TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - State and local leaders gathered to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
"There are a wide range of reasons why we are happy to celebrate the successful completion of the parkway," said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
"Seventh most attended national park in the whole system nationwide how more honored can we be," adds Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville. "How more special can this economic development project be this great historical trail that recognizes our past and gives us power for the future be."
"People go up and down this Trace and they have a way of pulling off the Trace and spending money," adds U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee. "We like that it brings money to all of our economy so it's good for our heritage."
The Trace ventures through three states at a total of 444 miles.
With millions of people visiting each year, there is plenty to see and do.
"This highway has a great story," adds Karen Wiygul, Tupelo resident. "It has a great history and a lot of people don't appreciate the history of Mississippi."
As the Natchez Trace Parkway celebrates its 75th anniversary there are several projects on the horizon that will help assist with both economic and educational opportunities for both local residents and visitors.
"We still have many areas we need to develop in the Tupelo area," adds Dale Wilkerson, acting park superintendent. "We're working with the Chickasaw Nation to develop a Chickasaw Heritage Center that would be located at the Chickasaw Village site just south of McCullough Boulevard."
"Its an opportunity for us to build on the successes of the past," added U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker. "To stand on the shoulders of people like Jeff Busby 75 years ago who made this happen and keep it going to make sure the dream lives on."
What made this milestone event even more special was that the next generation learned about history.
"We had a great time," adds Sharon Sheffield, Pontotoc County resident. "We've enjoyed the 75th celebration, its very educational for the kids."
Whether its by car, bike or foot, a traditional southern landscape is appreciated by those who frequent the Natchez Trace Parkway.