JSU transformed into a winter candy land at the annual ‘Holiday Under The Stars’ event

JSU mascot, 'Sonny Thee Tiger' and his baby tigers energizes the crowd with high energy performance. (Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

JSU mascot, ‘Sonny Thee Tiger’ and his baby tigers energizes the crowd with high energy performance. (Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

(Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

Miss and Mister JSU, Naomi Harris and Joshua Edwards brought season’s greetings to local Jackson community during the event. (Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

Jackson State University’s Gibbs-Green Plaza recently became the central point for a winter candy land at the annual Holiday Under The Stars event, hosted by the university. Holiday Under The Stars is an annual event centered around bringing the local Jackson community and JSU together to kick off the holiday season.

Both children and adults from the greater Jackson community warmed up with hot cocoa, danced to holiday carols, and celebrated the holiday season under the direction of the hosts: comedian and JSU alum Rita Brent and local media personality Othor Cain.

After receiving a warm welcome from JSU President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., his family led the countdown to the tree lighting ceremony signifying the beginning of another beautiful holiday season.

“We love all our students, our alumni, and the west Jackson community – we just thank you all so much for supporting us over these years and this past year especially,” said President Hudson. “You all have been wonderful, so again, thank you all so much, and I want you to enjoy this moment.”

(Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

Soloist from local New Horizon Children’s Choir wows crowd with moving gospel selections. (Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

A host of treats, activities, and prizes took place, including performances from JSU’s very own Sonic Boom of the South, M.A.D.D.R.A.M.A, the local New Horizon choir and Ballet Magnificat.

Senior mass communication major and Mister Jackson State University, Joshua Edwards, emphasized appreciation for a community of supporters who have embraced JSU throughout the years.

“The Holiday Under the Stars is really an opportunity for us to engage actively with such a supportive community,” said Edwards. “We have different university departments with face painting, candied treats, and great music – it’s an event truly designed to bring some holiday joy to the students and the community.”

Culminating the event with the spirit of giving, the JSU Office of Community Engagement under the leadership of Heather Denne’, Ph.D. presented local JPS school, Blackburn Middle School with an Angel Tree presentation, a tradition among JSU which provides hundreds of students within new clothes and toys who otherwise might not receive anything for Christmas.

“This is one of our favorite activities of the year and truly what this holiday season is all about, so we’re thrilled to be of service to our community during these times and hope to exceed the number of donations next year.” said Denne’.

Media Contact: Kyle.d.kidd-buckner@jsums.edu