Have Yourself a Merry Northeast Mississippi Christmas
By Jennie Bradford Curlee
There is just something magical about the holiday season in Northeast Mississippi. The anticipation of Christmas morning, the fun of school break, and the excitement of holiday parties and spending time with family makes this an extra special time of year. With so many different ways to celebrate this December, make magical memories with your family by checking out some of the local events below.
Christmas in Cottonplant
Open Thursday through Saturday, November 23 to December 15 and each day December 19 to December 25, Christmas in Cottonplant is a sight to behold. Each night from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, visitors enter this 12-acre winter wonderland with over 700,000 lights and 700 holiday-themed inflatables. Santa, of course, is there to greet children of all ages, and the Elf Café offers hot chocolate and other holiday goodies. Christmas in Cottonplant is located north of New Albany on Highway 15 at the Union/Tippah County line. More details on www.christmasincottonplant.com.
Kelly McAdams of Union County has made Christmas in Cottonplant a family tradition for several years. “No December is complete until my family has made a visit to Cottonplant,” said McAdams. “We love to bundle up, get hot chocolate when we arrive, and spend hours exploring this amazing place. It will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit!”
Tupelo Parks & Recreation also puts on quite a light display at Tupelo’s Ballard Park. A multitude of lights illuminate the lake and are positioned throughout the park, making it a wonderful place to walk through and experience with your family. Look for the lights throughout the month of December.
Sing We Now of Christmas
The sounds of Christmas are just as important as the sights and tastes in Northeast Mississippi. From caroling with friends and family to simply tuning your car’s radio to Sunny 93 for constant Christmas music throughout the entire month of December, the sounds of the holidays set the tone for celebrating. The North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Christmas concert December 8 at 7:30 pm at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center. One of the area’s finest Christmas programs, it includes the NMSO Children’s Chorus, as well as the choirs from Itawamba Community College and Northeast Mississippi Community College. (www.nmsymphony.com)
The BancorpSouth Arena will host the Bill Gaither Christmas Homecoming at the
December 15 at 6:00 pm. This Christmas concert will feature music by the Gaither family and is a perfect event to get the entire family in the Christmas spirit. Find out more on www.bcsarena.com.
Tupelo’s Oren Dunn City Museum presents its annual toy exhibit November 19 through December 28. This year’s exhibit features toys made in Tupelo by Rich Toy Collection. A unique part of Tupelo’s history, the Rich Toy Collection plant made wooden toys, then plastic toys, and eventually quit making toys to make ammunition boxes in order to support United States military overseas. As part of the toy exhibit, the Oren Dunn City Museum collects toys for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. Take your kids shopping for new, unwrapped toys and deliver them to the museum while taking in the annual toy exhibit. For more information, call (662) 841-6438.
From Christmas parades in all of the area’s municipalities to Santa arriving at the Mall at Barnes Crossing, there is so much to get your family holiday ready in Northeast Mississippi. Be intentional in planning outings for you and your kids throughout this holiday season and make magical memories that will last a lifetime.
Jennie Bradford Curlee is the public relations and international sales director for the Tupelo CVB. She and her family love drinking hot chocolate while driving around Tupelo to see all of the Christmas lights.
Looking for more holiday fun a little further away? Try these other great events.
Wassail Fest in Columbus, MS
December 8 in Downtown Columbus
Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo in Memphis, TN
Select Nights from November 13 www.memphiszoo.org
ICE! at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN
November 9 to January 1, 2019 www.marriott.com