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Christmas in Natchez lights up soon

Another fabulous Natchez holiday season is around the corner. If you haven’t noticed, the city elves and some volunteers have already started the ongoing process of restoring our vintage IP displays for the bluff and have been working diligently to get the garlands, wreaths and lights ready to hang in time to meet the Christmas in Natchez, City of Lights opening day — Thanksgiving Day when the American Queen returns.

The American Queen, which will port in Natchez 29 times next year, is hosting a free concert by “The Annie Moses Band” at 2:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day on the bluff.

On Friday, Nov. 23, festivities begin with the fourth annual turkey gumbo cook-off, holiday music and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

This is the year to gather your team of family and friends to share your talents as the best gumbo cooks in Natchez. The grand prize is $500.

We are also fortunate to have the National Park service venues — the Robert Johnson House and Melrose. The spectacular Towers is on tour by appointment and always a holiday favorite.

Stanton Hall and Longwood will be decorated and on tour all through the holidays. Magnolia Hall will be open, and there are several events at Auburn from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 for Auburn’s 200th anniversary and salute to 1812.

Here is a preview of some of the events coming up. I ask that you take time to mark your personal calendars and try to participate in all that we have to offer. Also, invite your family and friends to come visit during our special season. It is not too early to buy your tickets for popular events such as ice-skating and our new event this year — The Festival of Music Christmas Cabaret.

4 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 22 — The Dixieland Band followed by The Annie Moses Band on the bluff compliments of the American Queen Steamboat Company. Free.

4 5 to 7 p.m., Friday Nov. 23 — annual turkey gumbo cook off.

To register to enter as a team e-mail reginacharboneau@yahoo.com or call me at 601-445-0338.

47 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23 — lighting of the Christmas tree.

4Saturday, Nov. 24 — Jazz in the Round at historic Longwood with special guest Campbell Brown. For tickets call Natchez Pilgrimage Tours 601-446-6631.

45:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday from Nov. 29-Dec. 20 — Natchez Eola Hotel; choirs and music beginning.

47 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30 — Ballet Magnificat Omega presents “Before His Throne Boldly” at the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center.

4Saturday, Dec. 1 — Brandon Hall Treasures on the Trace, a memorable family outing. For more information go to www.brandonhall.com.

46 p.m., Saturday Dec. 1 — Christmas parade followed by fireworks on the bluff.

If you want to participate, and we hope you do, you can find information/application on www.95County.com website.

410 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday Dec. 7 — Second Saturday shopping specials all day.

4 7 to 10 p.m., Friday Dec. 14 — “Christmas Cabaret” at the City Auditorium presented by Natchez Festival of Music. Pack your gourmet picnic and decorate your table — black tie optional — for more information contact reginacharboneau@yahoo.com.

410 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday Dec. 15 — Family fun day on the bluff with ice skating ($15), petting zoo, children’s activities and hot dogs. To benefit Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.

410 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday Dec. 16 — ice skating on the bluff ($15), children’s activities and hot dogs.

We are always looking for committed volunteers. If you want to help with any activities please e-mail me reginacharboneau@yahoo.com. If you have an event that you would like to be added to your website e-mail your information to Abby Brown at natchezchamber@natchezchamber.com

I am proud of the efforts of the committee of Christmas in Natchez that continue to grow the events for the holiday season in Natchez.

I applaud Natchez for continuing to become a year-round tourist destination, and I am grateful for the downtown merchants that open their doors with the enthusiasm needed to host our visitors on weekends and holidays.

Our best asset is the people here. I am wishing a prosperous holiday season for all.

I look forward to seeing all of you during the holidays.


Regina Charboneau is the co-chairman of the Christmas in Natchez committee.