By Paige Robertson

Downtown Hattiesburg merchants are kicking off the holiday shopping season with Holiday Open House on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Merchants are offering special shopping experiences, one-day only promotions and discounts, entertainment, photos opportunities, and more.

Participating Downtown merchants include Alley Cats Axe Throwing, The Author Shoppe, Blooms Company, fivetwentyfive, Main Street Books, McKenzie’s on Main, Oddfellows Gallery and Antiques, Sage Den, Twin Forks Wine + Provisions, Walnut Square Gifts and Stationery.

Photos with Santa Claus will be available in two downtown locations during Holiday Open House. The Studio by Tim and Krista is hosting Santa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, while The Lucky Rabbit is offering photo opportunities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Downtown Hattiesburg is already in the holiday spirit and fully stocked to help you find the perfect décor or gift for the season,” Andrea Saffle, executive director of Downtown Hattiesburg Association, said. “We are excited to share another engaging ‘shop local’ experience through Downtown Holiday Open House, and we hope to see the community and surrounding areas come out for the one-day only shopping and dining event.”

Downtown eateries will also be open for delicious bites in between shopping, including Coney Island Café, The Depot Kitchen, Fairley’s Wings, Nellie’s Chicken and Daiquiris, The Porter Pub, Southbound Bagel, and Southern Prohibition. Those with live music include Blu Jazz Café, Grill & Grocery, and Hattiesburgers & Blues.

More information about participating businesses, specials, and entertainment can be found on the Downtown Hattiesburg Facebook page or at

Since its founding in 1985, Downtown Hattiesburg, a Mississippi Main Street program, has spearheaded the revitalization of Hattiesburg’s historic core through partnerships to focus its growth and development on the Main Street Four Point Approach of the National Main Street Center: Organization, Design, Promotion, and Economic Vitality. The Hattiesburg Downtown Association’s core mission is the revitalization and historic preservation of the Downtown district, making Downtown the vibrant and creative center of Hattiesburg. Through its membership program and self-promoted events, the Association is able to market and educate investors, developers, entrepreneurs, businesses, shoppers, visitors and residents, that downtown Hattiesburg is a destination – a place to live, work, and play.