Shine a light on the LOU community with the Tour of Lights

Published 12:57 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Oxford Lafayette-County Chamber of Commerce is presenting it’s annual Tour of Lights in celebration of the Christmas season.

In 2016, the Chamber created a family-friendly event that adopted a holiday pastime many people already enjoy. What better way to get into the holiday spirit?

The Tour of Lights is featured on a Google map and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s Distrx app to guide those wishing to take the tour of what community residents have to offer.

With help from the Google map or the app, members of the LOU community are encouraged to take a self-guided tour featuring homes across Oxford and Lafayette County decorated with magical lights and festive decorations. 

Tour of Lights is the perfect event for anyone from singles to couples to entire family units. 

Local Moni Simpson has been participating in the Tour of Lights for at least four years and goes out to view the lights with her family each year.

The Chamber’s Senior Vice President Pam Swain saw pictures of Simpson’s Christmas decorations one year and was encouraged to take part in the tour.

“We have always decorated rather obnoxiously,” Simpson said with a laugh. “[Swain] said we really need to participate and I was like OK. If we were really going to do it, we were really going to up the ante. We were going to go all out.”

Simpson partnered up with her best friend and former-next-door neighbor to connect their houses and show off a spectacular display of Christmas decorations. The friend has since moved away but Simpson is committed to going bigger every year.

“There’s a lot of pressure if you’re going to put your address on something and tell people you have Christmas lights up,” she said. “You want to have a fun display with a lot of Christmas lights up, so each year we add to it a little bit more.”

Every year Simpson sees more houses join the Tour of Lights as the years go by. Even houses in her older and more established neighborhood are joining in the fun much to her excitement.

“Just one house lighting up real big is fun,” said Simpson, “but when you have a bunch of houses doing a lot of different stuff, that makes the trip worth it.”

The people of Oxford are spirited and tend to give everything their all, said Simpson. Soon, the town will become as synonymous with the holidays as it is with football.

“We’re trying to make Oxford a holiday destination,” she said. “It’s not just football or baseball. We’re now holidays too which is really exciting.”

To those who would like to participate and show off their holiday decorations, apply using the chamber’s Google form here.

For more information or for help adding your home onto the map for the Tour of Lights, call the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce at 662-234-4651 or email Pam Swain at pam@oxfordms.com.