Pearl River making spirits bright with wonderful week of festivities



POPLARVILLE, Miss – Pearl River Community College was spreading the holiday spirit across several of its locations this week as it hosted the Making Spirits Bright concert, Wildcat Wonderland and Holiday Traditions concert.

Making Spirits Bright

PRCC Forrest County Center’s multipurpose room was transformed into a magical winter wonderland Wednesday night as community members filled the seats for the sold-out Making Spirits Bright concert.

The event began with Vice President for Forrest County Operations Dr. Jana Causey thanking the main event organizer FCC Science, Math and Business Department Chair Jaqueline Runnels and all the other faculty, staff and student contributors for their generous volunteerism to this project.

“It is an honor to work with great faculty and staff who invest in people day in and day out,” Causey said. “These individuals work tirelessly to ensure that members of the surrounding community have a heartwarming and wonderful time.”

Tables were set with light refreshments and goodies for guests to enjoy including a chocolate covered strawberry cake centerpiece. A 12-foot ornately decorated Christmas Tree greeted guests and set the stage for the special evening awaited them. Faculty, staff and students performed a variety of holiday favorites including “Santa Baby,” “White Christmas,” and Nightmare Before Christmas’ “What’s This.” A silent auction featuring items created by PRCC faculty, staff and students.

Violins, pianos and guitars were played; songs were sang and hearts were opened as the third annual Making Spirits Bright event came to a close. A final bow from performers was met with roaring applause from the audience and all left with spirits brighter than when they arrived.

Wildcat Wonderland

Pearl River continued the festivities Thursday on the Poplarville campus as thousands of community members visited for the third annual Wildcat Wonderland free community event.

As visitors arrived on campus they were greeted by The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and the smiling faces of eager PRCC employees.

“Wildcat Wonderland was a great success because so many of the college’s employees and students take ownership of the event,” Vice President for Poplarville Campus and Instruction Dr. Martha Lou Smith said. “We know what a great place this is to be and to work, and we always appreciate the community embracing us so warmly.”

Inside Crosby Hall letters to Santa were being carefully crafted while elves were helping little ones make quick work of ornament decorating. Down the hall Mrs. Claus posed for pictures as families decorated cookies and enjoyed hot chocolate. Slime was made over in Whoville and face painting took place in Adult Education where children walked in as themselves and left as shiny new reindeer.

Little faces lit up as they rounded the corner and saw bunnies, ferrets, sheep, ponies, and even a camel were all waiting to meet them. Train rides passed by “Reindeer Games” where plenty of newly painted reindeer were enjoying bouncing the night away and Santa listened carefully as lines of children wound through “Candy Land” to land on his lap and make their requests.

“PRCC is overwhelmed with the continued support from our local communities,” Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications Candace Harper said. “We want to thank each and every person who came out to these events to support our college and our students.”

As the lines for Santa slowed down in the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center lobby the magic was just beginning for the Holiday Traditions Concert.

Holiday Traditions

The Brownstone Center auditorium was filled with adults and children alike as the curtains opened on a spectacularly shiny beginning to the Holiday Traditions concert.

As PRCC students sat together on stage they reflected upon the traditions each of their families held dear during the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s Day. The Jazz Cats, The Voices, PRCC Singers, and String of Pearls dazzled the audience between scenes with exciting numbers such as Deck the Halls, It’s the Holiday Season, My Favorite Things and more.

The audience was then asked to join in on the fun and sing along to the traditional Auld Lang Syne. At the close of the performance the crowd was serenaded with Joy to the World before being ushered out of the Brownstone Center where a seemingly never-ending fireworks display lit up the night sky and earned audible “oohs and ahhs” across campus.

“Wildcat Wonderland and the Holiday Traditions concert is one of my favorite events of the year because it sums up everything I love about PRCC,” Director of Choral Groups & Assistant Director of Brownstone Performing Arts Center Ladona Tyson said. “We serve our community, while displaying the creativity and talents of our faculty and students. It is truly a Wildcat Family effort. It is a blessing to be part of such a great team.”

Looking ahead, the South Mississippi Ballet’s annual presentation of the Holiday classic The Nutcracker will grace the Brownstone Center Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are Orchestra $20 and Balcony $15 and can be purchased by visiting or calling 601-403-1438.

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.