20 businesses participated in first Vidalia Christmas on Carter Street

Published 12:05 am Thursday, December 28, 2017

NATCHEZ — With twinkling lights, Noah’s ark and a bathtub big enough for Frosty the Snowman, Carter Street was transformed into a thouroughfare of holiday cheer earlier this month.

Twenty businesses participated in the town’s inaugural Christmas on Carter Street decoration contest sponsored by the Vidalia Beautification Committee.

This year J&J Flooring with its toy soldiers and decorated wreath took the grand prize. The business owned by Marc and Tana Archer won by one vote in an online contest sponsored by the beautification committee.

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The committee was formed a little more than a year ago when Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft decided more could be done to improve the look of the town during the holidays and the rest of the year.

“We rode around town and looked around to see what we could do differently to get more people involved in Christmas,” beatification committee chair Hannah Junkin said.

That intial drive through town led to the formation of the committee made up of a group of citizens passionate about improving the town.

“We wanted to do something a lot of people could help improve our community and be a real place they want to drive through and be proud of,” Craft said.

Junkin said the group’s first event was the Fourth of July celebration on the Vidalia Riverfront, which included several musical groups, festive decorations and and the display of a large American flag.

“When they put that big flag up with the help of Doug McCallister that was something that touched me and had a big effect on a lot of people,” Craft said.

This Christmas, the committee sponsored three events — the Carter Street Christmas decorating contest, a Christmas tour of homes and Christmas carol singing on the riverfront.

The committee also sponsored the Christmas decorations at the old Concordia Parish Courthouse.

Junkin said she hopes more people will join the committee this year. In the coming months, the group plans to help with plans for Mardi Gras and are busy organizing an Easter celebration on the riverfront.

The group’s next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

“If anybody is interested in joining, now would be a good time,” Junkin said.

Winners of this year’s Christmas contest include:

Grand prize — J&J Flooring

Committee award for best window display — Easy Living Behavioral Health

Committee award for most colorful — The Bakery Cottage

Committee award for most original — First Baptist Church of Vidalia

Committee award for most traditional — Dr. Lee Falkenheiner, DDS

Overall committee award — United Mississippi Bank