Christmas contest deadline is noon Friday

Published 10:34 pm Monday, October 15, 2018

Allie Claire Townsend’s coolest memory from her reign as Miss Merry Christmas was the stares of wonder and delight from the kids after the annual parade.

They rushed up to her, little hands touching the soft folds of her red cape, and treated her like a princess.

“I was just walking around after the parade and all those kids would just come up to you and they thought you were everything. Just getting to talk to them was really cool,” she said.

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Applications for the 2018 Miss Merry Christmas contest are available at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. The cost is $20 and applications are due back by noon Friday.

Miss Merry Christmas will serve as the Chamber’s ambassador for holiday events in November and December and will ride in front during the Christmas parade.

The contest is open to young girls in their senior year of high school to 20 years old.

Rita Rich, a former Christmas committee chairwoman for the Chamber, founded the Miss Merry Christmas program in the mid 1990s as a way of creating more interest in the parade without detracting from the parade itself.

Contestants will be interviewed by a panel of judges and the winner will be announced during a program Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.

Townsend, 18, recommends the experience to anyone who enjoys talking to people.

“You get to meet lots of people from our county and you get to represent the Chamber as Miss Merry Christmas,” she said. “You are the face of the Chamber during that season.”

Applications are also available for the Christmas parade, which will roll through the downtown area Nov. 29 beginning at 6:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “A Storybook Christmas.” Robert E. Tyler from Tyler’s Funeral Home will serve as the grand marshal and Miss Mississippi Asya Branch will also riding in the parade.

The entry fee for groups and floats is $35. Call the Chamber at 601-833-1411 for more information.

The Chamber will have its hand in several other holiday events.

Brookhaven’s Christmas Open House is Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thirty businesses are participating in the event, said Chamber Program Director Katie Nations.

With the help of the Brookhaven Tourism Council, the Chamber will show “The Star” on the lawn at Mississippi School of the Arts on Dec. 1. Entertainment starts at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at 6:30 p.m.