By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
Picayune groups are coming together for the Second Annual Christmas on the Rails and Shop by Candlelight, which not only showcase the best of our community and encourages support of local businesses, but continues to emphasize that there are fellow community members who are not spending the holidays with their family because they are serving our country.
Picayune Main Street Director Lauri Stockstill says, “Shop by Candlelight is an annual Picayune Main Street, Inc. event. The central portions of West and East Canal as well as the downtown portion of Hwy 11 and South and North Main street are lined with luminary bags. There will be carriage rides to take you down East and West Canal to shop. Many of our merchants offer refreshments to shoppers and extend their business hours for Christmas shoppers. It is memorable experience for the entire family.
“Christmas on the Rails is a Christmas event hosted by the city of Picayune that began last year in conjunction with Shop by Candlelight. This year’s event will truly be beautiful. Shay Park will be lit with Christmas lights and will have our Community Band performing. There will also be shuttles from the Depot to West and East Canal street.
“I would like to encourage everyone to join us for this Christmas event. It is a wonderful outing for all ages and it is a great way to support both your local economy and small business owners.”
City of Picayune Planning and Zoning Director Diane Miller says, “The City of Picayune strongly believes that our deployed servicemen and women know they are always in our thoughts and prayers. We have placed several very special mailboxes outside the Intermodal Center for this Friday’s Christmas on The Rails.
“As you drive through the entrance you will find a Camouflage Mailbox for all ages wanting to send our 857th Engineer Horizontal a card or letter in time for Christmas in order to thank them for their service to our country by serving in Afghanistan. It is conveniently located in the front of the Intermodal so you can just drive through and deposit your letter or card.
“In addition we have a beautiful live Christmas Tree in front of the building with a Military theme in order for the public to place ornaments on behalf of our troops serving.”
She continued, “As Christmas in the Rails is about holiday spirit, we have another box that is specially marked for the North Pole. If you drive through the parking lot, you will notice a brightly decorated mailbox next to the Crosby Tank Car so all the children can deposit their letter to Santa.”
“This year is going to be bigger and better than last year in so many ways. People all over the Coast are talking about this event and we are excited to the community come together once again to fellowship and support their neighbors in business, families of deployed troops and artists with the Greater Picayune Art Council’s ArtWorks. We have had so many people work very hard to make this a premiere event in South Miss. and it will not disappoint,” said City Manager Jim Luke.
“Paul and Judy Byrd have partnered with the city to keep deployed troops in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and prayers this Christmas. The Security Council from Picayune High School are working as Santa’s Helpers to make sure children get a chance to meet Santa and have an enjoyable experience. Marie Whitman has loaned her snow village to the Intermodal for all to enjoy. We have lots of new donations in the Train Museum to see. Area churches and the Community Band members will be performing as well as artists from GPAC. There will be much to see and do on this night. After the evening is over, everyone can go see Harvey Jesus perform at Southern Char Steakhouse. This band has local ties to our community and is always highly in demand. We will truly have something for everyone,” he continued.