Holiday events filled weekend

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 19, 1999

There was no shortage of events to get Natchezians in the Christmas spirit Sunday, from concerts and caroling to a holiday tour of downtown apartments.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, more than 150 people of all ages gathered in Memorial Park to sing carols by candlelight. They gathered close together and, after a prayer by Father Al Camp, lit handheld candles from just a few flames.

&uot;We came last year for the first time, and we’re back because it’s a lot of fun,&uot;&160;said Caroline Harrington of Natchez, whose group of friends huddled together on the chilly night.

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&uot;Besides, it’s a great community activity&uot; and helps people get in the holiday spirit, she said.

&uot;It makes me feel like a child again,&uot;&160;said organizer Kathy Sizemore. She started the event three years ago, patterning it after a similar annual event in New Orleans.

But caroling was just one of the Christmas activities going on in downtown Natchez Sunday.

Starting at 3 p.m., St. Mary Minor Basilica filled with the sounds of Christmas music as the Vidalia High School band and local volunteer musicians performed their annual Christmas concert.

Those who filled the sanctuary’s pews applauded the band in between selections such as &uot;O Holy Night&uot; and &uot;Do You Hear What I&160;Hear?&uot; They were also invited to sing along with certain carols, including &uot;Joy to the World&uot;&160;and &uot;Away in a Manger.&uot;

And all afternoon, the public was invited to tour seven downtown apartments in various stages of renovation during A Room with a View. The apartments ranged from the newly renovated federal-style apartment of Mayor Larry &uot;Butch&uot;&160;Brown and his wife, Shields, and refurbished suites of the Eola Hotel to projects still in the making, such as North Pearl Street spaces being renovated by Sis Stowers.

During the fourth annual tour, which lasted for three hours, the curious got to stroll through the tour’s seven apartments at their own pace.

&uot;This gives us a chance to show that downtown does have upstairs space, because a lot of people aren’t aware of that,&uot;&160;said City Planner David Preziosi.

&uot;It’s fun … and it’s a fund raiser for the Natchez Downtown Development Association,&uot; said NDDA Director Tammi Mullins.