Spring season should bring out best in us

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Natchez is abloom with spring. From brilliant azalea blooms to puffy clouds atop the dogwood trees, spring has definitely arrived. And along with the flowers and warm weather, today marks the first day of what is easily the most important season of the year in Natchez — Spring Pilgrimage.

The little colored signs directing tourists to homes on tour this year can be seen all over town. And no doubt, beginning today the streets will begin to be filled with more tour buses and cars with out-of-town license plates.

That single thought makes many folks around town cringe. Some people dislike the fact that tourists flood into town. Sure, tourists get lost downtown and inadvertently go the wrong way down our one-way streets.

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But in reality, rather than treat tourists with disdain, we should all relish the thought that people want to come here and spend their money in our town.

Regardless of whether you are an active participant in Pilgrimage or someone who never steps foot in an antebellum house, Pilgrimage is important to you.

Tourists spend money. And that money filters through our community and touches each and every citizen. Tourism dollars are what helps our city and county provide goods and services without having to raise taxes constantly.

So as you head through town the next few weeks, remember that each of us should serve as ambassadors for Natchez. If you see a lost tourist, stop and help them find their destination.

If you find yourself behind a slow-moving vehicle, resist the urge to honk and swear. Realize that those tourists are helping us all make Natchez a better community.