Weather doesn’t slow shoppers at ninth annual Holly Days

Published 6:27 pm Saturday, December 3, 2016

Booths selling a selection of wares from cookies and other goodies to soap, jewelry, candles, shirts, wooden horses and art work covered the floor of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center auditorium as shoppers visited the ninth annual Holly Days for Christmas gifts or something for themselves.

“It’s going great,” foundation and center director Stacey Massey said as she helped serve shoppers coffee and hot chocolate.

“It’s been steady; people have been coming in. The weather apparently hasn’t stopped them.”

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Cool temperatures and cold rain greeted shoppers as they made their way from their cars to the auditorium. The area of the auditorium’s foyer from the door to the guest table was littered with umbrellas as people dropped their covers as a prelude to going inside.

Christmas music, both recorded and live, greeted and serenaded the shoppers as the made their way through the maze of booths looking for that something special.

“I always come,” said Susan Price. “They have a wonderful selection of arts and crafts and so many different things. It’s a chance to get out. I like to support things we have in Vicksburg.”

One booth that drew some attention was Lou Brierley’s, which featured cookies, cakes and Italian breads and appetizers.

“All of them are from an Italian or European recipe,” she said.

On the other side of the auditorium, Alainna O’Bannon was looking at candles.

“I’m here because my daughter Laurel is singing, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to do some Christmas Shopping. It’s fabulous.”

For Linda Shannon and her sister Alice Little, the visit to Holly Days had dual purpose. The sisters were students at St. Francis Xavier, the girls school that once occupied the Southern Cultural Heritage Center complex.

“There’s a lot of old memories in here for both of us,” Little said as she walked away from purchasing a T-shirt at a booth.adding she and Shannon were students at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center when it was St. Francis Xavier, a school for girls.

“They had mass in here in the auditorium after the (1953) tornado,” she said. “And we had all kinds of plays. The seniors held the annual play in here.”

“When we were juniors, we had a spring assembly and we all got our senior rings,” Shannon said.

“I wonder what the nuns would think about all this,” her sister said.

“I think it’s wonderful they are able to use this building for the community,” Shannon said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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