Alcorn Extension hosts 2015 Holiday Affair in Vicksburg


Jarita Frazier-King, Alcorn State Extension Program Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Educator (center), holds a healthier holiday cake preparation demonstration, with assistance from Vicksburg High School students, during the Holiday Affair held in Vicksburg November 4, 2015.

In 2015, Alcorn State University Extension Program expanded its annual Holiday Affair celebration beyond its usual location in Port Gibson, Mississippi. This year, residents of Vicksburg and Warren County had a chance to partake in the event held Wednesday, November 4, 2015.

The event featured breakout sessions for youth in the Jackson Street Community Center and a session for adults was held in the Vicksburg City Auditorium from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both groups had a chance to receive information on safety during the holidays and financial management, participate in healthy holiday cooking demonstrations as well as receive free giveaways and door prizes.

The program for adults also included presentations from the Vicksburg Police Department, Extension staff and community leaders. Health screenings were also conducted by the Vicksburg Mayor’s Health Council.

“We really enjoyed the tips on how to buy and make the holiday décor on a budget,” said Serena McDonald, a Vicksburg resident, who came to the event with her parents Albert and Ezell McDonald. The family also enjoyed learning about ways to cook healthier meals and exercise more during holidays. “We are thankful to Alcorn Extension for bringing this program to Vicksburg. We will share the information received today with our friends and family, and hope to attend this program again next year,” said Albert McDonald.

The youth session hosted about 60 high school students from the Vicksburg High and Warren Central High Schools. The students had a chance to discuss their educational goals and receive information on college admission requirements, received tips on how to stay tobacco-free as well as learn about the dangers of using tobacco. Most of the students enjoyed learning ways to lower their fat intake, as well as the sampling of tasty and healthy breakfast foods.

“I now know how much fat is in the meals that fast-food restaurants serve,” said Cameron Cooper, an 11th grader from Vicksburg High School. “To stay healthy, we should eat balanced meals,”

The event concluded with a holiday lunch and remarks by Dr. Gregory Reed, assistant director of Extension. Reed thanked the high school teachers for bringing their students and the adult audience for coming out and being a part of the Alcorn Extension festivities.

“We are seeking to expand this program and involve more Vicksburg and Warren County residents next year,” said Reed. “We wish all of you happy and safe holidays.”

The Holiday Affair will also be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Claiborne County Multipurpose Building, 1703 Bridewell Lane, Port Gibson, MS.

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

For more details, contact Racquel Knox, secretary, Alcorn State University Extension Program, Claiborne County Office at (601) 437-5011 or [email protected].