Making ‘Merry Melodies’: Fedell named Christmas Parade grand marshal

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, November 30, 2023

Sometime before 5 p.m. Saturday, Timmie Fedell will get into a convertible and find a comfortable position atop the car’s back seat. From that perch, she will greet spectators as grand marshal of Main Street Vicksburg’s 2023 Christmas Parade.

The parade’s theme of “Merry Melodies” fits its grand marshal. Fedell owns Michel’s Record Shop, a music and record store that has been a downtown fixture for more than 60 years.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said of the honor. “I like it; I’m excited. I think it’s quite an honor. I sure was surprised when they told me.”

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Main Street Executive Director Kim Hopkins said the Main Street Board of Directors selected Fedell, adding, “She’s been a longtime merchant downtown and we thought she was very deserving of it. And then our theme this year was ‘Merry Melodies’ and that goes along with her business and her love for music.”

Fedell and her husband Michel opened their business on May 11, 1962. “We sold instruments, we sold 45 vinyls, we sold LPs, we sold PA systems; we sold speakers, record players, needles, guitars — a little bit of everything,” she said.

“We have good customers; they keep coming back to see us. The community has been good.”

And some of those customers have been special. Blues legend B.B. King used to visit the store, Fedell said, pointing to a framed autographed guitar signed by King. Other visitors have included Bobby Rush, the Doobie Brothers, The Coasters and Willie Dixon.

“Willie Dixon and my husband were friends,” Fedell said.

Fedell said she learned in October she would be the parade’s grand marshal “Kim told me and I was really surprised. I said, ‘You want me to be the grand marshal for the Christmas parade?’ And she said, ‘yes, we voted on you last night,’ so I said, ‘It would be an honor.’”

Fedell said she’s not sure what a parade grand marshal does, adding, “They didn’t tell me. I guess they lead the parade and wave a lot … a lot.”

And she’ll be waving to some very familiar faces. Fedell said her family is expected to be in town for the parade watching from in front of Michel’s Record Shop.

“I think there’s about 15 that’s going to be able to come. I’ve got a lot more than that,” she said. “I’ve got some grandkids that’s going to be here and they’re all excited and I have a 4-year-old great-grandson.

“Hopefully it won’t rain. It’s a 50-50 chance of rain. So we’ll see. Hopefully.”

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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