There are a few things we have on our Christmas wish list

Published 3:10 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2019

With less than a week before Christmas, parents are scrambling for the final touches to their magical Christmas mornings, while husbands are just realizing Christmas is Wednesday and scrambling to find their wife something — anything.

So as we look ahead to a morning of gifts being presented, unwrapped and enjoyed, we thought of a few things on the Christmas wishlist for Vicksburg and Warren County.

On that list, in no particular order, of course, would be a few long-standing projects and ventures, while others are, let’s just say hopeful dreams.

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It would be nice Wednesday morning to go to the tree, stoop down and unwrap that the Old Mississippi River Bridge was itself open; open for pedestrian access and a nice brisk walk across the river on a cool morning. It would be nice for Vicksburg to add the pedestrian bridge as yet another amenity available to residents and tourists alike.

It would be nice to be able for our youth to take their new bikes on a quick ride to the Louisiana side of the river and back again, getting a bird’s eye view of barges as they make their way up and down the Mississippi River and see and hear the “Mighty Mississippi” from a perspective only enjoyed by a few.

As we look to next on the list, it would be nice to grab a hold of and unwrap an expanded Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi, with two fields — planned but yet unbuilt — complete with lights to attract even more teams, more parents and more visitor dollars to our economy.

It would be nice for the city and the company to finance the needed work, further polishing the gem the park has already become and further enhancing the park that has attracted tens of thousands to our community thus far.

Tucked away in maybe a gift bag, just under that odd ornament made by your child when he was in kindergarten — 15 years ago — is the long-discussed Vicksburg riverfront redevelopment project.

With plans in place, and estimates on paper, the project is simply waiting for the funding — that’s all.

Whether those dollars come from the Legislature or bonds or elsewhere, this project is admittedly long overdue. That said, it is a project you can only do once, so taking the time to get the plans right has been time well-spent.

Vicksburg welcomes riverboat visitors by the, well, boatful, on a weekly basis and making sure the experience they have at our riverfront and in our downtown is memorable is important. The money made from this investment will not come from the first visit by these tourists, but by the return trips they schedule and take.

The redevelopment of the riverfront is not only a gift to those who visit, but to local residents as well. One of the greatest assets our community has is the access we have to the river and anything done to improve that access and that experience is important.

While there are other wants and wishes on our Christmas wish list, we must remain realistic. There is only so much Santa and his tremendously talented elves can do, so please stop asking for that interstate system makeover. At this point, it just ain’t happening.