Miss-Lou prepares to greet millennium

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 1999

Organizers of the Miss-Lou’s millennium celebration aren’t afraid that fears of the Y2K bug or New Year’s Eve terrorism will affect local plans to ring in the next 2000 years.

&uot;Most people are staying home and not traveling to the big cities,&uot; said Linda Gardner, manager of the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce. &uot;More hometown folks will be enjoying what we have here locally.&uot;

Around the country, millennium plans have been scaled back because many people are planning to stay home. Hotel rooms and cruises have gone unbooked, and Seattle’s mayor has canceled that city’s millennium celebration because of fears of terrorism.

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But in the Miss-Lou, plans are still on for a millennium celebration complete with a multi-faith worship service, midnight fireworks, balloons and bonfires on the river, and a gala at the city auditorium. A millennium parade scheduled for New Year’s Eve has been canceled because of a lack of entries.

&uot;I think the larger cities will be more affected than the smaller cities,&uot; said Laura Godfrey, public relations director for the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau. &uot;Our hotels are full. I think we’re going to have a good crowd.&uot;

New Year’s Eve in the Miss-Lou will kick off with balloons and bonfires on the river. Vidalia’s chamber of commerce will host bonfires, sponsored by the Watermark Restaurant, Blaney’s Industrial Enterprises and the City of Vidalia. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. with the Concordia Community Choir, Grace Woods and former Miss Vidalia April Creel.

Lighting of the bonfires on the mat field on the levee begins at 6:30 p.m., the same time a balloon glow begins on the bluffs in Natchez. Balloons will be at the Ramada Inn Hilltop and at the grounds of Rosalie. Admission is free.

Other events for the evening include:

A millennium worship service at 7:30 p.m. at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church.

The BellSouth Millennium Gala from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the city auditorium. Tickets are $60 per person or $100 per couple if bought in advance. Call 446-6345 for information.

A Millennium Magic fireworks show at midnight, sponsored by Lady Luck Casino Hotel and Budweiser. Admission is free.