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Mississippi College

Mississippi College Helps Sponsor Christmas on Ice

November 8, 2013

Christmas on Ice attracted more than 105,000 people to skate, enjoy holiday concerts and hear the story of the birth of Jesus.

The rink in Madison, Mississippi will double in size to 14,400 square-feet starting in mid-November. With a bigger facility, more concerts, a taller Christmas tree, two ice slides and much more, organizers anticipate 150,000 visitors will make their way to the 51-day festival beginning its second season on November 16.

This year, Mississippi College joined the team of sponsors of the 2013 Christmas on Ice that’s become a family-oriented destination as the holiday season nears.

MC accounting professor Mark Morgan got pretty busy teaching classes, and didn’t get the opportunity to go last year. But the professor’s two children, Christa, who’s an MC student, and Jacob, who attends the University of Mississippi Medical Center, found time to lace up their skates and hit the ice in their hometown of Madison.

Christmas On Ice is located just a half-mile from her house in Madison. That made it convenient for Audrey Morehead to see more than ten Christmas on Ice concerts in 2012. She enjoyed seeing groups like Ballet Magnificat perform along with school and church choirs.

 “I absolutely loved it,” says Audrey, the wife of Mississippi College accounting professor Billy Morehead. “It’s what I plan to do this year. It was so much fun,” she said. “It was cool and comfortable. I was very pleased with everyone who worked there. I wish they had it all year.”

What began as a friendly lunch between Mark Slyter, CEO of Baptist Health Systems, and Mississippi College graduate Rob Futral, senior pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, blossomed into the creation of Christmas on Ice.

Baptist Health Systems owned much of the property across the street from Broadmoor, and the land provided the space for the inaugural event. With Baptist Health Systems providing much of the financing and serving as the leading sponsor, folks at Broadmoor Baptist Church pitched in to help design the vision.

Billed as “the coolest event in the South,” the ice skating extravaganza has booked talented Mississippians to again supply the entertainment. The Mississippi Girl Choir kicks off the concert series on November 16 followed one day later by the Ballet Magnificat Trainee Group. Choirs at numerous area schools and churches are signed up, too.

Among them: Madison Middle School on November 21, Ridgecrest Baptist Church on December 1, Pearl High on December 3, Parkway Baptist on December 5, Broadmoor Baptist on December 7, First Baptist Church Jackson on December 22, and Colonial Heights Baptist Church on January 5, 2014. About 40 local concerts are scheduled. The programs at the Trustmark Concert Stage are free and begin each night at 6:30 p.m.

Organizers say the event was made possible with many Mississippi businesses pitching in with sponsorships, Mississippi churches and schools supplying the talent, and a sea of volunteers assisting from Baptist Health Systems and Broadmoor Baptist Church.

Families will be delighted to return to the rink as well as they walk down the Christmas Story Trail. The 600-foot trail surrounding the rink tells the story of the birth of  Jesus Christ.

Regular admission prices are $15. Mississippi College staffers on the Clinton campus are distributing coupons offering a $5 ticket reduction. The coupons can be picked up on information racks in the Nelson Hall lobby.

Rink hours for Christmas On Ice are 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday. Hours are 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Part of the 2013 Christmas On Ice lineup, Mississippians are invited to an evening of worship and fellowship with Jeremy and Adie Camp at Broadmoor Baptist Church on December 13. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are available through itickets.com and AwakeningEvents.com or by calling 1.800.965.9324.

Adding spice to the Christmas spirit is a 5K and one-mile fun run down the Parkway on November 23.

Visit the website www.christmasonice.com for a complete list of daily performances and information on the Baptist Healthplex Performance Center/Paul Moak Subaru Duathlon road race.

Photo: Students enjoying the fun of Christmas on Ice, sponsored by Mississippi College.