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Children enjoy annual breakfast with Santa Claus at the VCC

Rain, wind and cold temperatures lashed Vicksburg Saturday, but the exhibition hall in the Vicksburg Convention Center was warm and the spirit inviting as children and their parents sat down for breakfast and a visit from Santa Claus.

It was the convention center’s 17th annual Breakfast with Santa, and the interior of the exhibit hall was alive with the sounds of children, Christmas carols and jingling bells as parents and children had breakfast, did crafts and played games while waiting for Santa’s arrival.

Santa’s appearance was marked by flashing cameras and groups of children mobbing him as he made his way to the stage and his chair.

For Sharunda Flagg-Aly, her daughters Amy Kane and Ashley Flagg, and her mother, Charlie Walker, the breakfast was a renewal of a family tradition.

“I’ve always had to work on Saturdays,” Flagg-Aly said. “So this is the first time I’ve had in a while to join my children, but my mother always took them. She used to take me when I was little, and now we’re taking my children.

“When I was growing up, my grandmother, Virgie Williams, would take us downtown for Christmas; we’d go to the Coca Cola plant to see the decorations and Christmas downtown.”

Viviane Williamson was attending the breakfast for the first time with her son Diego.

“This is very beautiful,” she said. “It’s great to see all the children coming here.”

Convention center sales coordinator Sue Bagby estimated more than 500 people attended the breakfast.

“That’s a real good turnout considering the weather; this is probably the best turnout we’ve had,” she said. “Children are playing the games and the craft tables are full.”

She looked at the line of parents and children snaking across the exhibit hall floor waiting to have their pictures taken with Santa.

“This has to be Santa’s busiest day of the year.”

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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