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Vicksburg Main Street ‘reverses’ course with annual Christmas parade

It had been a sleepless night for Vicksburg Main Street Program Executive Director Kim Hopkins, but while in her wakeful state, she came up with an idea that has salvaged an annual holiday event.

For more than 30 years, downtown Vicksburg has hosted a Christmas parade. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the idea of having people gather close together along Washington Street this year was not an option.

Therefore, Hopkins came up with what she called a “reversed parade” for the city’s annual Christmas Parade of Lights.

“Our COVID plan is, we will have a reversed parade, which means the floats will stay still and the cars will drive by them on the other side of the street,” she said.

While the notion of having a “reversed parade” was the result of her sleepless night, Hopkins said she followed up by doing some research on her idea and found that other main street programs were implementing similar plans for their Christmas parades.

“I had it all in my head but had not written it all out, but once I started thinking about it more and looking at it, other main streets and national main street and international downtowns — this is what they recommended doing,” she said. “A lot of main streets are canceling their parades, but I just couldn’t see doing that to the kids and grown-ups because everybody needs a Christmas parade.”

The theme for this year’s Christmas Parade of Lights is “Frozen in Time” and it will be held at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. The deadline to be included is Wednesday, Nov. 25. Applications are available by calling 601-634-4527 or 601-831-8043; emailing downtownmainstreet@vicksburg.org; or at the Vicksburg Main Street location, 912 Cherry St. The cost is $20 for non-profit organizations and $40 for businesses.

Hopkins said some groups have already signed up to participate.

She said the parade route will be the same as in years past, but since the floats will not be rolling down Washington Street the route could be extended depending on the number of parade participants.

For bands that choose to participate in the parade, she said, they will be at a location where they can perform. Antique cars will also be parked at a designated location.

All participants on the floats will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Hopkins said continued tweaking of the parade will be made to accommodate all those who want to participate.

Assistance is being provided, she said, by the parade committee, the Mayor, and fire and police chiefs.

“This is all going to be new for us, but we are excited about it and excited about having something happy,” Hopkins said.

Other holiday events scheduled for downtown include Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 and the Downtown Christmas Open House on Nov. 29.

While they will not have the carousel at the Christmas in the Park, it will be decorated for the season, Hopkins said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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