BILOXI -- With Christmas still five months away, homeowners and professional decorators can get a jump on planning their holiday displays July 17-19 at Christmas Expo at the Coast Convention Center.
The expo is three days of shopping, education and brainstorming for home decorators, commercial decorators and representatives of cities, amusement parks and area businesses. It is produced by sisters Joyce Perhac, president of ProShow Inc., a professional event planner, and Janice Blasko, a website developer and owner of ChristmasLightFinder.com,
Participants will get to see the newest outdoor holiday lighting and decorating products and choose from 50 classes taught by lighting, technology and decorating experts. Among the classes are soldering, blow molds, inflatables, audio and video editing, wireframes, computerized light shows, mega displays and putting music to light displays.
Jay Cone will share experiences and tips from working on the Osborne family light show in Orlando. Ray Wu, a lighting manufacturer in China, will speak by video conference.
Representatives from the new TV reality show "The Great Christmas Light Fight" on ABC will be recruiting participants for the 2014 season.
Christmas Expo is open to all. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Admission to the vendor/shopping area is $8 per person and includes free admission to the "Decorating 101: Basics and Novel Anecdotes for Newbies" class. Single-day and three-day passes are available to attend specialized classes.