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Portsmouth community prepares for Missy Elliott street dedication ceremony, parade

The pep rally and parade will honor the Grammy award-winning artist at Manor High School.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Five-time Grammy award-winning artist and Hampton Roads native Missy Elliott is returning to her hometown of Portsmouth. 

City leaders and community members are hosting a parade and ceremony that will mark the renaming of a city street in her honor. 

RELATED: Portsmouth readies to rename street 'Missy Elliott Boulevard'

Missy Elliott graduated from Manor High School in 1990. It's a fitting place for the festivities to begin on Oct. 17, starting at 3:30 p.m.

The excitement is growing as Elliott returns. 

Portsmouth resident Erik Nelson said he's an aspiring photographer and musician.

“I found the inspiration for myself listening to her music and other rappers, too,” he said.

Event organizer Erin Carter said Elliott is ready to be back home.

“And I've been talking with her and her mom, and they’re excited. They can't wait. This is going to be a big 'coming home' celebration,” she said. 

In August, city council members voted to rename a portion of McLean Street to “Missy Elliott Boulevard.”

The street’s location includes the Victory Crossing Shopping Center and Tidewater Community College.

The street name, “Missy Elliot Boulevard," is already live on Google Maps. 

Carter said she came up with the idea to honor Missy Elliott.

A parade and dedication ceremony will feature music from Norfolk State University, Hampton University and Elizabeth City State University bands.

Churchland High, Manor High and I.C. Norcom High school bands will also participate at the event.

RELATED: Missy Elliott coming to Portsmouth to celebrate 'Missy Elliott Boulevard'

Carter said Missy Elliott’s story of rising to fame and coming from Portsmouth is an inspiration to the local youth. 

Through her, they can aspire to achieve great success in life.

“You can reside in the city of Portsmouth and there’s greatness that resides in the city of Portsmouth," Carter said. "And you can rise to the top in not just music, but any industry, if you work hard and put your mind to it and just keep working." 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Congressman Bobby Scott will also attend the ceremony, and they will present proclamations in Elliott's honor. 

Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover will also present her with a key to the city.

Virginia’s own natives Pusha T, Trey Songz and Timbaland are also scheduled to attend.

The event is sponsored by Dominion Energy, Sentara Healthcare, Affinity Capital, Truist, Finney-Smith Foundation and Hampton Roads Urban Agriculture.

The city isn't alone in their celebration. One of the region's major radio stations, Z104, is renamed to MISSY104 just for October 17. 

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