Enjoy The Most Magical Winter Festival In Mississippi This Year


by Jackie Ann, Only In Your

On the hunt for a spectacular light show in Mississippi this season? The Harbor Lights winter in Mississippi is arguably one of the most family-friendly, mesmerizing light shows…

This article first on Only In Your State.

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Gulfport Harbor Lights Walkthrough. Christmas Light Display.


This is a complete walkthrough of the Harbor Lights Winter located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

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Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival returns to Harrison County

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www.wxxv25.com – Jeff Vorick – 2022-11-09 17:49:27

A popular event is making a return after a two-year pandemic related hiatus.

The Highland Games and Celtic Music is this weekend at the Fairgrounds. The event will be held at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Athletic events, storytelling, animal events and demonstrations, as well as live music on two stages from local and visiting performers are .

You can expect to see clan tartans being worn and there will be folks there to help you get started on tracing your ancestry if you have any Celtic blood.


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Peter Anderson Art & Crafts Festival, Ocean Springs MS


2022-11-05 12:36:14, 1667669774

RetireCoast.com brings you a taken at the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts held each year in , MS.

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Harbor Lights Winter Festival under construction at Jones Park

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www.wxxv25.com – Sabria Reid – 2022-11-03 19:54:56

Christmas is coming to .

Crews are preparing for the Harbor Lights Winter at Jones Park where Santa’s Village is under construction.

The day after Thanksgiving, Santa lands in Gulfport through New Years Eve.

The annual winter festival adds more lights each year and is bringing back the talking reindeer that stole the show last year.

The price for tickets remains the same as previous years. General admission is $15, for children ages five to 12 entry is $5, and children four and under get in free. Communications Manager Jase Payne…

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Mississippi Renaissance Festival at the Harrison County Fairgrounds


www.wxxv25.com – Janae Jordan – 2022-10-10 17:36:48

Billed as ‘where fairy tales come to life,’ the Mississippi Renaissance is coming to the Fairgrounds this coming weekend.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore ‘the year of our Lord 1306.’  The festival offers the chance to travel through time and culture.

Three distinct town markets will be offered for guests to enjoy their favorite renaissance food and desserts, live bands and singers, belly dancers, traveling troupes of magicians and acrobats, Romani fortunetellers, and multiple stages filled with bards, plays, and live…

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Butterflies in the Pass Monarch Festival spreads awareness


www.wxxv25.com – WXXV Staff – 2022-10-03 15:26:49

Some people brought out their butterfly clothes and head bands as they celebrated the annual Butterflies in the Pass Monarch .

Twenty exhibitors, along with guest speakers, helped educate everyone about pollination, gardening, and butterfly migration.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, Monarch butterflies declined from as many as ten million to just about 1,900 over the past 40 years. That puts them at risk of extinction.

Wendy Allard with the Library tells 25 this is a great way to raise awareness on…

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Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with festival in Pascagoula


www.wxxv25.com – WXXV Staff – 2022-09-19 14:33:23

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 17th through October 15th and the Gulf Coast got a taste of authentic Latin foods and was introduced to other cultural festivities at the inaugural Hispano at Beach Park.

The festival spotlighted many Hispanic businesses, giving them a chance to promote and get to know the community.

People crowded the park, dressed in costumes and cultural clothing followed by traditional dances.

Event organizer Lazaro Rovira was glad to see not only the Hispanic community coming together, but a mix of all…

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Book bans: How do Mississippi students feel about them?


Book bans are on the rise. How do Mississippi students feel about it? 

Serenity Moore stood patiently off the side of the stage in the Galloway Church reception hall one afternoon late last month, waiting for a turn to ask her favorite author a question. 

The energy in the room had become serious after a local teacher stood up to ask the panel of Black female authors what they thought about districts in Mississippi restricting access or banning their books completely from school libraries.

Angie answered first. 

“We’re being made into the big bad wolves that are coming in,” Thomas said. “Half the people who banned my book haven’t even read it.” 

While Thomas spoke, the 12-year-old paced in her white Nike tennis shoes, clutching her copy of “The Hate U Give.” When it was finally her turn, Moore shared with the panelists — all in attendance for an event at the Mississippi Book — that she’d actually discovered Thomas’ book through her own classroom library. Since she picked it up, she’d not been able to put it down: not at volleyball practice, not at the grocery store; she brought it with her everywhere. Her question was simple — would Thomas please sign her copy?

Serenity Moore, right, holds her signed copy of “The Hate U Give” with her teacher Laura Clark.

“I was so surprised because, like, my mom was telling me this book was getting banned almost everywhere,” Moore later told Mississippi Today. “I was like, I have to read this. I literally have to get this.”

Moore is a student in the Jackson Public School District, which has not banned books to date. She got her book signed and intends to return it to her classroom for her peers to read. But in recent months, school districts and libraries across Mississippi have begun restricting access to books deemed to have “mature content.” This means students like her in other districts no longer have easy access to a world of literature filled with characters and situations that mirror their own lives.

Nationally, attempts to ban books hit a record high in 2021 since the American Library Association started tracking the challenges 20 years ago. The organization announced last week that 2022 is on track to surpass last year, and the majority of challenged books were by or about Black or LGBTQ+ individuals.

In Mississippi, public libraries in Ridgeland and Biloxi have debated pulling books off shelves, with the Ridgeland mayor holding back funding from the library over LGBTQ+ books. After several months of negotiations, the library had to reduce its operating hours before an agreement was reached to restore funding. 

In the Madison County School District, the school board placed 10 books in restricted circulation, meaning they require parental permission to check out. Nearly all the authors are people of color or LGBTQ+. 

Adam Maatallah, a senior at Madison Central High School and the president of his school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club.

Adam Maatallah, a senior at Madison Central High School and president of the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Club, said he was disheartened, but not surprised, when he learned about the efforts to ban books in his school district. He’s encountered a lot of prejudice as a kid, he said, and “ … after coming out and being comfortable with my sexuality, I’ve seen the true Mississippi, and it’s not a pretty place for queer people, especially queer youth.”

“We never really expected that (the restrictions) would come from people who are trying to educate us,” Maatallah said. “We were very shocked and sad that apparently, that’s what our educators in charge think is best for us. In reality, it only shows us that we’re not welcome here or that we should be excluded and isolated and not exposed to other people.” 

He said he and his peers were grateful it wasn’t a complete ban of books and they could still be accessed with parental consent, but pointed out this poses a challenge for students with less accepting parents. 

“To put that book on parental restriction is really banning the book altogether,” he said. “The presence of the book in the library is what matters to us. The availability and having the choice to read that book is what makes us feel safe and secure and like we’re people at our school.”

Students have also felt the impact of these efforts to ban books in communities where books are not restricted.

Alex Palmiter, a high school student in Meridian.

Alex Palmiter, a 10th grade student in Meridian, said they’ve witnessed classmates and teachers having disagreements about the issue. 

“I feel kinda disappointed when it happens because usually, I’m not part of the conversation, I’m just an observer,” Palmiter said. “Hearing them talk about me like I’m not there makes me feel like I don’t exist and I don’t matter.” 

Palmiter emphasized the impact diverse representation has had on them personally. 

“There was a moment when I realized that I don’t feel love the same way others do, and it was weird for me, but I have come to terms with it and I accept myself,” they said. “But seeing those characters and that representation in other media really did help me. It showed me that I’m not the only one in the situation and there are others who feel the same way.”

Raymond Walker, a trans 10th grade student at Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, echoed Palmiter. 

“I have a giant shelf of books in my room all by trans authors or about trans people,” Walker said. “I travel a lot, and sometimes when my dad and I go up to St. Louis, he’ll take me to the gayborhoods and gay bookstores and buy me queer books, and I really find a lot of strength in having those.”  

Raymond Walker (right), a student at Northwest Rankin High School, and his mother Katie Rives (left).

Walker, who switched districts from Madison County to Rankin County Schools to give him a fresh start when transitioning, said he has found his new district more accepting.

Though the bans come at no surprise, he wishes there was more pushback from the community. 

“They can’t erase queer history,” he said. “It’s impossible. The only thing they’re going to succeed in doing is confusing young queer kids, pushing the denial that some queer kids have even deeper by erasing the part of themselves they can see in literature.” 

Walker’s mother, Katie Rives, said she believes people advocating for book bans are just scared that their children will end up identifying as LGBTQ+. 

“I just always think, I wish they could meet Ray, and just see what he is, there’s nothing to be scared of,” she said. 

Jerome Moore, Serenity’s father, told Mississippi Today he thinks it’s a good thing his daughter has access to books like “The Hate U Give” and that she enjoys reading. 

“Information is always a good thing,” he said. “She’s being exposed to things and learning as she grows, and that’s great.”

Thomas, the author who spoke at the panel, is a Jackson native whose books have been put on restricted lists. This is a travesty, she said, not just for the kids who won’t have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in her work, but for children to learn about people and experiences unlike themselves.

“Kids that see themselves in my books need those mirrors,” she said. “But there are other kids that need those sliding glass doors and those windows because when you have young people who don’t see lives unlike their own, who don’t understand people unlike themselves, they grow up to be narrow minded leaders who don’t care about nobody beyond themselves.” 

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Mississippi Songwriters Festival Ocean Springs 2022


2022-09-19 11:08:18, 1663603698

What a great time I had at the 2022 Mississippi Songwriters in . Met some good and talented folks.

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