Christmas Wonderland opening in Pearl - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Christmas Wonderland opening in Pearl

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

While many of us are gearing up for Halloween, the City of Pearl is already planning for Christmas! In about a month, the parking lot by Trustmark Park will be converted into a 30,000 square foot Christmas Wonderland.

Sponsored by Merit Health, the Wonderland will include a 7,000 square foot ice skating rink, a 120-foot long double ice slide, bounce houses, food, and live music.

"I think it'd be cool, I like ice skating," said Lauren Smith, who says she's excited for the Christmas Wonderland.

"I think they'll like it," said Seaneather Miguel, gesturing to the young child she was holding. "I'm looking forward to it myself, taking them."

The sponsors are doing all they can to make sure their Christmas setup really does turn out to be a Wonderland.

"We're anticipating this is going to be about the second largest event in the state, behind the Mississippi State Fair," said Scott Steele, a Partner with Big South Events.

Organizers are expecting 300,000 people over the course of 56 days. 

"I think that's awesome that they're gonna bring some recreational things for the kids here in Pearl. There's a lot of great things going on in Pearl," said Montel Walters, who was born and raised in Pearl.

There had been a similar Christmas setup in Madison in the past but in its second year, the weather was so bad, it had to close nearly half of the season.

In Pearl, the entire thing is going to be inside a temperature-regulated tent.

"We don't have to worry about rain, we don't have to worry about wind, we don't have to worry about that hot odd-ball December day," exclaimed Steele. "It's just gonna be non-stop, 56 days of skating and fun!" 

"I think that especially that it's inside this time, well, mostly inside, is gonna make it easier to go to and actually have fun at," said Gabe Simpson, who went ice skating in Madison when they had a rink available.

The placement for the Wonderland is also a great deal for the City of Pearl, which in years past has had less revenue from the outlets and stadium than they anticipated.

"Creating more economic development, that's what we're about," said Pearl Mayor Jake Windham. "To generate more sales tax revenue, and let our citizens know, 'Hey, we're out here working.'" 

The Christmas Wonderland opens November 12 and goes all the way to January 6. Ticket prices are still undetermined, but Steele says they will likely cost between ten and fifteen dollars.

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