The historic Jacinto Courthouse is coming back to life as the foundation that oversees the historic jewel adds new events to draw more people out to experience and enjoy the courthouse and surrounding park.

Up next at the site is the first-ever Fall Festival in Jacinto set for October 30 beginning at 4 p.m.

Jacinto Foundation Executive Director Charlette Foster said the festival, along with big happenings planned for the Christmas season, are part of efforts to encourage people to visit and remind the community that the courthouse is truly theirs.

“We’re going to revive this thing,” she said.

The courthouse, once the county seat of Old Tishomingo County which included present-day Alcorn, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties, is one of the area’s historic crown jewels, said Foster. It’s one of the best-preserved courthouses of its kind in the country and the nearby old general store and surrounding square and park are a unique and special place for special events as well as everyday visits to enjoy the outdoors and learn more about the community’s history.

Foster’s family, going back to her grandparents, have been involved in the courthouse and it holds a special place in her heart.

“My roots here are deep,” she said.

As the foundation’s board has worked to secure grants for renovations and get the community involved in cleanup and improvement efforts, they’re excited to share the courthouse more and want the community to enjoy it and take pride in it every day.

Foster said one of her first goals when she took over as foundation director earlier this year was to offer events beyond the traditional and beloved July 4th Festival to bring people out throughout the year.

The upcoming Fall Festival will be a big and exciting day filled with activities for all ages.

“We’re just going to have a big-time and want everyone to come out,” she said.

The fun will include a trunk or treat in the parking spaces surrounding the square, hayrides, a bonfire in the park with smores, barbecue plates, a chili cookoff, a costume contest for all ages, live music, drinks, hot dogs and concessions in the store and a cruise in for classic and interesting vehicles of all kinds.

Foster is especially excited about the live Mississippi ghost stories which will be performed by members of the Tishomingo County Arts Council dressed in full period clothing depicting the characters in ghost stories from across the state.

There will also be cannon demonstrations after dark, which Foster said will be uniquely beautiful as the weapons shoot fire and smoke under darkening skies.

At 7:15 pm. they will close out the day with a showing of the classic Halloween film, “Hocus Pocus,” on a big screen on the courthouse lawn and they encourage everyone to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and stay for the show.

Foster said they need sponsors and volunteers, people and businesses to provide decorated trunks and candy for trunk or treat and more. Anyone interested in getting involved should call her at 662-415-2815, email or contact them through the Jacinto Foundation Facebook page.

Big plans are also underway for Christmas. Foster said they’re seeking donations so they can decorate the entire courthouse and square with Christmas lights and at 6 p.m. on the Saturday after Thanksgiving they’ll celebrate with a lighting of the courthouse and the big tree in the courthouse foyer.

The following three weekends the country store will be open on Friday and Saturday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. offering hot cider, hot chocolate and coffee and Santa will be available for visits upstairs in the courtroom of the courthouse. They’re also inviting local church choirs to sing carols on the square during that time.

On Dec. 11 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. they’ll host Breakfast with Santa.

More details on all the holiday happenings will be announced soon.

Foster said she’s grateful to the dedicated board of the foundation and all the volunteers who are helping with these projects and hopes to continue to see strong growth as they work to make the courthouse and its grounds more active and better than ever.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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