By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Downtown Tupelo will be full of the holiday spirit Saturday.
The Kiwanis Club kicks off the fun with its annual pancake breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m.
Once you’ve eaten, burn off your calories in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Santa Run 5k. The race starts at 8 a.m. and each runner receives a Santa hat and beard to wear while running.
The Christmas parade, themed “Have a healthy Christmas,” gets started at 10 a.m. at the corner of Front and Jefferson streets.
The Wells Fargo horse-drawn stagecoach is this year’s special guest in the parade.
Guide to events for the day:
• 6:30 a.m. – The Kiwanis Club has its annual pancake breakfast at First United Methodist Church, 412 W. Main St. Tickets are $5 at the door or available from Kiwanians in advance. Ends at 12:30 p.m. Proceeds go to local youth-related causes.
• 8 a.m. – Big Brothers Big Sisters Santa Run 5k starts. Registration is from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. in the Renasant Bank parking lot at corner of Troy and Spring streets. It’s $25 to register the day of the race and every runner gets a Santa hat and bear to wear during the run. T-shirts are available for $10. The course starts on Main Street in front of First United Methodist and follows the Christmas parade route. The organization also is in need of donations of board games, card games and sporting items. BBBS will have an award ceremony for each age category at 9 a.m.
• 9:30 a.m. – Free hot chocolate at the Auto Spa, at the corner of Jefferson and Gloster streets. The business will be taking donations for March of Dimes. First Presbyterian Church at Jefferson and Green streets will also offer free hot chocolate starting at 9:30 and All Saints’ Episcopal Church on Jefferson will do the same starting at 10 a.m.
• 10 a.m. – 64th Annual Reed’s Christmas Parade starts. The parade, themed “Have a healthy Christmas,” starts at the corner of Front and Jefferson streets. It will continue down to Robins, make a left and then another left onto Main Street. It’ll finish at the railroad tracks in Fairpark.
• 11 a.m. – Free gingerbread house crafts at BancorpSouth Conference Center. The center will provide everything you need to make a gingerbread house. All that’s needed is your own creativity.
• Noon – Bring your camera for free photos with Santa at Reed’s GumTree Bookstore. Book-signing for “Being Santa Claus” with author Sal Lizard, as well. Ends at 1:30 p.m.
• 1 p.m. – Public ice-skating at BancorpSouth Arena from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. $8 per skater, includes skate rental.
These downtown Tupelo streets will be closed Saturday from 7 a.m. until noon.
• Jefferson Street between Commerce and Robins
• Commerce Street between Main Street and Franklin
• Front Street between Main Street and Franklin
• Main Street between Robins and Franklin
• Robins Street between Main and Jefferson
• West side of the BancorpSouth Arena parking lot