Thursday, December 6, 2012
Weekend of activities
The temperatures tell me differently, but I’m officially in the Christmas spirit.
The holiday cheer comes courtesy of the activities last weekend around Marshall County, from a downtown parade to a renowned choir’s performance.
For example, Friday evening I was on the courtsquare to help kick off the 175th birthday celebration for the City of Holly Springs. It included the lighting of the new nativity scene on the courthouse lawn.
Special guest was Sen. Roger Wicker. His comments and those of Mayor Andre’ DeBerry inspired us all to be proud of Holly Springs – its past, its present and its future.
Pam and I left there for Byhalia, where the town held its tree and display lighting ceremony. When we arrived, we couldn’t believe all the cars. I started to call my good friend, Byhalia policeman Kerry Reid, and ask for a “parking pass.” Instead, we parked near Highway 178 and enjoyed the short walk to Brunswick Gazebo Park.
Mayor Phil Malone, smiling, said he did not think he’d ever talked in front of that many people.
It was a terrific crowd – largely because of the involvement of the children from Byhalia schools this year. The choruses provided some wonderful, holiday entertainment.
The Citizens Bank crew was also passing out free hot dogs and Santa Claus came rolling in from the North Pole atop the Byhalia fire truck.
There were long lines – for the hot dogs and to see Santa.
The honor of flipping the switch to turn on the Christmas lights in the park went to Don Wilson, who has retired after 47 years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Byhalia.
Saturday, after going to my daughter’s elementary basketball games in Grenada, I was back in downtown Holly Springs that night for the annual “Holly Jolly Parade.”
Greg Campbell and Annie Moffitt did their usual good job of entertaining while the large crowd of folks surrounded the square, awaiting the start of the festivities.
It was another successful parade – from the grand marshal Nancy Hutchens and her Century 21 staff and family, to the bands, the floats, and Santa, who must have spent the night nearby so he could make another appearance Saturday.
I wrapped up my holiday season kickoff weekend by taking Pam and Erin to the 15th annual Christmas concert, performed by the Rust College A’Cappella Choir.
Morehouse Auditorium on the campus in Holly Springs was not quite full, but it should have been.
The concert was wonderful. The choir’s tradition of success is a rich one, and it is definitely continuing.
Under the direction of Dorothy Lee Jones, the choir entertained for about an hour and a half. I could have stayed a lot longer. The applause was constant and deserving.
The concert was dedicated to Dr. Norman Chapman, who has given over 38 years of continuous service to the Rust College Music Department.
Zebedee Jones, former director of the choir, was also recognized and led the audience in a couple of traditional favorites – “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain.”
The members of the Rust College choir are so very talented. Their outstanding performance was special for my family and capped a great 175th anniversary weekend for Holly Springs.
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