There’s no better place to experience the wonder of the most wonderful time of the year than Mississippi. You’ll find dazzling light displays and festive events in every corner of the state as Mississippi’s cities and small towns host annual festivals with colorful lights, live entertainment, shopping, and fun activities for all.
During Hattiesburg’s Victorian Candlelit Christmas, candlelight luminaries line the sidewalks of Hattiesburg’s downtown district, and more than 300 of the city’s historic homes and businesses are decorated with garlands, bows, twinkling lights, and window displays. The event, which is hosted by the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association, is held annually on the second weekend of December.
Every year, Experience Columbia Mississippi’s Winter Wonderland draws thousands of people to the vibrant southern Mississippi city located between Hattiesburg and McComb. Highlights include an outdoor ice staking rink, live music, and a giant lighted ornament ball that’s perfect for photo ops. The Winter Wonderland begins November 19 and ends with a New Year’s celebration December 31.
Christmas in Natchez is a month-long festival that includes the lighting of a 34-foot tree on Main Street, Christmas lights and events in Memorial Park, choral music and singing, food trucks, rides for the kids, and an appearance by Santa Claus. The historic city’s Christmas celebration will be held from November 25 to December 25. This year, their tree lighting will be November 26th.
The Holly Jolly Holidays takes place on The Square each year in Oxford, the home of the University of Mississippi. The festival features an outdoor ice staking rink, horse-drawn carriage rides, live ice carvings, food trucks, visits with Santa, an ornament auction, and a holiday market. For 2022, the festival will be begin November 21 and end January 2. The rink will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
Mississippi’s largest holiday tradition is the Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival, which has been held annually since 2015. The Lights Festival features more than 1.5 million lights throughout the 40-acre Jones Park, plus carnival rides, train rides, Santa’s Village, and a visit with Santa Claus at his headquarters. The Harbor Lights Festival was featured prominently in the 2017 Lifetime movie Christmas in Mississippi.
This year, the 90th performance of the annual Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree will be held on the campus of Belhaven University in Jackson. The Singing Christmas Tree features more than 100 choir singers arranged in rows on a tree-shaped structure, with the Christmas story told through narration and musical performances that are illuminated by a dazzling multicolor light show.