Outlets to host annual tree lighting Sat.

Published 11:07 am Monday, November 9, 2015

The holiday season is officially kicking off this weekend in Vicksburg with twinkling lights and a man in a red suit.

The eleventh annual Tree Lighting and Santa Visit at the Outlets at Vicksburg will be Saturday.

“We’ve got lots of fun holiday promotions that are going to go on throughout the holidays and we’re kicking it all off on Nov. 14,” Mani Chanprasith, marketing and events manager at the Outlets, said. “We want to invite everyone out to come and ring in the holidays with us.”

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The Salvation Army will kick off their Red Kettle Campaign and The Angel Tree campaign at the event, and they will have a few angels available to be adopted. The Salvation Army will also provide hot chocolate and coffee during the event.

Free horse and carriage rides around the Outlets parking lot will begin at 3 p.m. outside of G.H. Bass & Co.

“You’ll get to see the Christmas lights that are going up, the Christmas trees and the Christmas decorations that are going up this week,” Chanprasith said.

Miss Delta State University, and Vicksburg native, Katie Busby will host the event with Miss Turtle Creek Anne Elizabeth Buys.

Musical performances will start at 5 p.m. with local elementary school choirs, The Salvation Army Band and Miss Turtle Creek herself entertaining the crowd with holiday songs.

Once the music is over, a special visitor will make his entrance. Santa Claus will arrive to help light the 55-foot tall Christmas tree, and after the tree is lit, Santa will stick around to listen to children’s wish lists.

“They can tell Santa what they want for Christmas early on in hopes of being good the rest of the holiday season,” Chanprasith said.

This is not the only opportunity for the children of Vicksburg to visit with Santa. He will return to the Outlets Saturday, Dec. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Also on Saturday, The Salvation Army will set up their main tree with the majority of the angels at Vicksburg Mall just outside of Dillard’s, 3505 Pemberton Square Blvd. The Salvation Army had a total of 570 children and 120 seniors sign up to be angels.

“All of the seniors are left 100 percent, none adopted yet,” Captain Indrani Bhatnagar, corps officer, said. “[So far] Its only children got adopted. We’ve got 300 plus left just for the children, plus all the seniors.”

The Bhatnagar’s encouraged groups get together to adopt angels.

“The small businesses, if they can adopt that makes a big difference,” Captain Srikant Bhatnagar, corps officer, said adding that groups can take on two to four angels and work together to buy presents for each.

To volunteer to ring the bell at a red kettle, call The Salvation Army at 601-636-2706.

“We definitely need some volunteers because more volunteers we get, more money we’ll same to give back to the community,” Indrani said.