It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hancock County -- the Pearlington Christmas Parade, 12th annual Bay St. Louis Christmas Parade, 8th annual Snowflakes and Sugarplums Festival and inaugural "Christmas on Coleman" saw huge turn-outs over the weekend, and more events are coming as the clock counts down toward Dec. 25.
"The crowd, the spirit at Christmas on Coleman, far surpassed what I had imagined," event organizer Kristen Tusa said. "When I looked down Coleman Avenue and saw the street lined with families and saw children handing their letters to Santa Claus as he rode in on the fire truck, I could not have imagined anything better when we first started to plan this event."
"We had a huge crowd and I think people really enjoyed themselves," Hancock County Tourism Director Myrna Green said of the Bay parade and Snowflakes festival. "I was a little bit worried because there were so many other events," including the "Christmas in the Bay" parade last week, "but people really do like to come out and have a good time.
Coming up later this week:
• East Hancock Public Library will host “A Natural Christmas” beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. The library is located at 4545 Shepherd Square in Diamondhead. Children will be able to enjoy a visit with Santa Claus and refreshments.
• The Mississippi Welcome Center, located at 1-10 and Highway 607, will host its annual Christmas Holiday reception from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13. The event will include Christmas carols with local school children. Santa Claus will be there and local tourism partners will serve refreshments.
There are multiple events scheduled on Saturday, including Second Saturday in Old Town Bay St. Louis and the 205th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of the Bay (more on page 8 of today's Echo). and the following:
• The Kiln Fire Truck Christmas parade is scheduled to begin at noon. Numerous fire trucks parade through Kiln with Santa Claus. The parade starts at Bobinger Road and ends at the Hancock County Arena, located at 4184 Kiln-DeLisle Rd.
• The children of M.A.P. will perform a Christmas live Nativity reenactment on the grounds of the historic Train Depot in Bay St. Louis at 7 p.m. in the Alice Moseley pavilion.
• The 100 Men Hall presents A Soulful Christmas. Breakfast, selfies with Black Santa, games, and prizes for the kids. Open to the public. The 100 Men Hall is located at 303 Union St., Bay St. Louis. The event lasts from 9 a.m. to noon.
• Celebrate Christmas under the starry skies during First Baptist Church's, located on Main Street in Bay St. Louis, reenactment of the Christmas story. It begins at 6 p.m.
• Bourgeois Stieffel Ray American Legion Auxiliary Unit 77 will sponsor their annual Children’s Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the American Legion Post 77 located at 503 Waveland Ave. The Christmas Craft Fair is open to boys and girls ages 4-12.
Admission is $6 per child and includes lunch, snacks and craft supplies. Parents, here is your opportunity to go Christmas shopping, visit a friend, etc., while your children enjoy lunch, crafts, storytelling and a visit from Santa.
Children will be served lunch and cookies & punch at snack time. All children will be supervised by the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary of Unit 77. For more information or to pre-register contact Diane Fountain at 467-2198.
• Santa Claus will visit the Bay St. Louis Community Garden from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Dec. 14, to take photos with children, seniors, families, singles and pets. Everyone is welcome.
For a suggested donation of $10, you can take photos with Santa using your own devices up to five minutes per session.
All of the money raised will go to support the garden, which is located at the intersection of St. Frances and Bookter streets in the Bay.
• The Junior Auxiliary of Hancock County will be hosting a Share the Warmth event on Saturday, Dec. 14. Free coats and other warmth accessories will be provided to needy children and adults. Coats can be claimed at Kiln Library on Highway 603 from 9am-12pm. They will be at the Hancock Resource Center in Waveland from 2-5 p.m.
The Kiln Cowboy Christmas Parade is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 15 at noon. The event is officially known as the "Cowboy’s Horse &Wagon Parade." Santa is scheduled to be on the lead wagon. The parade will leave Bobinger Rd at noon and end at the Kiln VFW, where Santa will visit with the children and pose for photos. Refreshments will be provided. For more information please contact Brian Ladner at 228-342-2444 or 228-342-0484.
For more upcoming holiday events, see our Community Calendar on page 10 of today's Sea Coast Echo.