Arts & Music

Panola Playhouse – Sardis, MS

Open since 1962, the theatre seats 136 and puts on four productions annually. Productions include comedies, dramas, musicals, and children’s shows.

Turner Family Picnic and Sharde Thomas Summer Festival

Two times every summer, the drums are callin’ at area picnics, which is a long held tradition in the hill country. Sharde Thomas, leader of the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, hosts a summer picnic usually the third weekend in July and the Otha Turner family still holds the annual Turner Family Picnic at Otha’s place in the Gravel Springs community the weekend prior to Labor Day. The picnics are a chance to gather and celebrate the area’s most unique hill country blues music and many performers play the picnics, which attract visitors from around the globe.

Historic Music Sites

The Mississippi Blues Trail runs throughout the state, highlighting historic blues locations. Como is home to three Mississippi Blues Trail markers, all located on Main Street.

Blues Trail Marker for Fred McDowell

Blues Trail Marker for Fred McDowell

Fred McDowell Blues Trail Marker – Como, MS
The marker, located on Main Street, honors “Mississippi” Fred McDowell, renowned for his bottle-neck style of playing the guitar and for his soulful singing of “Highway 61″ and other blues classics.

Gravesite of Mississippi Fred McDowell
Blues musician Mississippi Fred McDowell is buried in the cemetery at Hammond Hill Baptist Church, just north of Como.

Otha Turner Blues Trail Marker – Como, MS
Otha was a master of the fife and drum who attracted an international following as a fife player, preserving a historic fife and drum music tradition that predated the Blues. The marker is on Main Street across from City Hall.

Gravesite of Otha Turner
Fife and drum player Otha Turner is buried at Cistern Hill MB Church cemetery, just east of Como on Hwy 310. Turner is buried next to his longtime bandmate, drummer and daughter Bernice Turner Pratcher, who died on the same day, Feb. 26, 2003.

Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for Otha Turner

Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for Otha Turner

Napolian Strickland Blues Trail Marker – Como, MS
A gifted fife and drum and country blues musician, Strickland was born just east of Como. The marker is located on Main Street.

Gravesite of Napolian Strickland
Multi-instrumentalist Napolian Strickland is buried at Hunter’s Chapel MB Church cemetery, east of Como on Hunter Chapel Road.

Historic Arts Sites

Ada Sledge Bankhead Home – 204 East St., Como, MS
The home of stage and screen actress Tallulah Bankhead’s mother.

Stark Young Southern Literary Trail Marker – Como, MS
Born in Como, Young was a drama critic, novelist, essayist, playwright, translator, and poet. A marker is located on the lawn of the Emily J. Pointer Public Library.

The Southern Literary Trail honors classic writers of Southern fiction and the places in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi that inspired them. July 2013, Como and her native son Stark Young were added to the trail joining fellow Mississippians William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright among others.