Hattiesburg, Mississippi – With seven weeks left in 2022, the City of Hattiesburg is asking residents and visitors to mark their calendars for two holiday staples – the Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 1 and Midnight on Front Street, Hattiesburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebration on Saturday, December 31.
The tree lighting, which follows the Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade, is the official kick-off for a magical holiday season in Hattiesburg. Both the parade and tree lighting ceremony brings in a large crowd to the streets of Downtown Hattiesburg and Town Square Park.
“The City’s Christmas tree lighting in Town Square Park is one of Hattiesburg’s best holiday traditions,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “It, along with the Jaycees Christmas Parade, is an opportunity for the community to collectively usher in the joy and meaning of the Christmas season.”
The lighting will include live musical performances, followed by a countdown that will turn on all lights in Town Square Park including the city’s tree. Additional activities include photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Clause in Santa’s Village and food and beverage vendors. To conclude the night, several downtown Hattiesburg businesses will be open.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. and the tree lighting program will begin immediately following the end of the parade, which finishes at Town Square Park. The event theme this year is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Barker added, “This year’s theme speaks to our belief that “home” is fostered by the people, places and traditions with which we surround ourselves. Many among us grew up in Hattiesburg. Others chose Hattiesburg. All are welcomed and belong in this community, and we hope as the holidays approach, many will feel the comfort, love and peace that come with being among friends in Hattiesburg.”
Thirty days after the City kicks off the holiday season, it will also usher out 2022 with its largest event of the year, “Midnight on Front Street.”
“It’s been a big year for our city,” said Barker. “2022 brought the first “A” school district rating, more infrastructure and quality of life projects in every ward, new leadership at both our universities, additional grants and several major economic development announcements. There is much to celebrate. We look forward to everyone – residents and visitors – meeting us at Midnight on Front Street as we close out 2022 with a lot of celebration and usher in an even better 2023.”
The 2022 event, which takes place at the intersection of Front Street and Main Street in Downtown Hattiesburg, is slated to include live music, food vendors, the dropping of the iconic Hub Sign at Midnight followed by a fireworks show. DJ Kujho will be back for his third appearance to serve as the event’s emcee/DJ, in addition to a lineup to be announced soon.
Additional details will be shared through the months of November and December, but city officials and community leaders encourage all to make plans to experience this New Year’s Eve in Downtown Hattiesburg through Midnight on Front Street. The history of the Hub Sign, schedules and plans will be accessible at hburgnye.com.