Mr. Christmas spreads Christmas City cheer
The Christmas City Gift Show returns to the Convention Center in Biloxi this weekend for its 33rd year with 300 vendors, a first-time expansive train display, and a one-night adult shopping experience.
Since 1983, founder Ron Meyers, has grown the event to make it a six-time designee of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events.
So, one might wonder how the event has held popularity with exhibitors and customers alike. Meyers said it’s about capping the number of vending spaces to keep things profitable for vendors while keeping the atmosphere and gift ideas fresh for the customers.
Meyers said there is an array of original gifts offered every year.
“It never ceases to amaze me,” Meyers said. “We have fashion and jewelry and one-of-a-kind items. It goes from shopping bags to cars; we’ll have the Mercedes-Benz dealership here. It’s great items at a great price and nothing traditional.”
In a place called Christmas City, there’s more than just shopping, though. Costumed characters greet customers as live piano music fills the air with Christmas songs. There’s even a sports bar where shoppers can take a break and watch collegiate and professional football games.
New this year to Christmas City is a 40,000 square-foot area dedicated to trains. Along with model trains and Lego builds, there will be a train large enough for adults to ride with their children.
Also, for those who want a relaxed, adult shopping experience, Christmas City offers the Charity VIP Shopping Night on Friday from 6 to 9. For a $25 admission, guests receive a private shopping experience along with light hors d’oeuvres, a commemorative wine glass, live entertainment and entry into a giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card. The event is open only to ages 21 or older. Local charities will sell the VIP tickets and will receive $15 per ticket sold. The charity that sells the most tickets also will be awarded a $1,000 donation.
General admission hours are Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission is $8 per day or $12 for a two-day pass. Ages 15 and younger are admitted free. For tickets, visit www.ChristmasCityGiftShow.com.
Christmas City Gift Show
Where: Mississippi Coast Convention Center, 2350 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
When: General admission hours are Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $8 per day or $12 for a two-day pass. Ages 15 and younger are admitted free. For tickets, visit www.ChristmasCityGiftShow.com.