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Friday, January 10, 2020

Holiday of a Lifetime

What do you get when two state agencies partner to host a holiday event? Holiday of a Lifetime!
The Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) recently partnered with the Mississippi Film Office (MFO) to screen the Lifetime holiday film Christmas in Mississippi at three of the state's libraries.

The partnership came about when Library Consultant Louisa Whitfield Smith brilliantly reached out to Nina Parikh with MFO to see if there was some way to show off Mississippi communities that go all out during the holidays. Christmas in Mississippi was filmed in Gulfport in 2017, and highlighted the annual event Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival. Featuring an all-star cast, the feel-good Lifetime Channel holiday movie even addressed the challenges of dealing with the aftermath of a devastating hurricane and the resilience of Mississippi coastal residents. It is hoped that this partnership will serve as an opportunity to secure another Lifetime Channel holiday movie that will be filmed in the state

The three Mississippi libraries that agreed to participate were the Canton Public Library, the Laurel Jones County Library, and the Columbia-Marion County Public Library. MLC worked with library staff to create special promotional graphics, and facilitated a community question and answer time  about what makes their town special during the holidays that was held after the film screenings.

The Canton Historic Courthouse on the Square
Madison County Library System Director Tonja Johnson and her team were excited to showcase their lovely town decked out for the season. They partnered with Canton Tourism and used it as an opportunity to draw visitors into local businesses by offering discounts from participating merchants. The film was shown in beautiful Canton Historic Courthouse located on the square.

The Laurel-Jones County Library was decked out for the holidays!

A large group of kids from Laurel enjoyed the screening.

The community of Laurel has experienced a great deal of notoriety since the HGTV show Home Town began and the library has been a bustling place ever since! This booming community makes the holidays a very special time for their residents, and the library is no exception. Popcorn and warm apple cider made watching the film an even more enjoyable experience.

Showtime at the Laurel-Jones County Library

The Marion County community of Columbia was the third location for a film screening. Called the "Most Magical Christmas Town in Mississippi," Columbia goes the extra mile when it comes to getting into the holiday spirit. Train rides, ice skating rinks, and visits with Santa himself are all a part of this fun and festival holiday treat. The film was shown at the Marion Theater and a community gathering was held afterward at the Marion County Development Partnership offices.

Nina Parikh with the Mississippi Film Office capturing the beauty of Columbia all decked out for the holidays.

Special thanks to MFO for partnering with MLC to celebrate the holidays by bringing families together and to the libraries that participated in the fun and festive film screening.

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