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27th Annual Holiday Boutique helps hundreds with holiday shopping

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There were hundreds of shoppers - and also some special guests - who dropped in at this year’s 27th Annual Holiday Boutique event at the West Harrison Civic Center on November 10 and 11.

Santa Claus himself made a special appearance to greet shoppers and kids at the shopping extravaganza this year, and the Holy Family Church Children’s Choir put on a special live performance, singing Christmas carols for those in attendance.

Twenty-seven years and going strong, this annual shopping event is put on each year by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Pass Christian Yacht Club, and it has remained consistent each year – offering unique gifts and often handmade items made with TLC.

“We have all sorts of things here - children’s gifts and items, woodworking, olive oils,” said Jo Ann Francingues, chairperson of the 27th Annual Holiday Shopping Boutique. “Some of these vendors have shops. Some work out of their homes, and they travel to affairs like this where there’s a marketplace, a bazaar or a boutique. Most everything here is made by artisans, not purchased somewhere else and brought to sell.”

The yearly shopping holiday boutique also helps give locals like Ashley Chighizola, who owns the Jolly Olive, a much-needed economic boost, while providing a venue to showcase and sell local- and regionally-crafted goods.

“We have [both] some old returning and some new vendors this year,” said Francingues. “They’re from the Coast, all along our Coast, from Louisiana to Alabama to Georgia and Florida.”

Whatever the reason, whether shopping for special and unique Christmas gifts or just looking for handcrafted items to spruce up their homes, shoppers turned out in full force for this year’s two-day holiday shopping extravaganza, as in years past.