V-I-C-K-S-B-U-R-G: Locally made sign to be permanent fixture at Washington Street Park

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Visitors to Washington Street Park in downtown Vicksburg might notice a few more adornments than usual as the city prepares to celebrate the Christmas season.

One such decoration, a giant sign spelling out “VICKSBURG,” will be around long after the twinkling lights and wreaths come down. Kim Hopkins, Downtown Vicksburg Main Street Program Executive Director, said the sign will be made a permanent feature of the park.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the way the Vicksburg sign turned out,” Hopkins said. “The Vicksburg sign will stay in the park and be a photo opp spot for people visiting the park.”

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Hopkins said the Main Street Program didn’t have to look far to find craftsmen who could manufacture the metal letters. With a commitment to supporting local businesses as often as possible, Ricky’s Welding and Machine Shop was selected for the task.

Shop owner Josh Cole said the letters were designed using software at the shop and enhanced to have a three-dimensional look. He and his team added metal base plates to the letters to prevent them from tipping over, and sandblasted and painted them white.

“It was special to be a part of it — anything that promotes downtown, or Vicksburg as a whole,” Cole said. “If you can think of it, we can implement it and make it work.”

Those visiting the park after dark for the Downtown Vicksburg Tree Lighting on Friday will also notice a bonus feature: the letters change colors at night thanks to a little Christmas magic (and a projector with colored lights). Festivities begin Friday evening at 5:30 p.m., with the Monk Family singing and the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m.