OXFORD, Miss. – The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Mississippi Museum have a whole bagful of family-friendly activities slated for December to encourage the Oxford and Ole Miss communities to embrace the holiday spirit.
The Ford Center’s seventh annual Gingerbread Village opens Dec. 1 and is free to the public. More than 30 gingerbread houses designed and assembled by local groups, including Holli’s Sweet Tooth, Willie Price Lab School, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and local Girl Scout troops, will be on display.
The village will be open 1 to 5 p.m. daily and during performances through Dec. 16. A full schedule is available here.
On Saturday (Dec. 3), the Ford Center hosts “Miracle on 34th Street” at 3 p.m. The holiday musical tale by Valentine Davies, based on the 1947 movie, tells the story of Kris Kringle filling in for Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The performance brings the Christmas spirit to life with songs such as “I Believe in Miracles,” “Macy’s Madrigals” and “Just Imagine.”
“The Ford Center is creating a festive mood and offering hot chocolate in concessions for this holiday show,” said Julia Aubrey, Ford Center director.
“Santa’s helpers will be on hand to brighten your afternoon as you enjoy a lovely story and its music. And don’t miss a chance to drop in on the Gingerbread Village before or after the show.”
Tickets are $34 for the balcony level, $40 for the mezzanine and tier 2 boxes, and $46 for the orchestra, parterre and tier 1 boxes. Tickets can be purchased online or at the UM Box Office inside the Ole Miss Student Union. Ole Miss faculty, staff and retirees are eligible for a 10 percent discount. UM student tickets are $20 for orchestra/parterre and $13 for mezzanine/balcony.
Also Saturday, the University Museum is partnering with the Ford Center for its Santa’s Workshop Family Activity Day. Families can bring children to the free drop-in session from 9 a.m. to noon to create seasonal art, eat holiday snacks and visit the Gingerbread Village via sleigh, provided by The Flying Tuks.
“Santa’s Workshop is an event we look forward to each year as we find new ways to connect our collections with the holiday season,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “Last year we had over 400 in attendance, so this year we are looking forward to engaging audiences in new ways to maximize all areas of the museum building.”
The free event is sponsored by Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi and the Ignite Ole Miss Campaign. No pre-registration is required. For more information, contact the museum at 662-915-7073.
While the village display and Family Activity Day are free, visitors are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items as a donation to benefit the Oxford Food Pantry and the Ole Miss Food Bank.