Dickens of a Christmas boosted by grant awards

Photo: Hernando Community Development Director Gia Matheny is congratulated on the grant award given to the city for its “Dickens of the Christmas” event. (Jon Myers/Mississippi News Group)

As much as the annual event brings visitors back to the Victorian era, a grant award to the City of Hernando Tuesday will allow the “Dickens of the Christmas” to embrace a bit of the mobile world to those who come, while learning about the Hernando area.  

The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area (MHNHA), during an event at Blue Mountain College, awarded the City of Hernando two grant awards. One is for $5,000 and will support the cultural heritage components of the “Dickens of a Christmas” Victorian-Era holiday event. 

“The last three years we have been very fortunate to have been awarded the grant from the Alliance for our ‘Dickens of a Christmas’ and to promote history and culture in Hernando,” said Hernando Community Development Director Gia Matheny in accepting the award. 

The event provides historic and cultural entertainment centered on the historic Courthouse Square, all set in a Victorian setting. It also serves as a kickoff for the holiday season in the DeSoto County seat.

The second award, also for $5,000, will help in the development of a mobile app.

From left, Community Development Director Gia Matheny and Alderman Andrew Miller at Communty Grant Awards program. (Jon Myers/Mississippi News Group)

“This last year we applied for two grants because we wanted to continue to use the funding to do what we have been doing,” Matheny said. “This year, we were able to double our funding to continue the education piece, but also to work on a new mobile tourism app. It will have a big component for our ‘Dickens of a Christmas.’”

The mobile app will highlight local cultural sites while also promoting the “Dickens” event. 

“Our goal is to be able to use it for the city of Hernando for ‘Dickens of a Christmas,’ first and foremost,” said Matheny. “With that, we also want to include all of our historic and our art locations, so that people who want to come learn about the culture will be able to use that in finding their way around all of those locations.”  

Tuesday’s award was part of over $300,00 in grants given to North Mississippi organizations by MHNHA. A total of 34 requests from the area were approved to 28 organizations with the $301,484.50 given out.  

You can find an article including all of the award winners with photos on our Mississippi News Group website, Tippah County News.  

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Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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