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Spending your spring break in Oxford? Read this.


As we plow through the papers and midterm exams in this hellish week, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: Spring Break. What a wonderful, carefree week of tanning, beaches, hiking, drinking with your friends and chatting with your family, for those of you who are going out of town. There will be some students who choose, for financial or personal reasons, to stay in Oxford for the break.

Those students are in for a great break nonetheless because there is a lot to do in our beloved Oxford, more so because they have free time unencumbered by classes. Although Oxford has the Square, chances are that the plenty of students have visited those locations. Here are some little-known ideas for an adventure.

For the explorers 

There are tunnels under the Jackson Avenue and University Avenue. The rumor has it that James Meredith used those tunnels to walk to class unnoticed. (For those who want to verify the rumors and have a full tank of gas, drive to Jackson to visit Meredith himself; he’ll answer the door in his Ole Miss slippers!) There is artistic graffiti all over the tunnel walls that makes the experience unforgettable.  

If the tunnels aren’t enough, there is a Confederate cemetery just behind the Tad Pad. More than 700 Confederates died and were buried here on university grounds back in the day when academic buildings were used as hospitals and headquarters between 1862 and 1865. Most of the men buried there are unknown. It is a must see for Civil War buffs or for those looking for a good spook.  

Located a ways from the Confederate cemetery is the water tower, better known as the Doorknob to the Universe. Many visiting students from other universities were blindfolded and led astray before being brought to the location to see the handle to the heavens.   

The University Museum offer tours of two historic homes: Rowan Oak and Walton-Young house. The Rowan Oak was home to literary giant, William Faulkner, who now rests at St. Peter’s cemetery (If anyone hasn’t shared a whiskey shot with his tombstone, go do it. It’s Ole Miss tradition!) The Walton-Young house is sadly closed for renovations but the view on its front yard is almost as beautiful as the Rowan Oak’s. 

Those who love Mother Nature

They should head out to the Sardis Lake, Clear Creek or Puskus Lake located in the Holly Springs National Forest. There are boating, hiking and camping as well as some fishing. Puskus Lake is located only minutes away from Oxford at 1000 Front Street.

The best routes for scenic drives are the country roads intertwining Oxford and Water Valley. Located on one of the country roads (26 Country Road 471) is Yokna Bottoms Farm, a small and bright farm located on spacious green acres. Bought five years ago by Douglas R. Davis, an associate professor of educational leadership at Ole Miss, the farm has been cultivated into a source of organic groceries. One can buy a timeshare at Yokna Bottoms Farm to have fresh and healthy groceries delivered at their doorsteps.

A few more minutes down the country roads to Water Valley, there is a place called B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery Store in which one can find all the local and organic produce as well as a chance to enjoy homemade Southern cooking at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This store, like Yokna Bottoms Farm, can also deliver fresh groceries and prepared meals to the doorsteps.

For the curious

They can always visit the UM Archives & Special Collections’ website where they can peruse its online exhibitions like the 1861 yearbook photos of the University of Mississippi pre-Civil War. There is also another exhibition titled “Murder With Southern Hospitality: An Exhibition of Mississippi Mysteries,” which encompasses the novel genre in the South since the 1840s. This is the best source of historical research while the department is closed over the spring break.

For the sports buff

There is a baseball game series against the University of Houston from March 9-11. On March 16-18 of March, Auburn will come to play against Ole Miss. The baseball fans will be out there, upholding Ole Miss’ reputation as the most terrorizing right field. The student section, although dressed down, has the same amiability as the Grove. 

Women tennis vs Georgia will take place March 11 at 1 p.m..

 For the party animals

Proud Larry’s has three bands booked for the upcoming week: Nickel and the Bipolar Bear on March 10, George McConnell and the Nonchalants on March 16 and Chimney Choir on March 17. Many other restaurants with live music are sure to follow suit with their own local bands booked.

There are the bars: The Corner, The Library, Round Table, Levee and essentially any restaurant on the Square. The chances are that now with the students gone, Oxford citizens will venture out. It could be an interesting experience meeting the Oxfordians.

If all of these are unappealing, then William Faulkner is disappointed in you.