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Lafayette County man heads up festival efforts

Inspired by a long-running Christmas festival in Long Beach, Wall Doxey State Park will welcome area visitors to Christmas Fest, a country Christmas campground festival.

Pastor Scott Mayhorn, a Virginia native and leader of Encounter Ministries of Mississippi, is spearheading the Christmas event.

Christmas Fest will take place at Wall Doxey State Park, just south of Holly Springs at 3946 Highway 7 in Waterford. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. today and Monday.

Mayhorn, who has lived in Mississippi for 15 years and in Lafayette County the last decade, said he and his wife lived in Long Beach after Hurricane Katrina.

“One of the buildings we moved into was right next to one of the biggest Christmas lights displays on the Gulf Coast — Winter Wonderland in Long Beach,” he said.

The Mayhorns first started Christmas Fest on the Gulf Coast. Now, they’ve brought it to North Mississippi.

“Christmas Fest is just something that’s really been in my heart,” Mayhorn said. “We want to remind people of the meaning of Christmas.”

West Virginia native Kathy Craig, 46, moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast more than 20 years ago.

“I’ve been part of the Christmas festival every year that Scott and Raven Mayhorn have headed it up,” she said.

“It’s always been a great blessing to everyone who’s attended. It’s lifted their spirits and helped people understand the true meaning of Christmas.

“As for the people putting it on, it forms camaraderie and love that spills out into the attendees so that they leave feeling the true meaning of Christmas also.”

Reason for season

Craig said she hopes those who attend will leave “feeling the love of God in their hearts.”

“I would hope they understand, or at least have their interests peaked, to learn more about why the birth of Christ had to happen, and learn how important it is to love each other, no matter the circumstances,” Craig said.

Arkansas native Steven Walker, 46, has lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast the past nine years and is the executive producer of a production company called Confidence Artist Productions. He’ll bring his talents up to North Mississippi for the event also.

“As a photographer, I was blessed for a number of years to be able to offer folks a free photograph for their holiday greeting cards during Christmas Fest,” he said.

“It warmed my heart to see folks take the time to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

“The Mayhorns are great people with a love for others like Jesus had. I hope people enjoy Scott and Raven’s first event in Oxford.”

Mayhorn said the event will take place in front of the fireplace in the main banquet hall. It will include a nonstop interactive Christmas carol concert. Visitors can sit and watch or sing along.

Free pictures with Santa and lifesize wooden nutcrackers will be offered, as well as free snacks with hot chocolate and apple cider.

Children under 10 will receive a free present while supplies last.

“It will be a lot of fun, very meaningful, very life-impacting, and a really great memory for folks,” Mayhorn said.

The event is free, and Wall Doxey has waived the park entrance fee.

For more information, call 662-607-5916 or email mayhorn01@gmail.com.

You can also find the event page on Facebook.

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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