This week's parades, ceremonies and special programs will celebrate Veterans Day by honoring local men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, but this weekend will offer a little early holiday cheer during South Mississippi's annual Christmas City Gift Show and the Magnolia State Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show.
Among the highlights for Wednesday's Veterans Day programs:
- American Legion Post 139 will hold its annual Hancock County Veterans Day event at 10:30 a.m. at 645 Green Meadow Road, Bay St. Louis. Kathryn Gift, retired U.S. Navy, will speak, and the Bay High School Junior Air Force ROTC, band and dance team will perform.
- In honor of Veterans Day, the city of Gautier and American Legion Post 1992 will host a wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at City Hall. Details: 627-1887.
- The 15th annual Jackson County Veterans Day program will begin at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Monument in downtown Moss Point. Jackson County District 4 Supervisor Troy Ross will deliver the keynote address. Details: 762-3391.
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will hold a ceremony for Veterans Day at noon in the Veterans Courtyard on the Jefferson Davis campus in Gulfport. The ceremony will feature Gen. Mark Brown, commander of 2nd Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base and a performance by Coastal Vibrations. A reception will follow.
- A Veterans Day parade will kick off at 2 p.m., beginning at the Diamondhead Community Garden and traveling to Veterans Memorial Boulevard. A charity bake sale will follow the parade. Details: 255-5017.
Get into the holiday spirit early this year and check out the 32nd annual Christmas City Gift Show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center, Biloxi. The show will open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Get a jump on shopping for Christmas gifts while enjoying story time with Santa, door prizes and more. Cost: $8 for a one-day pass, $12 for a two-day pass. Free entry for ages 15 and younger. Free parking. Details: 821-3020.
Add a little sparkle to the weekend by heading over to the Magnolia State Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show on the Jackson County Fairgrounds, Pascagoula. Come out for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Society's unique offerings and a special opal exhibit from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $3 adults, $5 for a three-day pass. Free entry for ages 12 and younger.
Support local military members, artists and vendors during Stars and Stripes Forever, a patriotic celebration, from noon to 11:30 p.m. at MGM Park, Biloxi. Bring the family and enjoy guest speakers, silent auctions, fireworks, vendors, live music and more.