Sell out event

Published 5:06 pm Friday, March 30, 2007

Picayune’s yearly event to honor emergency personnel sold out even after increasing the number of available seats.

Mary McCullough, Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said this year will be a big year for the annual Police and Firefighters Banquet. She said the chamber originally planned to have seating for about 208 people, but later made arrangements with Magnolia Columns to add an additional 30 people.

Even with that additional seating all 238 tickets have been sold or accounted for, McCullough said. The tickets sold out with a week and a half left before the event and three weeks after they went on sale, the fastest the tickets had ever sold out. She accounted the increased attendance to the increased support and interest in local emergency personnel, along with the promised appearance of Gov. Haley Barbour.

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McCullough said usually there are still tickets available at the door the evening of the event. This year those who did not get their tickets in advance will not get in.

People who are scheduled to attend the event are Barbour and his wife Marsha, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Wallen, Sen. Sid Albritton, Southern District Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz, District Attorney Hal Kittrell, Board of Supervisors president Bettye Stockstill, Chancery Clerk David Earl Johnson, Picayune Mayor Greg Mitchell and his wife Anna, City Manager Ed Pinero, members of the city council, Fire Chief Keith Brown and Police Chief Jim Luke.

“So you see why tickets sold so fast,” McCullough said.

Tickets have also been set aside for Sheriff Joe Stuart and members of his staff, McCullough said.

The banquet will honor the police officer and the firefighter of the year by presenting each of them with a plaque.

The event takes place 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at Magnolia Columns.