Arkansas trio tickled to be ticketed for touring

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; A trio of travelers from Arkansas could not understand what traffic violation they had made Monday morning when a Vidalia police officer stopped their vehicle.

But Officer Ronnie Wedgeworth simply wanted to thank Alton and Charlotte Pack and their sister-in-law Becky Green for driving through town.

&uot;We got their attention, but I had to tell them real quick (what was going on),&uot; Wedgeworth said, laughing at the expressions the travelers had on their faces when he stopped them.

Email newsletter signup

Wedgeworth escorted them to the Louisiana Welcome Center for the presentation of a special gift basket in honor of National Tourism Week. Charged with finding an out-of-state visitor, Wedgeworth had just happened upon the Packs and Green.

&uot;They were just lucky,&uot; he said.

&uot;Especially when he said we’re going to give you a gift,&uot; Green said.

The couple and Green were on their way back to Arkansas after a trip to visit another relative in New Orleans.

With the gift basket &045; which includes one night’s stay at the Comfort Suites as well as other goodies from local and state merchants &045; they will probably be on their way back soon, Mrs. Pack said.

&uot;You’ve got good food in Louisiana,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s a little different from Arkansas.&uot;

&uot;They say Louisiana has the best-fed people in the world,&uot; her husband said.

Zelma Murray, new supervisor at the Welcome Center, said Monday’s stunt was a way to kick off the center’s celebration of National Tourism Week &045; and promote Vidalia in the process.

&uot;We have a new hotel, we have new restaurants,&uot; she said. &uot;We’re finally getting into the tourism act. And being across the river from Natchez does not hurt.&uot;

Natchez and Vidalia will celebrate National Tourism Week with receptions.

The Mississippi Welcome Center, located in the Natchez Visitor Reception Center at 640 S. Canal St., will have exhibits, fine art, crafts and attractions that showcase the local and surrounding areas.

Tourist Appreciation Day will be observed there Wednesday.

The Vidalia Welcome Center will have open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday.

And the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce’s tourism council will celebration Tourism Week with a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at Bowie’s Tavern.

The public is invited to all events.