It’s Christmas Time in The ‘Sip

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we now look forward to celebrating Christmas. With that comes the annual Christmas parades taking places in our neck of the woods.

While big box stores, Hallmark tv programing and some radio stations have been pushing Christmas since Nov. 1st, our small towns give Thanksgiving it’s moment in the spotlight before shifting to Christmas.

Christmas parades are a fun annual tradition that helps kick off the Christmas season and this year, all of our parades in the tip of Mississippi will be completed by Dec. 7th.

The first of the parades begin Saturday, Dec. 1, with Olive Branch kicking things off at 2 p.m. near city hall. Horn Lake’s Christmas festivities kick off later that day at 4:30 pm.

The City of Hernando will get things kicked off Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3rd. Southaven will round things out with a big parade Dec. 7th at 6:30 p.m.

42nd Annual Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade

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Photo via Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce

Dec. 1st
2 p.m.

The parade lineup begins at Olive Branch High School and will drive down Pigeon Roost Road. Most folks will gather at Pigeon Roost Road and Goodman Rd. to watch the parade. Unlike the other parades, this event takes place in the daytime.

Be sure to stop by some of the local businesses in Old Towne after the parade. There’s everything from beer to boutiques and everything in between.

The theme this year is ” A Story Book Christmas.”

Horn Lake’s 2nd Annual Christmas in the Park

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Dec. 1st
4:30 p.m.

Horn Lake’s 2nd annual Christmas event will be held in Latimer Lakes Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. You’ll be able to stroll through the stationary displays and see Santa light the Christmas tree at approximately 5:30 p.m. Be sure to drink some hot chocolate, eat a cookie or two and listen to the caroling.

61st Annual Hernando Christmas Parade

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Dec. 3rd
6:30 p.m.

The Hernando Christmas parade takes place Dec. 3rd this year in Downtown Hernando. The start time is 6:30 p.m. The theme this year is “Winter Wonderland.” Rain date is scheduled for Dec. 10th if necessary.

The parade travels down Commerce Street and will loop around the Square.

Southaven’s 38th Annual Christmas Parade of Lights

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Dec. 7th
6:30 p.m.

The parade route begins at 2010 Stateline Rd. at SouthPoint Church. Music/dance performances will be given up to 45 seconds to perform in front of the judges’ stand, which will be located across from Dale’s Restaurant (1226 Main St.)

The Best in Show float will be awarded a spread in the 2019 Southaven Magazine.

Coffee Central will keep you fueled and refreshed

On a cold Saturday morning in November, I made my first visit to Coffee Central in Southaven, accompanied by my wife. We are frequent patrons of Starbucks, but have been searching for a good local option to visit on the weekends.

The cozy cafe has a relaxing, lounge-type atmosphere with friendly staff ready to get your caffeine fix.

Coffee Central has been in operation in Southaven since early 2017, located on Getwell Rd., just a block or so from DeSoto Central High School.

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The menu features your standard coffeehouse staples such as flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos. Cold and frozen drinks are on the menu in addition to hot teas.

I spotted a Simonelli espresso maker behind the counter, a high quality, Italian engineered espresso machine.

For being a little over a year old, the team at Coffee Central does a lot things right– which is hard to do when you are a young small business. It’s why they have a near perfect rating on Facebook: 4.9 out of 5 stars out of 89 reviews as of this writing.

They have an inviting and cozy atmosphere. The espresso was was robust and flavorful, which is hard to master. If not done properly, your espresso will have sort of a “burnt” taste to it.

The staff is very friendly and inviting, too. It was nice to see some pastries in a little bakers box beside the register. The shiplap wooden bench gave an inspired and cozy feel to the entire cafe.

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My cappuccino was made just wright. My wife’s peppermint mocha was tasty and sweet! Just the right amount of mocha and peppermint flavor.

I tried a pumpkin streusel muffin and my wife tried a sausage gravy and biscuit. The muffin was tasty– who doesn’t love streusel? The sausage gravy was a little salty, a little creamy and paired perfectly with my wife’s peppermint mocha latte.

Coffee Central is a great addition to our community. It’s a safe, family-friendly space to gather and fellowship over a great cup of coffee or espresso.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page, they frequently post about special menu items and encourage reservations for parties and showers.

Once you’ve visited Coffee Central, you’ll wish they were open 24/7!

Operating Hours

Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Coffee Central on Facebook
https://www.coffeecentral.cc/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: OB Pizza Co.

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The recently opened OB Pizza Co., located in the same building as the Mississippi Ale House, is perhaps some of the best pizza in the area.

From the mind of Chef Jonathan Mah, creator of Side Street Burgers, OB Pizza Co. is a delicious pizzeria which features traditional and imaginative creations.

But even the traditional pizzas have Chef Mah’s signature all over them.

The pizzas are topped with his signature pizza sauce, which combines San Marzano tomatoes, fresh garlic and oregano, plus Bacio mozzarella cheese.

Your pizza can be made three different ways: thin crust (6 slices), original crust (8 slices) or cauliflower crust (6 slices).

You also have options for getting your pizza. You can call in an order and pick it up, eat in the restaurant or through local delivery service Bite Squad and have it brought straight to your door.

My wife and I ordered The Hungry Man with original crust. It came out in just a few minutes time. We waited in the Mississippi Ale House and ordered a coffee stout beer and a cider while we waited. It was lunchtime on a Saturday, so college football was playing on the screens on both sides of the bar.

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Our pizza, which came topped with spicy Atlanta Italian sausage, pepperoni, bacon and Bacio mozzarella cheese, smelled just as good as it looked. It came out piping hot and fresh.

Each slice was juicy, cheesy and salty. The salt from the various meats on this particular pizza paired very nicely with the spicy Italian Atlanta sausage and Chef Mah’s signature sauce.

I’m looking forward to a return visit where I’ll likely try a pizza with the cauliflower crust and order some of Chef Mah’s Kung Fu chicken wings.

The wings are prepared in hot chili oil, buffalo wing sauce and topped with red onions and parsley.

The food, paired with some nice cold beer from the taps of Mississippi make for a great lunch, dinner or game day.

Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for new menu items, limited run menu items and other special announcements.

Review: 9 out of 10

Operating Hours
Wednesday & Thursday: 4-9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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OB Pizza Co. menu (photo via OB Pizza Co. Facebook page)

 

Hidden Gems: NBA G-League games in Southaven

If you’re looking for something fun to do close to home, the NBA’s G-League is a great option for a cheap night out.

The G-League (formally the D-League/Developmental League) is the official minor league of the NBA. NBA teams are assigned a G-League affiliate where they can staff a team with young prospective NBA talent to develop their skills in hopes of getting a call-up to the NBA.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has a successful minor league system and the NBA is doing its best to mirror their model. The NBA has placed affiliate teams in nearby markets to serve as a launchpad for many players looking to join the professional basketball ranks. Unlike in baseball where you have Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A ball, the G-League has just one tier of teams.

The Hustle are affiliated with the Memphis Grizzlies, which makes all the sense in the world, considering they are just a short trip over the state line.

Lower-level tickets start out at $12 and the most expensive ticket is about $25– much more palatable than the prices you pay at the NBA level in the FedEx Forum.

The Hustle have a great roster this season, featuring a mix of players with regional ties and ties to the Grizzlies. The team is coached by Brad Jones, who played and coached at Lambuth University in nearby Jackson, Tenn. and later served as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

Former Arkansas Razorback sharpshooter Dusty Hannahs and former Memphis Tiger rimrocker D.J. Stephens are two players on the roster that will appeal to local collegiate fans.

The Grizzlies’ 2018 second round draft pick JeVon Carter (point guard, West Virginia University) and Japanese-born Yuta Watanabe (forward, George Washington University) both anchor the Hustle.

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I recently attended the Hustle’s opening night on Nov. 9 at the Landers Center in Southaven and had a great time.

Some things to keep in mind if you decide to attend a Hustle game:

  • Bring at least $5 in cash to pay to park (cash only)
  • You will go through metal detectors when you enter, so leave your pocket knives, pepper spray, etc. in the car

Opening night for the Hustle happened to also coincide with the season’s first Kids Club, which is an area on the floor with interactive inflatables for the kids, a team store and more. You can sign up for the Kids Club for free and you receive a free ticket to a Hustle game, a kids lanyard and your kid gets to shoot some layups after Friday night games.

The game is action packed, physical and uptempo.

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The in-game experience is on-par with an NBA game. The players are highly skilled and don’t take any plays off. They are all fighting for the right to be on an NBA roster. This game featured all the action you would expect from an NBA game: breakaway dunks, alley-oops, put-back dunks, crazy three pointers and show-stopping blocks.

The pep squad, for lack of a better name, throws out t-shirts during time outs, interacts with fans with trivia during the game and more. The usual in-game music and chant music is pumped into the arena during the game as well.

There was even a halftime performance from a world-record holding juggler who could juggle everything from bowling pins, to flying discs to tennis racquets. It was impressive.

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Besides the great game play and great ticket prices, the concession prices were price conscious, too.

Much of the menu was no more than $6 bucks, which featured pizza, chicken wings, hot dogs, nachos– the standard concession food. Plus plenty of snacks, soda, candy and beer. A refillable soda cup is $6, which is good for unlimited soda refills.

Since this was my first game, I cannot say for certain if this happens regularly, but Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace was in attendance for opening night, sporting a crimson sports jacket and sitting under the basket near the Hustle’s bench.

Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff also made an appearance at the game later in the first half, sitting on the other side of the goal as Wallace. Former NBA champion (with the 2004 “bad boy” Detroit Pistons squad) and 2008 gold medalist Tayshaun Prince was also spotted at the game court-side. Prince is now a front office executive with the Grizzlies.

After you’ve been to one game, if you’re like me, you’ll be looking forward to the next Hustle game. If it happens to be a game you can’t make or a road game, some Hustle games are broadcast on Facebook Watch and on ESPN’s new premium streaming service, ESPN+. You can check out the team’s full schedule and broadcast schedule here. At least two Hustle games will be broadcast on traditional television on NBATV and on ESPNU later this season.

The bottom line is the Hustle provide great entertainment value. Cheap parking, cheap food and cheap seats, but a great on-court product.