12 Bars of Christmas collects toys for those in need

From left, Hobie Hobart presents toys raised during the 12 Bars of Christmas to Sheriff Steve Gladney for the Okibbeha County Sheriff’s Department to donate to children in the community. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

The eighth annual 12 Days of Christmas toy drive and bar crawl will kick off at 5 p.m. Dec. 16 at Hobie’s on Main.

Participants in the 12 Bars of Christmas must bring a new, unopened toy to Hobie’s on Main to be donated to the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department, and the deputies will distribute the toys to children in need during the holidays.

Hobie’s on Main owner Hobie Hobart said last year’s event collected over 150 toys to be donated to children facing adversity during Christmas.

“Last year’s 12 Bars of Christmas was probably the best so far,” Hobart said. “We had a lot of people come to town from Jackson, the Memphis area and the Delta. Everyone dressed up, we collected a lot of toys and we brought a large group of people into the bars to give our economy a boost during a slow time of year.”

Hobart said everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favorite Christmas character, such as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Cousin Eddie or Buddy the Elf.

Participants will then meet at Hobie’s with a new, unopened toy around 5 p.m. Saturday, where the 12 Bars of Christmas will begin.

“We’ll teach you the 12 Bars of Christmas carol, give a Christmas toast, spread Christmas cheer and then load the Miller Light Party Buses and head to the next bar,” Hobart said.

The event will begin at Hobie’s on Main, and then travel to Rosey Baby, The Veranda, Buffalo Wild Wings, Stagger Inn, The Camphouse, Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern, Rick’s Cafe, Mugshots, Restaurant Tyler and Moe’s Original BBQ.

Awards will be given for the best dressed man and woman.

“The Cowbellion’s 12 Bars of Christmas toy drive has grown into one of the best parities in Starkville,” Hobart said. “People start asking me about it during football season, and I don’t think I could stop if I wanted too.”

If anyone is unable to attend the 12 Bars of Christmas, they can still drop off a new, unopened toy at Hobie’s on Main anytime.

Hobart said the support from the community encouraged him to continue the event this year.

'“A lady from Emerson School, which is one of the places that receives our toys, called me and thanked me and asked if we were doing it again this year,” Hobart said. “She was excited that we were doing it again, and she said you wouldn’t believe how many kids benefit from it each year. That made me feel really good.”