Holiday season begins in Wesson
By Bob Arnold
The Wesson holiday season begins today with the annual community luncheon at Co-Lin, setting the stage for the highlight of the season here – the town’s Christmas parade on Friday, December 2.
In the weeks ahead, food, fellowship and holiday cheer inspired by music, lights and decorations combine to create a unique season in Wesson and throughout southwest Mississippi.
At its Thames Center today, Co-Lin is hosting its annual community luncheon with a traditional Thanksgiving style luncheon featuring turkey, ham, country vegetables, salads and a variety of desserts prepared by Chris McSweyn, the town’s premier chef, who cooked so many holiday meals at Porches Restaurant over the years and has settled in as the college’s top chef. The festivities with the buffet meal and the fellowship characterized by organizations and families coming together at tables begin at 11 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. The $20 per person price includes meal, beverage, dessert, tax & gratuity.
This is the nineteenth year for the event, and will bring some 300 persons, including Co-Lin employees, members of community social and civic organizations, employees of area businesses, families and individuals who will be on hand. The community event evolved from a 2002 marketing showcase of the college’s Thames Conference Center facilities and food service into a venue for food, fun and fellowship involving an increasingly wider community.
The community comes together again, with people lining Highway 51 downtown to welcome Santa Claus as part of an old fashioned small town parade.
The Christmas parade, which had to be scaled back in 2020 because of COVID 19 pandemic precautions, came back bigger and better last year and will continue as the big town event it has been throughout its history. It will roll at 4 p.m. on December 2, going south through town and then back north.
Ken Carraway, who is the primary parade planner as Chief of the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD), is still recruiting participants, but you count on Wesson Police Department’s siren-blaring cars leading the procession followed by fire trucks from WVFD and other Copiah County fire departments and marchers from the American Legion.
Co-Lin’s Blue Wave Show Band and the Wesson High School marching band will provide Christmas music. The exuberance of the Collette dancers and cheerleading squad from Co-Lin and Nena Smith Dance Studio marchers will create a celebratory mood. There will be floats and vehicles that feature members of the Wesson High School homecoming court and beauty and beau winners, area government officials, business leaders and community service volunteers.
Santa, as usual, will be at the rear of the parade, assuring that the crowd stays to the very end.
He will head to the fire house to meet kids from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to hear their gift wishes and provide goodies from his bag. Cookies and punch will be served there.
Lights and decorations on Highways 51 and side streets downtown – installed by WVFD personnel on utility poles the Sunday before the parade (November 27) -- will provide an appropriate Christmas ambiance.
Anyone who would like to participate in the parade should contact the fire department through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (601-265-1694). There will be a registration form on the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page.