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The Chamber wants to know — Do you have ‘Christmas spirit’?

Pumpkin spice is in the air, but thoughts in Lincoln County are already turning to Christmas.

Officials at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce are looking for the next Miss Merry Christmas, who will reign over festive events the Chamber hosts in November and December.

As Lincoln County’s holiday ambassador, Miss Merry Christmas “must exude Christmas spirit,” said Chamber Program Director Katie Nations.

The contest is open to young women who are seniors in high school or enrolled in college up to age 20. The candidates will be interviewed by a panel of judges selected by Nations and judged based on their personality, poise and appearance.

“Miss Merry Christmas must be warm, friendly and hospitable,” Nations said.

One of her first official duties as Miss Merry Christmas will be to visit with customers at each of the businesses participating in the Chamber’s annual Christmas Open House Nov. 9.

She’ll also lead the Christmas parade Dec. 5. This year’s theme is “Candy Coated Christmas” and applications for entries are available at the Chamber.

Applications for Miss Merry Christmas are available at the Chamber office, and at guidance counselor offices at area schools and Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The deadline to return the applications and a $20 participation fee is Oct. 25 at noon. The candidates will meet with judges at the Chamber Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. and a winner will be crowned that night.

This year’s Miss Merry Christmas will look a bit more fabulous, Nations said. The red robe, a traditional wrap for the holiday royal, has been tweaked for the contest.

“That robe has been worn by 23 Miss Merry Christmases. We’re reworking it to make it even more beautiful,” she said.

The winner uses the robe as part of her costume for the holidays, but passes it down for the next year’s winner to wear. The crown and the sash are hers to keep.