Natchez declared Y2K city

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 16, 1999

Natchez will be the place to be this New Year’s Eve. At least that’s what the White House says.

Natchez has been named one of the nation’s Millennium communities by the White House Millennium Council. Cities are chosen based on projects and events that reflect the theme &uot;Honor the past – Imagine the future.&uot;

&uot;There’s a lot of perks for being a Millennium Community,&uot; said Laura Godfrey, public relations director for the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau. &uot;This is a good promotion for Natchez to be a part of this group.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Natchez and Laurel are the only two cities in Mississippi chosen so far. About 120 communities are designated across the country.

Godfrey submitted an eight-page application detailing the events Natchez will host as it counts down to the new millennium.

Special home tours, children’s story-telling, a multi-faith service and a balloon glow are just some of the events in store for the city’s celebration.

The centerpiece of the big party will be the BellSouth Millennium Gala, co-sponsored by the Natchez Opera Guild.

The kickoff for the city’s millennium celebration was in July, when the World Peace Bell stopped in Natchez on its way to a permanent home in Kentucky.

The Opera Guild is looking forward to hosting the New Year’s Eve party, which will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Natchez City Auditorium.

&uot;Everybody’s going to be looking for a place to go,&uot; said Patty Killelea of the Opera Guild.

Other millennium celebration events include:

n Madrigal dinners at the Carriage House performed by the Natchez High School Madrigal Choir;

n Caroling in the Park every weekend;

n A Jolly Trolley, which will allow people to park and ride the trolley to various locations downtown and also provide discount coupons for stores and restaurants;

n Time capsules planted around town.

n An oral history project.

With the Millennium Community designation, Natchez is allowed to use the millennium logo and motto, &uot;Honor the past – Imagine the future.&uot;

The city will also be listed on the Millennium Communities website at

In his 1999 State of the Union address, President Clinton invited cities to take part in the Millennium Communities program.

&uot;I want to invite every town, every city, every county to become a nationally recognized ‘millennium community’ by launching projects that save our history, promote our arts and humanities, prepare our children for the 21st century,&uot; Clinton said in January.