Third annual Light up the Trace is a huge success

Published 9:07 am Thursday, January 18, 2024

The third annual Light Up the Trace Luminaria Fundraising Event in Jefferson Davis County was a huge success. It was held on the Longleaf Trace on Dec. 21 which is the darkest night of the year. The event raised over $2,500 in luminarias, sponsorships and donations.

The event was created in 2021 in an effort to raise funds to provide safety, security and lighting in the respective communities along the Longleaf Trace corridor while celebrating the season and honoring special people and events.

“The Longleaf Trace is a lifeline to the towns of Bassfield and Prentiss,” said Jefferson Davis County Economic Development Director Gary Bass. Bass feels the Longleaf Corridor has unmet potential for tourism, and tourism is economic development.

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PearlCom, Moore Development and the Jefferson Davis County Economic Development District were sponsors for the event. 

Live music, food and vendors were available at each location and St. Peter Catholic Church  presented a live nativity in Bassfield.  The Rosenwald Building on the Prentiss Institute Campus was open for touring with fish plates and souvenirs for sale.

An art walk was displayed in the Prentiss Institute area with over 175 bags colored by J. E. Johnson students. Carver students decorated 200 bags which were displayed in Bassfield. Just under 60 Prentiss Christian bags were displayed in Prentiss.

Susan Hoxey was named Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for the second year in a row.  “Susan is such an asset and spends an incredible amount of time and energy getting the schools involved in this event,” said Bass.

Other volunteers were Missy Jones, Rachel and Vester Thompson, Lisa Blount, Rob Blount, Dorothy Barnes, Lyn Holloway, Ricky Barrett, Queen Sutton and James Armstrong.

Bassfield Volunteer Fire Department set up bags and served hot chocolate.

The event has raised $10,000 since its inception and was recognized as a Pinnacle Awards finalist. It is being honored with a Community Economic Development Award by the Mississippi Economic Development Council next month.