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Campus Civitan, OCSL Collect Toys for Stocking Drive, Angel Tree Project

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Precious Luvine, a University of Southern Mississippi senior from Collins, Miss., places an angel on a Christmas tree in the R.C. Cook University Union lobby Wednesday, which includes the name of a child who needs toys for Christmas. Luvine, a program coordinator with the Southern Miss Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL), helped coordinate the Angel Tree Project while also helping members of the Campus Civitan Club collect toys for their seventh annual Fill the Stocking Toy Drive. The Fill the Stocking Toy Drive was sponsored by John Kirk, the Image Center and the Civitan Club. (University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)

FGH Patients Receive Early Visit From Santa

HATTIESBURG- Santa and his friends from the South Mississippi Medical Alliance visited Forrest General on December 16 to deliver gifts donated by members of the alliance and the South Mississippi Medical Society.

The South Mississippi Medical Alliance is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote health education and encourage participation in building a healthier community. Thanks to these outstanding organizations for bringing Christmas cheer to Forrest General’s patients! Pictured, from left are South Mississippi Medical Alliance members Karen Baylis, Heather Rifkin, Connie Derhgawen, Dr. Amanda Habeeb, Sarah Atkinson, Jena Herrington and Karen Morris with Santa and young patient Janaje’ Gibson.

For more information on Forrest General and its available services, call FGH OnCall at 1-800-844-4445, or visit forrestgeneral.com.

ZOO LIGHTS UP TO CELEBRATE HOLIDAYS

HATTIESBURG- See the Hattiesburg Zoo in a new light this December.  The Zoo is decking its boardwalks with holiday lights to host the Zoo Society’s annual Christmas celebration, Holiday Lights Zoofari.

Guests are invited to walk through the Zoo and view the holiday light display.  The event will feature train rides through the illuminated Zoo, and on December 23rd, Santa Claus will make an appearance to spread holiday cheer. Guests are welcome to bring their cameras to take a photo with Santa, and hot cocoa and holiday concessions will also be available.  In recognition of the new Adopt-an-Animal program, visitors will have the opportunity to enter to win an Adopt-an-Animal Christmas package.

“The Zoo Society is excited to bring this event to Hattiesburg during this special time of year,” said Matt Carr, President of the Zoo Society.  “It’s something we look forward to all year, and we can’t wait to share it with the public.”

Holiday Lights Zoofari will run Friday, December 17th through 23rd and December 26th through 30th from 5:30pm until 8pm each night.  Admission is $1 for Zoo Society members and $2 for non-members. Children under two will receive free admission. For more information, call 601.545.4576 or visit www.ZooHattiesburg.com.

Holiday Art Walk Activities Saturday in Downtown Hattiesburg

Tradition abounds Downtown with the 2010 edition of Holiday Art Walk, December 11, 4:00 – 9:00 p.m., throughout Downtown Hattiesburg. The five-hour event will feature special events and refreshments in all businesses. Front Street will be blocked between Main and Mobile, opening up additional, convenient parking to shoppers. Have photos made with Santa at the Saenger Theater.

South Mississippi Art Association, annual show and sale, will be held in the Walnut Building, 150 Walnut Square. Thirty-four artists have 87 works of art in the judged show and 69 works in the clothesline show. All work is for sale.

Depot Coffee House & Bistro will host open house featuring Direct Trade premium gourmet coffee and wonderful bowls of delicious beef and chorizo chili.

Blooms, A Garden Shop, in The Bakery, will feature the works of potters, artists and much more.

The works of featured artist, Elizabeth Huffmaster, will be at Main Street Books.

Hattiesburg Arts Council will feature emerging artists at the Cultural Center, 4 – 7 p.m. including Christian Bailey – Ceramics; Gus Bowering – Stained Glass; Junior Freeman – Mixed Media; Andrea Koystal – Mixed Media; Chris Lee – Sculpture.

A-Gallery, visitors will meet members of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi from 6-7:30 p.m. as they sign “Exposed” the 2011 Calendar. Jewelry Trunk Show begins at Noon and continues through 9 p.m. Owner of A Gallery, Gail Albert, will introduce “Inspirations,” her new jewelry collection. Also showing at A Gallery will be sterling silver and freshwater floating pearl necklaces by Tink.

McKenzies on Main will feature special holiday refreshments, unique collectible ornaments, specialty candles and more.

Click Boutique, on Front Street, will hold an open house.

Goddard Studio will hold an open house and show the works of featured artist.

Southern Fried Comics, extends an invitation for you to join them

Southbound Bagel, will have extended hours and feature local artist Marcus Howell.

A special feature at each Downtown merchant will be the 2010 Downtown Commemorative Ornament, featuring the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Walnut Street. Ornaments have become treasured gift items and collector pieces. Purchase yours during Holiday Art Walk.

As the afternoon turns into night, the Historic Neighborhood will come aglow with the Victorian Candelit Christmas. Candles line the streets, walks and driveways of the Historic Neighborhood. The entire area is decorated for the season, there will be carriage rides, period costumes, great hospitality and refreshments. A trolley is available:

Saturday- the Trolley will run from Front Street to Cultural Center between 5-7 pm. After that it will turn off at Front street and make the circuit back to Walthall. Stops include: Parking lot at corner of Front & Market Street, parking lot at Train Depot, Town Square Park, The Turner House (500 Bay St), The Walthall (600 Court St), Sacred Heart Parking lot on Walnut Street, Walnut Circle Grill and corner of Front and Main Street.

Three homes will be open for tours including, Turner House on Bay St.; VonHerrmann home on Walnut and Saffle home on Walnut. Tours are Sat., 5 – 9 p.m. and Sun., 2 – 5 p.m. Tickets $10, advance sales at Main Street Books.

Carriage Rides throughout the neighborhood on Sat. & Sun., 5 – 9 p.m. Tickets $5, available only at Walthall Center.

Headquarters for the Candlelighting event will be Court Street United Methodist Church. The Candlelight Cafe, 5 – 7 p.m. Sat. will be serving red beans & rice, homemade chili, salad & dessert for $6. Enjoy a Live Nativity Scene on the front lawn of the church along with the church choir caroling in Victorian costumes.

Sweet treats, hot chocolate and coffee will be on sale in the Walthall Welcome Center Sat., & sun, 5 – 9 p.m.

Visitors can get a head start on Holiday Art Walk, on December 10, as brownstones’ Restaurant presents a unique artist at Hattiesburg’s Historic Saenger Theater. The artist is one of the nation’s most successful Elvis tribute artists, Ron Adams, who will bring Las Vegas to Downtown Hattiesburg. Information about a Blue, Blue, Christmas, may be obtained by visiting www.hattiesburgsaenger.com or calling 601-584-4888. According to brownstones,’ partial proceeds benefit the South Mississippi Children’s Shelter, Safe Pla
The Tradition/Innovation Art Exhibit, at the Historic Depot will be open for extended hours for the Holiday Art Walk. Hours will be 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and light refreshments will be available.. The Exhibit is open through December 19. Art Exhibit visitors will experience more than 100 pieces of unique contemporary and traditional Southern art created by 58 American master artists and craftsmen who currently live and work in the South. There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted.
Rounding out the Holiday Season will be the Holiday Movie Series, at the Saenger. December 20-23, 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. the Saenger will be offering traditional holiday movie favorites, “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Christmas Story.” Doors open at 1 p.m. and special holiday concessions will be available in the lobby.

Additional information may be obtained by visiting or calling www.hattiesburgsaenger.com, 601-584-4888; www.visithattie.com, 601-296-7475

Hattiesburg Zoo Offers EdZOOcation Christmas Camp

Hattiesburg – The Hattiesburg Zoo’s EdZOOcation department is preparing for another great way to educate the community about animal care, conservation and enrichment this holiday season. The Zoo will offer a Christmas Camp on December 22nd and 23rd from 9am until 1pm.

“Since educating the public is a key component in the operation of the Zoo, we want to take advantage of all opportunities to teach children about the animal world and how to protect it,” said Krissy Hamilton, Education Curator.

The camp is for ages 5 to 10, and the cost is $40 for Zoo members and $50 for non-members. Registration is due by December 17th.

“For Christmas Camp, we will tie in a holiday theme, and show children how we take care of the animals during the colder months,” said Hamilton. “Children will also make Christmas enrichment gifts for the animals, play reindeer games and enjoy educational animal encounters.”

To register your child for Christmas Camp, or for more information on EdZOOcation programs at the Hattiesburg Zoo, contact Krissy Hamilton at 601.545.4576 or ZooEducator@hattiesburg.org.

The Hattiesburg Zoo is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility, in partnership with the City of Hattiesburg and   the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission.  Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing, operating and promoting tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area. For more information, visit ZooHattiesburg.com or contact us at 601.268.3220.

Wesley's Senior Circle Christmas Celebration set for Tuesday

wesley, senior circleHattiesburg, MS – Wesley Medical Center’s Senior Circle program will host its annual Christmas celebration Tuesday, December 7 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Senior adults age 50 and better are invited to attend and enjoy food, fun and door prizes. Wesley CEO Mike Neuendorf will be the keynote speaker.

Senior Circle is an organization that improves the lives of people 50 and better; it is sponsored by Wesley Medical Center. For more information, please contact Melissa Garretson at (601) 268-8192, or visit us at www.wesley.com or www.seniorcircle.com.

HOLIDAYS A FAMILY AFFAIR in Downtown Hattiesburg

The old saying “something for the entire family,” will be the thrust of Historic Downtown Hattiesburg, throughout the holiday season.  The Saenger will feature oldie but goodie Holiday movies, and pictures with Santa.  At the depot, the Art Exhibit Tradition/Innovation will feature more than 100 pieces of unique contemporary and traditional Southern art.  The holiday events continue with the annual Holiday Art Walk  and a step back in time with the Victorian Candlelighting winding through the streets of the Historic neighborhood.  The holi-daze continues with Ballet Magnificent “A Christmas Dream, dancing its way to the Saenger Stage, and Sounds of the Season in Downtown restaurants on Tue.and Thur., for noontime mini-concerts.
Art will form be the centerpiece of holiday activity in Downtown Hattiesburg with the Tradition/Innovation Art Exhibit showing through December 19, Visitors will experience more than 100 pieces of unique contemporary and traditional Southern art created by 58 American master artists and craftsmen who currently live and work in the South.  The exhibition will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 until 4, and Sunday from noon until 4. Extended hours for Holiday Arts Walk on December 11, will be until 9:00 p.m..  There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted.  School groups are especially encouraged to see this exhibit.  Reservations are encouraged for groups, by calling the Hattiesburg Visitors Center at 601.296.7475.

The traditional music of the Holiday Season will not be over looked, as a troupe from William Carey University present “Sounds of The Season.” Nov. 30 – December 16.  This unique program brings performers to a Downtown restaurant each Tuesday and Thursday during noon hour, entertaining diners with traditional holiday sounds.  Participating restaurants include:  The Shed, The Pastry Garden, Walnut Circle Grill, brownstone’s, Depot Coffee Shop/Bristo, 206 Front, Bianchi’s Pizza, and Hub City Diner.  The complete schedule is available at: www.hattiesburgdowntown.com
More than 35 authors will gather at Main Street Books on December 6 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. for the 7th Annual Author Extravaganza.   Approximately 35 authors will gather in the store to sign their works.  Two other events have been added to the Extravaganza, and that is the canned food drive for Edwards Street Fellowship on Edwards Street, and Art for a Mission will be open for a silent auction and raffle.

Tradition abounds Downtown with the 2010 version of Holiday Art Walk, December 11, 4:00 – 9:00 p.m., throughout Downtown Hattiesburg.  The five-hour event will feature special events and refreshments in all businesses.  On the streets will be bends, carolers, artists on the street, holiday characters, and photos with Santa will be at the Historic Saenger Theater.  A special feature of Art Walk will be the 34th Annual Art Show and Sale.

As the afternoon of December 11 turns into night, the Historic Neighborhood will come aglow with the Victorian Canlelighting.  Candles light the streets walks and driveways of the Historic Neighborhood.  The entire area is decorated for the season, there will be carriage rides, period costumes, and many homes will be open with hospitality and refreshments.

Rounding out the Holiday Season will be the Holiday Movie Series, at the Saenger.   December 20-23, 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. the Saenger will be offering traditional holiday movie favorites, “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Christmas Story.” Doors open at 1 p.m. and special holiday concessions will be available in the lobby.

Additional information and schedules for all activities may be obtained by visiting www.hattiesburgsaenger.com, or calling 601-584-4888; www.visithattie.com, 601-296-7475; wwwdowntownhattiesburg.com, 601-583-4329

Holiday Pottery Sale Features Student and Faculty Made Works Saturday

HATTIESBURG, Miss.– Handcrafted pottery and sculptures will be on sale at the annual Holiday Pottery Sale from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at The University of Southern Mississippi 3D Arts Building on Fourth Street.

Hosted by the Department of Art and Design, the Holiday Pottery Sale features a number of pottery and sculptural objects made by ceramic and sculpture students and faculty. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will go back to the department to help purchase a new clay mixer for the students.

“This is a great opportunity to find a unique gift just in time for the holidays,” said Associate Professor Jennifer Torres. “You can purchase some quality pottery and sculpture made by folks here at Southern Miss and contribute to a worthy cause.”

The sale will be located in the 3D arts Building on West 4th Street, west of the Trace Gateway parking lot. For more information, contact Jennifer Torres at 601.266.6032.

Ballet Magnificat's "A Christmas Dream" Tonight at the Saenger

Ballet Magnificat! Presents

A Christmas Dream

December 3 :: 7pm

Tickets :: $18 to $27

Experience the wonder of A Christmas Dream as Ballet Magnificat! lights up the stage. Set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, A Christmas Dream combines traditional and Christian Christmas stories into a full-length ballet.

USM's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Scheduled for Wednesday Dec. 1 on Campus

The University of Southern Mississippi’s fourth annual “Lighting the Way” celebration will be held Dec. 1 on the Hattiesburg campus. (Submitted photo)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Holiday cheer will be overflowing during the fourth annual “Lighting the Way” celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.

The program gets underway at 6 p.m. with vocal performances by two Southern Miss a cappella groups – the all-male Spirit of Southern Miss and the all-female Southern Belltones. More holiday music will be provided by Miss University of Southern Mississippi Jill Duckworth, members of Presbyterian Christian High School, Chi Omega Sorority at Southern Miss and Joy Kate Lawson of Jackson, who recently won the Mississippi State Fair talent competition.

“What started really as a campus celebration for the holidays has now transitioned into more of a partnership with the community,” said Brooks Moore, associate dean of students at Southern Miss. “The turnout has been better each year and we look forward to another great response for what promises to be a wonderful event for the Hattiesburg area.”

Those who attend will be treated to free hot chocolate and photos with Southern Miss mascot Seymour, who will be dressed as Santa Claus.

Approximately 30 small Christmas trees adorn the front entrance to the campus, decorated by student organizations and other Southern Miss departments. The 30-foot primary Christmas tree, which features more than 17,000 lights, sits on the front lawn of the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building. Avery’s Tree Farm in Purvis provided the main tree while the others came from Smith’s Christmas Tree Farm in Moselle and Lowe’s of Hattiesburg.

The program will culminate with the countdown to the tree lighting by Southern Miss President Martha Saunders and Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul.

Moore noted that each year groups that sponsor a tree also raise money to benefit a local non-profit organization or agency. This year approximately $3,000 was collected and will be presented to the Carpenter’s Helper, a local housing assistance program for community members.