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Have yourself ‘An Old Fashioned Christmas’

The Old Wesson School is the perfect spot for an old fashioned Christmas.

At least that’s what the committee to save the old two-story brick Romanesque Revival Style building believes.

“An Old Fashioned Christmas” will be open Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the historic Old Wesson School at 1047 Eighth St. in Wesson.

The first-ever shopping event is a fundraiser for the Old Wesson School Committee to raise money to renovate the kitchen.

Member Melissa Meredith said the event will be a great opportunity to buy last-minute gifts, or a good place to begin for those who haven’t started shopping.

At least 22 vendors have signed up and there’s room for more, she said. Booths are 10-foot-by-10-foot for $25. To secure a booth, call 601-669-1497 or 601-643-1446.

The event is free to the public. Money will be raised through booth rental and donations.

“We’re hoping the shopping event will catch on and grow each year,” she said. “We love the school. That’s why they formed a committee to help generate funds to keep it going.”

Besides shopping, children can watch “The Polar Express” in a secure area beginning just after 6 p.m. There will also be a Christmas coloring station.

Cookies and hot chocolate will be available for shoppers and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on-hand to pose for photos.

Meredith said committee members will give tours of the school upon request.

Will offer tours of the school upon request.

“It will be great for people to come and look at the school,” she said. “I think it’s going to spark something good for the town and it’s something that can be done year after year.”

The school, originally built in 1889 and rebuilt in 1893 after it was destroyed by fire, is on the Mississippi Landmark and National Register of Historic Places. According to the state Department of Archives and History, the Old Wesson School has an unusual industrial appearance, and may have been designed by the same architect and in the same style as the original Mississippi Mills buildings.

Exterior renovations of the building were completed in 2003 and made possible by funding from two grants: a Community Heritage Preservation grant through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and an Economic Development grant from the Mississippi Development Authority. The Legislature approved an additional $1 million in funding to continue renovation of the interior of the school. The school is a venue for weddings, meetings, reunions, conferences and other events.