Vicksburg gets ready to roll in Christmas

Published 11:45 am Friday, December 2, 2011

Bands and lights, arts and crafts and the sounds of the season are among the top attractions in a weekend of area holiday events that also feature plays, an anniversary celebration, light shows and a visit by Santa.

Three annual events on Saturday headline the holiday activities: the Holly Days Arts and Crafts Show, Vicksburg Main Street’s Christmas Parade of Lights and radio station V105.5’s seventh annual Christmas Caroling Contest. Saturday’s events begin with Breakfast with Santa from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center. Admission is $7.

The fourth annual Holly Days features 30 vendors offering a variety of items for sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Southern Cultural Heritage Center’s auditorium.

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“The room will be full with people selling everything from jewelry to Christmas items and art,” Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation director Annette Kirklin said. “This will really be a quality craft show.”

She said the show will also feature live entertainment, including performances by the Vicksburg and Warren Central high school madrigal groups, Vicksburg Performing Arts Company, Vera Ann Fedell and music students of Susan Gambrell. Admission is $1.

Vicksburg Main Street’s Christmas Parade of Lights rolls for its ninth consecutive year at 5 p.m. from the corner of Belmont and Washington streets north through downtown to the corner of Washington and Jackson streets. This year’s theme is A Disney Christmas.

Main Street executive director Kim Hopkins said 42 entries have signed up for the parade, including three schools, the Vicksburg and Warren Central high school bands and the Vicksburg-Warren County Antique Tractor Club, a newcomer to the parade that will feature a variety of antique farm machines traveling the route.

While the number of entries is down from last year, she expects the list of participants to be longer by Saturday.

“People are still calling us and we will have more entries,” she said. “We could have up to 50 or more by the time of the parade.”

At 7 p.m., the finals of radio station V105.5’s seventh annual Christmas Caroling Contest get under way at the Vicksburg Convention Center with choirs and soloists from Vicksburg, Warren County and the Jackson area competing for a share of a total of $10,100 in prize money. Admission is $5 for adults, and children under 12 will be admitted free.

Mark Jones of V105.5 said 52 entries signed up for the contest, adding the finalists were selected Thursday.

“We’ve got contestants from 9 years old to adult,” Jones said. “This is the first year that we don’t have any church choirs. We’ve got lower elementary choirs and high school choirs and college groups.”

Tonight’s events feature a performance of “The Forgotten Carols” at 7 at the Vicksburg Auditorium featuring professional and Broadway actors. Admission is $14 for adults and $10 for students. The Vicksburg Art Association will hold its 50th anniversary gala at 8 at the Firehouse Gallery at Main and Openwood streets. The theme is Moulin Rouge. Admission is $30.

Also tonight, the Vicksburg Theatre Guild will present “It’s a Wonderful Life,” at 7:30 at the Parkside Playhouse, 101 Iowa Ave. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for people age 55 and older, $7 for 13 and older and $5 for 12 and younger. There will also be a 7:30 p.m. performance Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Other area weekend holiday events include:

• Port Gibson Christmas parade will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown with the theme Through a Child’s Eyes.

• Mississippi College Festival of Lights is at 7:30 tonight and Saturday at Provine Chapel on the Clinton campus. General admission is $15, $10 for MC faculty and staff, and $5 for students with ID.

• Mississippi College’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is 6:30 tonight and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Swor Auditorium, 200 S. Capitol St., Clinton. General admission is $7, $5 for students, and $3 for groups.

• Christmas at Melrose Plantation in Natchez is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.