Crowds flock to the Outlets for Extravaganza

Published 10:59 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

Deals, giveaways and raffles filled the walkways of the Outlets at Vicksburg Saturday as people clamored to purchase tickets gaining access to the annual shoppers blowout.

The Ninth Annual Shopping Extravaganza was held Saturday at the Outlets giving customers who bought the $20 tickets, lunch, a wine and cheesecake tasting, entry in a raffle for Sugar Bowl tickets and chances to win prizes and gift cards from many Outlet stores. Proceeds from the event benefited the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg and Lifting Lives Ministries.

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“We partner with the Outlets at Vicksburg to help raise money for our community projects that we’re involved with,” JA member Jordan Amborn said. “We use this money to help fund out projects throughout the year.”

She said the organization sold over 100 tickets before the event started and continued to sell tickets throughout the day. The goal was to raise a total of $12,000 — the amount they made last year.

“We’re hoping to make that again this year,” Amborn said.

The event was a family affair for many with relatives coming together to shop and see what kind of deals they could find. Sisters Alice Bell and Lee Seid said they have attended the Shopping Extravaganza together all nine years.

“We win $200 or $300 every year,” Bell said.

The sisters grew up in Vicksburg. Bell still lives here but Seid drives from Pontotoc to spend time with her sister and to try her hand at winning a few prizes. They find it important to shop locally to give back to the community where they were raised.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s the time to get together, a time to shop and have family time,” Seid said. “It’s our girl shopping day away from everybody.”

They weren’t the only family bonding over shopping. Sisters-in-law Kathy, Hattie and Lynne Myers took a break from the shops to snack on complimentary treats.

“It’s like a tradition for us now since they started doing it,” Kathy said. “It’s fun for everybody just to come out, family and friends, and get together and have a great time.”

The local women said it is convenient to shop in Vicksburg, and they think it is good to support the town’s economy.

“They usually have what you want out here,” Hattie said.

Lynne said she likes seeing familiar faces when she is shopping locally.

“We see everybody we know and socialize. We have a lot of fun together,” Lynne said.

This year the event was a couple months later than in the past. It was the first year the Shopping Extravaganza was held in conjunction with the Christmas tree lighting and offered the community a full, family-friendly day at the Outlets. Katie Rayborn, Outlets administrative marketing assistant, said she projected 1,000 people visited the outdoor shopping mall Saturday.

“We love our partnership with our charities. This is a huge event that we put on for them, and it sure is a pleasure. We hope to be able to continue that with other charities,” she said.