Christmas Light Festival happening now at Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Yuletide season is already in full swing at the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum.

Santa and his elves arrived early at the Gulfport museum to decorate and get it ready for the upcoming holiday. From now until the end of the year, the museum will welcome guests to its sixth annual Christmas Lights Festival.

Over the last year, the museum has renovated its building, bringing even more of the North Pole for Coast residents to enjoy.

There are more than two million lights so that guests like Nick Thompson and his two children can get a holiday spin on the museum.

“We come probably two or three times a month. My kids like coming here they really enjoy the trains, there’s a lot to do, a lot to learn about,” said Thompson.

The museum said it wants guests to have a fun, educational experience by adding activities each night.

Workers like Melanie Crownover said the museum wanted to add to the event this year to make even more of a lasting impression.

“We get to see a lot of people year after year. We have so many people come in and tell us that we’re a part of their family traditions to come out and get their holiday started, so that’s really special for us,” said Crownover.

From candy canes to Santa and Mrs. Claus, workers said they’ve been setting up the handmade displays since October, but it’s the message behind the festival that really gets everyone excited.

“It’s nice to look at the lights, but it’s also nice to know what Christmas is really about. If you’re not in the spirit then I’d recommend people to really come down here,” said Thompson.

The museum, which is located on Pass Road in Gulfport, will continue to be open during its normal hours of 12-5pm Wednesday through Sunday. It will also be open seven days a week from 5-9pm through the end of the year, except on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when the museum will close.

Nightly kid-friendly activities will be held each week, including pictures with Santa, S.T.E.M. nights, game nights, arts and crafts and more holiday fun. Admission is $5 per adult and $2 each for children ages 3-12. Kids under the age of 2 years old get in for free.

The Mississippi Coast Railroad Museum posts events on its Facebook page, or you can call 228-284-5731 for more information.

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Jasmine Lotts

Jasmine Lotts

Jasmine Lotts was born and raised in St. Louis and found her passion for journalism studying at the University of Missouri.