By Lena Mitchell | NEMS Daily Journal
IUKA – Each year festive holiday lights throughout Iuka Mineral Springs Park gladden the hearts of residents and visitors during December.
On the first Friday of December, as the Iuka Christmas Parade reaches the end of its route at the park, the park lights are turned on in a dazzling display of holiday cheer.
The tradition began a decade ago, said Mayor Jackie Bryant, about a year into his first term of office.
Businesses and civic clubs like First American National Bank and the 20th Century Club, as well as churches and others, assumed responsibility for decorating in the park and have continued the tradition for years. The Iuka Flower Shop provides decorations for the park’s War Memorial as well as light pole decorations in downtown Iuka.
Other businesses, organizations and clubs through the years have rotated decorating the park’s gazebos, the log cabin that houses the public restrooms and also constructed freestanding decorative displays.
A series of Christmas trees in various sizes and colors dot the park grounds, constructed by city workers using a central pole and light strings attached at the ground, the mayor said.
“This is something that helps people get into the spirit of the season, and we’ve had people from other towns come here to get ideas,” Bryant said.