Chamber plans festive holiday season
by Courtney Warren
Nov 22, 2013 | 2174 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for the holidays with scheduled events and new additions to the staff.

Team Cleveland/Main Street has announced a schedule of events that will take place in downtown Cleveland during this year's holiday season.

"The Team Cleveland volunteers have done an amazing job of putting everything together. They have planned the events and are implementing the events. They're really a take-charge group and a lot of the work that goes into it has been done by volunteers," said Lisa Cooley, director of Team Cleveland/Main Street.

Cooley said she is excited to get members of the community downtown to shop locally for the Christmas season.

"We're excited about offerings things every Thursday and Saturday leading up to Christmas to get people in the community to shop and spend their money in Cleveland," she said.

Events will take place downtown every Thursday and Saturday from Nov. 30 until Dec.21.

On Nov. 30, pictures with Santa will be at the downtown gazebo from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1-3 p.m. Prices are unknown at this time.

On Dec. 5, the Christmas parade will come through downtown at 5:30 p.m.

On Dec. 7, residents will be able to decorate a large tree downtown with homemade bird friendly ornaments at the downtown gazebo from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is free.

On Dec. 12, carriage rides leaving from the Martin and Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum will be offered from 6-8 p.m. Prices are unknown at this time.

On Dec. 14, the Ugly Christmas Sweater 5k/ Children's Rudolph Race will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the cost is $25 to register.

Christmas Karaoke in the Alley will also be Dec. 14 at Mosquito Burrito beginning at 6 p.m.

On Dec. 19, the Martin and Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum will host a movie night showing “The Polar Express “at 6 p.m. The event is free.

On Dec. 21, gift-wrapping services will be offered services beginning at 10 a.m. and the price and location are still undetermined. This will be a fundraiser for Team Cleveland/Main Street.

The chamber will also be putting up a new marker in honor of W.C. Handy.

On Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. the chamber will unveil the Enlightenment of W.C. Handy marker, which will be placed on the Bolivar County Courthouse lawn in Cleveland

According to the Delta Blues Inspires W.C. Handy marker that is currently on the east side of the courthouse, "While leading his orchestra at a dance on this site c.1905, Handy was unable to perform requested blues numbers. A local band stepped in and stole the show. 'My enlightenment came in Cleveland. That night an American composer was born,' he wrote. Handy later penned such blues classics as Memphis Blues and St. Louis Blues."

Helping to organizing all these events are three new chamber staff members to fill the positions of director of Tourism, director of Marketing and Communication, and director of Team Cleveland/Main Street.

Kelli Cotton joined the chamber in August as the director of Tourism for Bolivar County. Prior to joining the chamber, Cotton worked for the advertising agency and public relations business, Coopwood Communications where she served on the editorial staff of Delta Magazine, Delta Business Journal and The Cleveland Current for the past 10 years.

Cotton is a member of the Delta Arts Alliance, Rotary International, the Delta State Alumni Association, EPHFIC Women’s Club and serves on the Crosstie Arts Council Board.

A native of Cleveland, Aimee Moorhead joined chamber from Regions Bank where she worked in Financial Services for the past 10 years. Moorhead was named the director of Marketing and Communication for the chamber. She is active in the community and has volunteered with the chamber since 2007.

Moorhead is a member of the Cleveland–Bolivar County Young Professionals, the Chamber President’s Club, and the Region’s Leadership Academy.

Lisa Cooley joined the chamber staff as the Director of Team Cleveland/Main Street. Cooley is an Adjunct Marketing Instructor at Delta State University. She was the Main Street Coordinator and director of Public Relations for the Natchitoches, La., until May of 2013.

The chamber will host an open house on Dec. 10 from 5-7 p.m.

Different restaurants throughout the county will have plates for guests to sample and there will also be a celebration for former chamber employees Anne Dilworth and Cheryl Lyon for their years of service with the chamber.