The holidays are finally here, and the Jackson-Metro area has plenty of happenings for everyone in the family. However, several annual holiday events have been canceled due to COVID-19.
Some of the canceled events include Jackson’s Christmas parade, the city of Ridgeland’s Christmas parade (not including the ‘tree lighting ceremony’) the Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree and the Department of Archives’ ‘Christmas by Candlelight.’
The Richardson light show, a Madison county tradition, will not happen due to construction along Hoy Road.
The city of Madison, however, came up with a creative way to have a COVID friendly Christmas parade. Madison will host their very first ‘reverse,’ Christmas parade. Participants will line their floats up along the parade route and for an hour perform while residents drive by.
The reverse parade will be held at Liberty Park on December 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. No pedestrians are allowed.
The Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) will host their annual “Journey to the North Pole,” on November 26, December 5-6, 12-13, 19-23, 26-28 to January 4, excluding New Year’s Day. The event lasts all day. MCM will offer a variety of events: ‘Jammies at Journey’ is an after-hours event where guests come in their pajamas.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will host “S.T.E.M. with Snowflakes” on December 7-11 from 1 to 3 p.m. daily. Included will be “ice fishing,” demonstrations, experiments with instant snow, and a lesson about Snowflake Bentley - the naturalist and photographer who first successfully captured snowflakes on film. Social distancing measures, timed arrival reservations, and face mask requirements are in place to ensure a safe visit. Fees are $6 for adults, $4 for children ages three and up. Under three are free. Museum members are free.
Also at the Museum of Natural Science, on December 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, and 18, from 5:30 until 7 p.m., the museum will present ‘Sippin with Santa. This event costs $15 for non-members and $10 for members. The night will feature cookies, hot cocoa, Santa letters writing station, holiday music, and Santa as he dives into the Mississippi sound aquarium tank. Winter costume characters will be available for photo ops throughout the event. Reservations are required.
The museum will launch “Where’s Noel?” – a scavenger hunt for the museum’s Christmas squirrel. A clue about Noel’s upcoming location will be posted to the “Where’s Noel?” Facebook event page whenever he is on the move. Noel will move to a “selfie spot” location twice each week. Participants must find Noel and post a photo with him in the comments section of the “I’ve Moved” posts. These Christmas squirrel selfies enter users into a weekly prize drawing for a special winter ornament. The selfies also make you eligible to enter a grand prize drawing for a 2021 Family membership to the museum.
Celebrate the holidays in Ridgeland at the annual Christmas tree lighting. The Christmas tree lighting event will be December 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the railroad district plaza at Olde Towne Ridgeland. There’s kid’s crafts, live music from local choirs, bagpipes, food and hot cocoa, special holiday offerings from the Old Town Railroad District merchants, and snow. And the big guy in red will be there and available for selfies.
The Mississippi Craftsman’s Guild annual event, Chimneyville arts festival, will happen on successive weekends at the Bill Waller Craft Center; December 4 through 5, and the 11 through 12 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are gift raffles awarded at the festival and tickets can be purchased beforehand online at their website. COVID restrictions are in place.
The Mississippi Ag Museum will host their Homestead for the Holidays event on December 11 and 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will both be onsite, and Mrs. Claus will be telling stories. Children up to 17 only pay $4, and adult admission cost $6.
The Mississippi Metro Ballet will be preforming The Nutcracker, at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center December 5 and 6 at 2 and 7 p.m. with selected virtual offerings. Ballet Mississippi will have their traditional Nutcracker Sweets at Thalia Mara Hall where the ballet will perform the second act of The Nutcracker. This event will occur on December 5 and 6 at 2 p.m.
Ballet Magnificat will perform a Christmas Carol three times at Pearl High School; December 19 from 2 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. and on December 20 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The ‘Festival of Trees,’ sponsored by the City of Madison Chamber of Commerce, will be displayed at the red caboose off Highway 51 in Madison. The trees will be behind the caboose to encourage COVID friendly conditions. The trees will be up for the entire month of December.