By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – Holiday festivities in the Valley take a different twist this year as the celebration began Thursday night with an exciting lineup of Christmas fun.
At 6 p.m., the Town and Country Garden Club and the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce jointly sponsored a tree lighting ceremony at the Railroad Park Pavilion. Following the ceremony, the chamber provided hot chocolate and Renasant Bank gave away popcorn as participating downtown merchants offered extended shopping hours and holiday spirit for the festivities.
Coordinated by the Water Valley Main Street Association, more than a dozen Main Street businesses remained open until 8 p.m. to assist visitors with their Christmas shopping. It was a great success, according to several of the downtown business people.
Shoppers who purchased items from participating businesses Thursday night got free gift wrapping by the Crown Club of the Junior Auxiliary.
Smoky Bottom BBQ offered concessions in the Park and strolling carolers performed along Main Street.
Businesses who participated in this event included Carolyn’s Flowers & Gifts, El Charrito, Grand Central Station Antiques, Imagination Station, Los Ninos, Magnolia Home Furnishings, Med-Mart Homecare & D.M.E., Midtown Auto Parts, Movietyme, North Mississippi Herald, Pinky’s, Sartain Home and Auto, State Farm Insurance, Turnage Drug Store, Varner Printing and Office Supply, Velvet Glove, and Mechanics Bank.
The excitement continued Saturday, with the annual Christmas parade which began at 1 p.m.
“Snooky” and Mary Lou Williams lead the 2007 Water Valley Christmas Parade as Grand Marshals.
“The Tri-Lake Fairground Association is proud to honor this couple, “Snooky” and Mary Lou Williams, as Grand Marshal of the 2007 Water Valley Christmas Parade,” stated J. C. Womble, Parade Chairman.
The Williams are no strangers to Water Valley folk. “Snooky” and Mary Lou have been active in the community for many years. They were owners and operators of Stubbs Department Store for a number of years, then they owned and ran Everett Cock Insurance Agency.
Mr. Williams is a member of the Board of Directors of Mechanics Bank. Mrs. Williams has been on the Board of Directors of the Blackmur Memorial Library, and served with the Girl Scouts of Water Valley and was a member of Junior Auxiliary. The Williams are members of First Baptist Church and they help with Reedy Acres.
“They are great ambassadors of Water Valley. Through the years, the Williams have helped many people and touched many lives with their actions,” Womble noted.
The Tri-Lake Fairground Association, sponsors the parade each year. It was recorded from the Downtown Bandstand and will be aired at a later date on the local cable channel.
The fun continued on Sunday with the Water Valley Community Band Concert, which was held in the Water Valley Civic Auditorium.
Included in the program of music was: “A Touch of Christmas Suite 2,” arranged by Stan Applebaum; “Pirates Of The Caribbean,” arranged by John Wasson; “Christmas Comes Again…In About Three Minutes,” arranged by Douglas E. Wagner; “What A Wonderful World,” Arranged by Richard Saucedo, with an alto sax solo by Carol Sartain Shields; “Holiday Hoedown,” arranged by John Moss; “Colonel Bogey,” edited by Frederick Fennell; “Home for Christmas,” arranged by Seth Markham; and “A Christmas Auld Lang Syne,” by James Swearingen.
Band members are: Flute, Ernie Caviness, Becky Crow, Debby Hughes, and Lea-Ariane Rudolph; Clarinet, Vivian Gilley, Marty Gurner, Kim Jones, Marsha Morgan and Nichol Treuil; Bass Clarinet, Janice Crow; Saxophone, Chris Riley and Carol Shields; Horns, David Baumbaugh, Sandra Evans and Butch Stevens; Trumpet, Barron Caulfield, Barry Caulfield, Michael Crow and Dean Jones; Baritone, Joe Gurner and Jack Hughes; Trombone, James Caviness and Gary Gold; Tuba, Jamie Rencher and Brandon Hughes; Percussion, Clay Ashford, Keith Morgan, Lora Riley and Morris Surrette. Directing the band is Stanley Crow.