Experience Columbia released from contract for wintertime activities

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - Christmas may look different this year in downtown Columbia, but main street leaders say it’s going to be fine.

Main Street Columbia Director Nik Ingram confirmed on Wednesday that Experience Columbia was granted a release from its contract with the City of Columbia by the Board of Alderman.

Nik Ingram spoke about his reaction to the granted release and plans for the future of Experience Columbia

According to a report from the Columbia Progress newspaper, Experience Columbia asked the city on Monday in a letter to dissolve its contract, and the board unanimously granted it Tuesday evening.

Ingram said the request was unexpected, but he understands the financial costs and described them as unsustainable.

Ingram said he is currently brainstorming with the Marion County Development Partnership on what Christmas will look like in 2023, as they plan to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

“I have talked with Lori [Watts] at MDCP, and she feels confident that we will be able to put something together, and it will be really good,” Ingram said. “Christmas is about Jesus and joy and hope and spreading that hope and joy, and that was our whole mission in the beginning, and that we have not lost.”

Columbia Mayor Justin McKenzie said he was thankful for the work Experience Columbia has done over the years.

“So blessed for everything that has been created over the years,” said McKenzie. “I’m thankful for the efforts of Experience Columbia. The group’s commitment and focus on every detail during Christmas has been amazing. Christmas is not canceled in Columbia. We will work to see what happens next.”

The Experience Columbia team was reached out for comment but they did not want to make a statement at this time.

Experience Columbia can be credited with many winter events in downtown Columbia, including the large ice skating rink. It had one season left on its contract with the city, according to the newspaper’s report.

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