With a chill in the air, it’s easy to tell that the holidays are upon us. To help usher the holly, jolly season in, the Pine Belt Holiday Expo and Christmas Market will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the historic train depot in downtown Hattiesburg.
This free event will get you and yours in the holiday spirit while also helping with that Christmas shopping list by giving you a chance to pick up a few special gifts for your loved ones. Emerge Events, partnering with Downtown Hattiesburg, Visit Hattiesburg, and other supporters and sponsors are excited to invited everyone to showcase “Hattiesburg for the Holidays” at the 8th Annual Pine Belt Holiday Expo and Christmas Market.
The event began after Jennifer Clark, owner of Emerge Events, who had been putting on the Pine Belt Women’s Expo for 10 years, received many requests for a holiday event and the Holiday Expo was born. This is one of Clark’s most favorite times of the year, and she loves to share her love of the season and Hattiesburg with everyone.
“We invite everyone to come to Downtown Hattiesburg for this event,” Clark said. “It is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season and get in the mood for Christmas.”
The Holiday Expo is truly a magical Winter Wonderland for the youngsters and, who are we kidding, the young at heart, too. Guests are taken on an enchanted journey into magical dreams of gingerbread men and nutcrackers come to life as the smell of peppermint and chocolate fill the air. There are so many activities for the kids, and the Expo offers a wonderful opportunity to knock off a few of those gifts on your shopping list.
“We have everything you need for your Christmas shopping list,” Clark said. “Handmade items, children’s items, boutique clothing and accessories, jewelry, culinary gifts, sweet treats, home decor, gifts for the home, and so much more! We will also have delicious food to purchase from local food vendors and food trucks.”
The Expo plays host to over 90 vendors and organizations showcasing and selling their goods and services. Enjoy some sweet homemade goodies and a cup of steaming hot cocoa while you browse the gorgeous creations from artisans around the area. Get your picture taken with Santa and tell him your Christmas wish. You’re never too old for that! Get your face painted, try your hands at arts and crafts, take a goofy “Elfie Selfie,” design your very own ornament, deck out your gingerbread man in any style you like, and just have fun at this incredible event. There is just so much fun to be had.
Besides celebrating the beauty and the magic of the season, the Pine Belt Holiday Expo and Christmas Market offers a chance to connect with your community during this time of year of brotherly love. You get to meet the people that make your favorite sweets or sell those adorable presents that you love to give. This is an opportunity to connect like none other.
“Everyone should come to this free, community event,” Clark said. “You get to meet business owners, artisans, and the people behind the items you are purchasing.”
Also, Clark is proud to announce that the Expo is uniting with a very notable organization in the community and is appreciative of any support that is given during not only this loving season but all the year.
“We are partnering with R3SM, a local nonprofit organization across the street from the Expo,” Clark said. “They are providing a Kids’ Village with childcare for children for $5 an hour during the Expo.”