Chamber Gala celebrates outdoors

Published 12:01am Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Reserve a place on your calendar at 6 p.m. for the evening of Oct. 29 at the Natchez Convention Center for the 2013 Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce Gala Celebration. You will not want to miss it.

Have you ever wondered why everyone in our community has at least one pickup truck or SUV in the family? Is it because we are a bunch of rednecks? Could it be for navigating our rugged city streets?

Well, I hope we aren’t a bunch of rednecks, because I have a pickup truck myself, though ancient. As for our streets, I haven’t been in a city without those problems, and our mayor and board have a plan and are working hard to get ours in top shape.

Let me suggest that we may have more pickups per capita because we have more outdoor resources per capita. A pickup truck or SUV is just a necessity for enjoying the quality of life that we have in the Miss-Lou.

Think of the extraordinary economic impact that the vast woodlands, rivers, lakes and streams must have on our community. Notwithstanding the obvious impact of agriculture, timber and oil in our local economy, consider the recreational impact.

Right out of our backdoors we have fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, hiking, camping, sight-seeing and water skiing, and the list goes on and on and on.

How many people in our nation can boast so many resources so close at hand? At this time of the year it seems like every other vehicle is carrying four-wheelers. In the spring, it will be boats.

We will be bringing the outdoors inside with our special guest, wildlife, and nature photographer Stephen Kirkpatrick and his wife, Marla.

More than 3,500 of his photographs have been published in books and magazines including Audubon, Sports Afield, Ducks Unlimited and Natural History. He has published 11 books, including “Wilder Mississippi,” “Lost in the Amazon” and In “Wilderness Song.”

He is a featured speaker and has appeared on television programs “Wild Things,” the Outdoor Channel’s “Adventure Bound Outdoors” and the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club,” as well as on CNN and several PBS specials. Also on this night we will be presenting Natchezian Awards to a man and a woman who have given unselfishly of their time and effort for the betterment of our community. In addition, both a large and a small company will be recognized for their success in our community.

The menu for the evening will include a variety of outstanding items from the grill prepared by our local chefs. Perhaps best of all, in keeping with the celebration of our outdoors, we will “dress down.” Casual wear will be fine for a relaxed, fun-filled evening inspired by nature.

We appreciate your support of the Natchez-Adams Chamber and our mission to encourage and foster a positive business environment in the Miss-Lou. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Gala.

Please call the Chamber of Commerce at 601-445-4611 for reservations.


Chuck Caldwell is Natchez-Adams County Chamber Chairman.