By Bethany Byrd
There is no better time to enjoy the incredible local culture of Laurel, Mississippi than during the holiday season! From the annual Sertoma Christmas Parade and Kiwanis Pancake Day to the beloved LRMA Gala, the holiday festivities held on December 6th this year create the perfect opportunity to enjoy all that Mississippi’s Downtown has to offer!
Sertoma Christmas Parade
Every year thousands flock to Mississippi’s largest Christmas parade, held right here in Downtown Laurel, MS on the first Saturday of December.
This year’s parade – sponsored by the City of Laurel, the Jones County EDA, the Jones County Board of Supervisors, Blakeney Communications, the Laurel Leader-Call, the Chronicle and Sawmill Square Mall – is sure to delight adults and children alike as they take in the sights and sounds of Christmas in this incredible display.
Come out Saturday, December 6th to see floats from local businesses and organizations, local marching bands, emergency vehicles, clubs, and more as they celebrate this year’s theme – “The Carols of Christmas”!
Of course, you won’t want to miss the parade’s two biggest attractions – the arrival of Santa Claus and this year’s celebrity Grand Marshall – Duck Dynasty’s Martin & Godwin!
The Sertoma Christmas Parade is more than just a fun, holiday event – funds raised through parade entries go to further the Sertoma Club’s mission – “to enhance the lives of those who have Speech or Hearing impairments.”
It’s not too late to enter your own float, organization or band! Download the 2014 Sertoma Christmas Parade entry form here.
Kiwanis Pancake Day
It just wouldn’t be Christmas in Laurel without the annual Kiwanis Pancake Day! Held every year in conjunction with the Sertoma Christmas Parade, Pancake Day is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fun meal with family and friends before or after the parade while supporting the future of local students.
Each year, folks flock to the Laurel YWCO and First Baptist Church to enjoy hot, buttery pancakes, sausage and coffee prepared by local Kiwanis and Key Club members. The event begins at 6:00 am on December 6 and runs to 2:00. Tickets are $5 if pre-purchased or $6 at the door!
Ticket sales help fund 6 annual scholarships awarded to local students by the Laurel Kiwanis Club to assist in furthering their education.
To purchase tickets, reach out to a local Kiwanis or high-school Key Club member, or pay at the door at either location the day of the event.
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Annual Gala
(Copy provided by LRMA)
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Gala, held the first Saturday evening of December, is arguably the area’s most elegant and anticipated event of the year. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Ford will chair this year’s ball, inspired by the French Impressionist movement of the early 20th century.
Set in the galleries of Mississippi’s first art museum and complete with a fabulous dining experience, dancing, and spirited bidding, this event draws approximately 300 guests each year from New Orleans to Seattle.
Original artwork by prominent regional artists, exciting trips, and unique jewelry highlight the Live Auction, while the Silent Auction features dinners, gifts, artwork, weekend getaways, and antiques.
The Gala Preview Party is presented by the LRMA Guild of Docents and Volunteers on the Thursday evening prior to the Gala. The Preview Party provides an opportunity for Gala patrons and Auction donors to familiarize themselves with the items in the Silent Auction and begin bidding on their favorites.
The Museum’s primary fundraising event, the black-tie Gala routinely raises more than $80,000 annually for LRMA programs and exhibitions.