Christmas tree lighting kicks off monthlong festival

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By Josh Troy, Clarksdale Advocate

A Christmas tree lighting near the Delta Blues Museum Stage kicked off the “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” festival in Clarksdale throughout December. In addition to the tree lighting, the Clarksdale High School choir sang near the stage, a Christmas movie was shown, and a trolley ride, beginning in front of Ground Zero Blues Club, took place around town. Santa Claus was also present for the children to share their Christmas wishes.

Josephine Rhymes, who is overseeing the festival, and Clarksdale Ward 2 Commissioner Jimmy Harris, who provided technical support, lit the tree. “We want you to enjoy all of the festivities,” Rhymes said to everyone at the tree lighting. “Welcome to all of you. Enjoy yourselves and have a good time.”

Crossroads Economic Partnership, also known as the Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Jon Levingston, shared his thoughts. “I think it’s fantastic,” he said. “I’m thankful we’re doing it tonight. It’s a family-friendly event in Clarksdale and downtown Clarksdale, thanks to the Clarksdale/Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce, Josephine Rhymes, the City of Clarksdale, and also Santa Claus, who happens to be right behind me.”

Levingston reminded the community to come to the Christmas parade on Wednesday in a humorous manner. “I’m thinking about going over there and asking him if he’s going to grant my wish, which is good weather for the Christmas parade next Wednesday in downtown Clarksdale at 7 p.m.,” he said.

Levingston jokingly mentioned he wanted to see Casablanca on Friday, but a Christmas movie was shown instead.

Christmas at Carnegie & Blitzer’s Big Game Night is at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Carnegie Public Library, and a community canoe round trip to Island 62 is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, beginning at Quapaw Canoe Co.

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