Friends and families around the country will gather Thursday for Thanksgiving celebrations — despite COVID-19 —and there are plenty of public celebrations planned right here in Hancock County, including a Christmas parade on Saturday.
The Lutheran Church of the Pines in Waveland kicked off festivities on Saturday, converting its annual community celebration to a drive-through service, in light of social distancing concerns. Church volunteers handed out hundreds of meals on Saturday as families drove through line.
The King’s Kitchen soup kitchen will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal today, Wednesday, from 11:30 to 1 p.m. The kitchen is still doing drive-thru to go meals. King’s Kitchen is located at 2005 Longfellow Rd., in Bay St. Louis.
The Kelly family will host its 35th annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the OLG Community Center, 228 S. Beach Blvd., Bay St. Louis, MS.
The dinner is open to everyone, and has become an annual tradition for a lot of local families.
The dinner includes turkey and all the trimmings. Dine In, Carry Out, Curbside.
Deliveries will also be made to the homebound in Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Waveland, and Hancock County.
This year’s event will obey current COVID-19 restaurant guidelines.
Those who would like to volunteer can call, go to www.facebook.com/KellyFamilyThanksgivingDinner/.
The city of Bay St. Louis is scheduled to host its second annual Christmas in the Bay this Saturday, Nov. 28, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The parade will begin at 5:30, traveling from Court Street to DeMontluzin Street before ending on Main Street at the courthouse.
The parade will include golf cars, Jeeps, walkers, dancers and marching groups. After the parade, the city will host a ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree on the lawn of the Hancock County Courthouse.
The city is urging all parade participants, citizens and spectators to wear a mask.
“We are looking forward to this holiday event for a good time had by all while practicing social distancing and awareness,” Mayor Mike Favre said on social media.
“Last year’s parade was a huge success,” Favre said last week. “It exceeded our expectations. We’re kicking off a whole month of celebrations on Saturday with the lights. There’s a lot of good events planned. We tried to create some event every weekend to get people down here to our Old Town businesses.”
For instance, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, the city will host Movie Night in the Bay, Favre said, with a public showing of the movie “Elf” at the corner of Main and Second streets. There will be popcorn and hot chocolate, and participants are urged to bring blankets and chairs. Again, social distancing will be required.
“Our New Year’s Eve Oyster Drop was a huge event last time,” Favre said. “I think it’s going to be even bigger and better this year, as well. We’re going to tr to have a fireworks show for everyone — not just the adults. We might have one earlier so the kids can enjoy it, too.”
This Sunday, Nov. 29 — the day after the Bay parade — the city of Waveland will host its annual Christmas in Waveland event, featuring the Lighting of the Town Green and caroling at Coleman Avenue. Plans call for caroling, cookies and hot chocolate.
On Sunday, Dec. 6, the city will host the Christmas Family Fest from1-4 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Park on Herlihy Street.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, Waveland will host its own Christmas parade, starting at 4 p.m. It will travel from Lafitte Street to bEach Boulevard and up Coleman Avenue. There will be an award for the best decorated golf cart.