Huckin' Around!

All Aboard!

Yazoo Yaupon and Delta Arts District are proud to present Huckin' Around - A celebration of the Mississippi River, its culture, ecology, and history - and how it all leads into our own magical story of the Yaupon Holly! 

This family event features renowned Twain-scholar, Dr. Cindy Lovell, National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo, Geologists James E. Starnes & Jonathan Leard, Yaupon expert Bryon White, and lots of local food, art, music, and fun for the whole family!

COVID-19 Statement: 

We take the safety and health of our guests and community seriously, and as such, we require that all attendees at Huckin' Around show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. A digital photo of your vaccine card will do just fine. Additionally, MASKS ARE REQUIRED in all indoor spaces, and venues will be set up to accommodate social distancing. Most of the events are outdoors. Please do not attend if you are ill, or showing symptoms of COVID-19. Please reach out to us if you have any concerns or questions regarding our policies. 

Event Details: 

Plan to arrive Wednesday night to enjoy all that Clarksdale has to offer. Contact for lodging questions. 

Clarksdale Civic Auditorium, Clarksdale, MS - Exhibit viewing on Thursday from 3pm-5pm, talks begin Friday at 3pm. 

For VIP Raft Brigade, you may choose between the Thursday and Friday expeditions, which meet at the Quapaw Canoe Company at 9 am. You will then drive your own vehicle to the launch site near Friar's Point - more instructions below!

Speaker Lineup for 09/10:


America’s Amazon: An International Explorer’s Take on “Mississippia”

Can a dead fish stuck high and dry in a fence lead to a career-defining realization? Are key answers to saving the Amazon Rainforest hidden in the fields of Mississippi? We know we can miss the forest for the trees—can we also miss the river for the levee? National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo´s work as a researcher, conservationist, educator, and communicator has taken him all over the world, but this will be his first trip to the Delta. Join Andrés and the Huckin’ Around Team as we explore “Mississippia” with new eyes in order to discover the hidden magic of America’s Amazon.


Cultivating Change: The Revival of America’s Forgotten Heritage Beverage

A movement is brewing in America's Heartland, with roots stretching deep into an 8,000 year old past, steeped with wild tales of the sacred, the cutthroat, and the resilient. Yaupon, America's only native caffeinated plant, once a cornerstone product of native civilizations, nearly became a victim of colonial erasure. Now, a renewed appetite for this heritage beverage, and the unique benefits presented by its cultivation, are revealing yaupon's amazing potential as a catalyst to build a better America.


Mark Twain: Author of America's Sacred Texts

The Mississippi River was Mark Twain's holy water. What he saw and experienced on the river shaped his ever-evolving views about humankind. Twain was more than a humorist. He was a moralist. With his pen warmed up in hell, he delivered some of his mightiest sermons that still resonate today. We'll examine a condensed look at his life and work through the relevant lens of current events.

John “Driftwood Johnnie” Ruskey & Mark “River” Peoples

River Time

Ready to get out of town? (Like Huck?)  Ready for some river time?  Warning: you may not want to return. Through personal stories, music, and slide show, seasoned Mississippi River rats Driftwood Johnnie and Mark River guide you over the levee, and then down the muddy banks of the river, into the expansive forest and floodplain of the biggest river in North America!  A paradise thriving just over the levee, where the waters flow forever wild and free — as they bounce back and forth between the big sky and the big islands -- and your imagination is set free amongst the whirlpools, eddies and boils, and the profusion of wild birds, fish, and mammals.  We might have our feet in the mud, but our eyes are on the heavens.  We call it "river time."  This is our reality.  You may not want to return once you get a taste of it!


Unlocking the Great River’s Ancient Past to Understand the Treasure it Holds for our Future

In this landscape, the Mississippi River acts like the hand of God-- creating islands out of nothing, reshaping state-lines, and defining the geology that is the basis for the environment. Its meanders weave past, present, and future together into a fascinating mystery written into this sacred ground-- a mystery, that if decoded can reveal both ancient treasures and the keys to a better future.

For accomodations: we recommend the Shack Up Inn, and we have reserved some rooms there which are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Email or call (720)-939-9428 to confirm reservations and obtain details. 

We look forward to seeing you at the first annual Huckin’ Around! Let’s work together to make it a safe and enjoyable event. Don’t forget your mask and vaccine card, and get ready for an unforgettable experience!


Raft Brigade & Hobnob Krewe - $250 

All activities included,  PLUS VIP GIFT BAG

VIP Canoe Float on the Mississippi River with Dr. Cindy Lovell and the Quapaw Canoe Company, 9am-1pm on September 9th or 10th, 2021. Includes Hobnob Krewe- see below.

Canoe paddlers will meet at Quapaw Canoe Company at 9 am. Please email in advance to let us know if you prefer the Thursday or Friday canoe trip. Bring sun and insect protection, and prepare to get wet. Bring water and snacks, too! The trip is an out-and-back and lasts 3-4 hours. It will probably be hot, so dress appropriately! All participants must be willing to paddle!


Hobnob Krewe Only - $150 seats are limited

VIP Cocktail Hobnob and Yaupon Maze Tour, September 9th, 2021, 6pm, at the residence of Bill & Francine Luckett, which was designed by famed Arkansas architect, E. Fay Jones. The Luckett Residence is located at 333 Westover Drive, Clarksdale, MS 38614. 


 $250 VIP packages include a poster and gift bag!

PLUS - Fun, music, art, and games!

Public Reception -Friday - 7pm, on the lawn at Ground Zero Blues Club.