Clarksdale, founded in 1869, was named for the man who laid out the town, John Clark. Famous explorer Hernando DeSoto traversed the area in the mid 1500s, and is said to have discovered the Mississippi River near what is now Clarksdale. Several skirmishes were fought here during the Civil War. Today, plaques mark many of theses significant sites.
Clarksdale is a quiet, slow-paced town that relishes its long tradition of the Blues. Many famous Blues artist were born here, or at least called it home for a period of time. In fact, during the early part of the 1900s, Clarksdale was considered the Blues center of the south. People such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Ike Turner once performed here. The Delta Blues Museum now stands as a tribute to the history and importance of Blues in the region through recording, video, photographs, and even a life-like wax figure of Muddy Waters.
The annual Sunflower River Blues Festival (held in the fall) is a three day event that brings out the best local, and national Blues entertainers. The festival is held around legendary Blues Alley- a grouping of several buildings, to include the Delta Blues Museum, the renovated Clarksdale Station, and the entertaining Ground Zero Blues Club.
Clarksdale has seen its share of the Blues, but it has also served as home to country music star Conway Twitty and legendary playwright Tennessee Williams. October of every year brings the Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival- and event literature lovers should not miss.
June brings another popular festival, the Delta Jubilee. This event is well known for hosting the Mississippi State Barbeque Championship, which draws people from every part of the state.
For those who feel lucky, Clarksdale and the surrounding area feature dozens of casinos.
Clarksdale is located in the northeastern part of the state, near the boarder of Arkansas and the Mississippi River, on Route 1. It is approximately 60 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee.