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City, state promoted at NYC picnic

The city of Brookhaven has officially become a “friend” of New York City, thanks to the New York Society for the Preservation of Mississippi Heritage.

     Kay Burton, program director at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, represented Brookhaven at the 33rd annual New York Mississippi Picnic held Saturday in Central Park. She said the event is really a way to show off the Magnolia State.

     “We’re bringing Southern hospitality to Central Park,” she said. “It’s a good way to explore the good things about Mississippi.”

     Brookhaven officials were present as part of the Mississippi Hometown Retirement Program, along with three other Mississippi towns. The program serves as a way to highlight towns with the qualities retirees look for, such as recreational opportunities, low crime rates and quality medical care.

     Brookhaven is one of 20 certified towns in the program.

     “We try to highlight Brookhaven as a retirement destination,” Burton said.

     The picnic, which started in 1979, displays all aspects of Mississippi, including culture, education and businesses. Burton said every major Mississippi college was on hand, and many of their alumni living in the area stopped by.

     “They miss home,” she said. “They like to come by and see people from their home state.”

     As part of the picnic, Burton received a certificate honoring Brookhaven as a “Friend of the Picnic.”

     Some of the sponsors for this year’s event included Entergy, Mississippi Development Authority, the Sweet Potato Council of Mississippi and Team Mississippi.