
Hi, Jana. This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. We have many accommodating hotels in Tupelo that would be perfect for your stay. I went to tupelo.net, clicked on STAY, and visited several of our hotel properties. I was able to find many hotels with a rate under $100. If you need specific help, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] Since you will be here during the Tupelo Elvis Festival, there will be tons of great stuff to do! We look forward to having you in Tupelo.
Hello Lakeisha, My name is Rickey. I am a Mississippian originally from Bruce,Ms. I currently live in Perth, Australia. I've resided in Perth for 27 years. Ok, Lakeisha my question for you is this summer i will be returning home for a holiday break. However, this trip i wanted to start a business as a market stall operator at the Tupelo Flea Market selling Indonesian products from Bali such as home decor ,handcrafted wooden products, Buddha statues , pillows, table runners, wooden carving, wall decor, masks things like this. Do you think there is a market for this in Tupelo? Do you think the people with like idea that they can buy a product from Bali? Or is Tupelo not the right market to sell these products? Your feedback would be gratefully appreciated.
Hi, Rickey. This is Jennie Bradford with the Tupelo CVB. We have visitors from all over that come to Tupelo to shop at the Gigantic Flea Market and Craft Show and they are always looking for unique products. If you have any questions about the flea market, please reach out to the Tupelo Furniture Market staff by visiting their website.  Thanks so much and we hope to see you in Tupelo soon!