Deck the halls — and streets: Natchez to light Christmas tree Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Christmas decorations are popping up all over downtown Natchez this week. To officially kick off the holiday season, lighting of the downtown Natchez Christmas tree will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Nearly 300 people enjoyed the hour-long festivities last year, said Downtown Development Association Director Tammi Mullins. &uot;This year I hope to see close to 500 people,&uot; she said.

This is Mullins’ second year to organize the tree lighting. &uot;They had it when I first moved to Natchez, but it wasn’t very organized or publicized,&uot; Mullins said.

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&uot;Merchants have donated cookies and hot chocolate for the event,&uot; Mullins said. &uot;Santa Claus will be there to visit with the children and collect letters from them.&uot;

A child from the Natchez Children’s Home will light the tree.

The Natchez High drama department will perform three readings and Lou Ellen Alford will sing. Then the mayor will read a proclamation to officially begin the holiday season in Natchez, Mullins said.

To end the ceremony, the Jefferson Street United Methodist Church choir and the Holy Family Catholic Church choir will lead the crowd in singing Christmas carols.

The Kiwanis Club of Natchez funds placement of the Christmas tree downtown each year, along with WQNZ-FM Radio and Pickett Industries.

This year the club also will give out $350 checks to charity organizations, said Mullins, who is also a Kiwanis Club member.

Receiving donations are the Stewpot, Catholic Charities, the Children’s Home and the Salvation Army.