• 70°

Monticello aglow for Christmas festivities

Monticello’s celebration of Christmas has been vastly expandedthis year with “The Glow of a Hometown Christmas.”

The holiday events will begin on Dec. 2 at Cooper’s Ferry Parkand end with the town’s annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 3. LawrenceCounty’s Miss Hospitality 2005, who recently won the MissMississippi USA pageant, will open the festivities at 5 p.m. byturning on the lights to make “Cooper’s Ferry Park glow,” said BobSmira, chairman of the parade committee for the Lawrence CountyChamber of Commerce.

As the park is lit, the Lawrence County High School Chorus willperform a few carols for the crowd. The chamber’s drawing forprizes in a hometown shopping promotion will follow.

The winner of the chamber’s ornament contest also will beannounced. Children are encouraged to submit one homemade ornamentto the chamber office on the third floor of the courthouse.Ornaments must highlight something their hometown has to offer,such as paper, peanuts or wildlife.

“Next, the excitement will move across the street to theFestival of Hometown Lights at the civic center,” Smira said.

The festival, which runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and has a $1admission fee, features Christmas trees decorated by differentorganizations and businesses. Christmas music performed by hometownmusicians and “tasty homemade treats” will further enhance theevent, Smira said.

Entertainment for the event will be provided by the MonticelloElementary chorus, the high school chorus, Beverly Collins and Timand Mary Catherine Morrison.

Santa’s Photo Workshop will be in full swing during thefestival. Santa will be present for photographs and to listenchildren’s holiday requests.

A “memory tree” also will be established for the sale ofpersonalized ornaments honoring cancer survivors or to memorializeloved ones who lost their battle with cancer. Purchased ornamentswill be displayed on a tree at the courthouse until the week ofChristmas, when owners can reclaim the ornaments for display ontheir own trees.

The Festival of Hometown Lights will continue at the civiccenter on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with photos from Santaavailable from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors will have booths set upwith food, raffles and arts and crafts for sale to benefit avariety of charities.

Parade activities will open up in New Hebron at 11 a.m. Theparade will illustrate “Christmas Through the Century” in honor ofthe town’s 100th anniversary. The parade will run down MainStreet.

“What would the holidays be without great food?” Smira asked tobring attention to fund-raiser dinners being held by the New HebronFire Department and Monticello Exchange Club.

The Fire Department will cook smoked chicken dinners from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown New Hebron, while the Exchange Club willserve chili dinners from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lawrence CountyHigh School cafeteria.

Festivities will end with Monticello’s “Glow of Hometown Lights”Christmas parade at 5:30 p.m. The parade will run along F.E.Sellers Highway and turn right onto Broad Street, where it willcontinue to Monticello Baptist Church.

New Hebron and Monticello merchants will remain open throughoutthe day, Smira said.

“You should be able to enjoy the weekend and knock out yourChristmas list at the same time,” he said.

A number of new businesses have opened up in recent monthsalongside old favorites to give customers a variety of shoppingoptions, Smira said.