Events make for one busy weekend

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

Summer-like weather and sunny skies brought crowds out to several events that took place throughout the Miss-Lou this weekend.

At the Arts in the Park event, an annual fund-raiser to restore the Memorial Park foundation, children and their parents went from booth to booth to take part in crafts ranging from sand art to paint-spinning art.

In keeping with the theme of cowboys and Indians, there were also plenty of Western pastimes. Children were taught how to rope with real lassos &045; using, of course, cow and horse dummies.

Email newsletter signup

Blowgun demonstrations, weaving and other stations showing what life was like in the Old West were also featured.

But the main attraction, said attendee Lisa Dale, was the chance to help raise funds to restore the park’s historic fountain.

&uot;Most of all, we’re here to support Arts in the Park,&uot; said Dale, who accompanied children Alex Dale, 3, and Tyler Jordan, 11, the latter of which participated in the event’s one-mile fun run.

Organizer Tammi Gardner, who directs the Natchez Downtown Development Association, said $32,000 has been raised so far in the years the event has been held.

And although $50,000 is needed to completely restore the fountain, Gardner said she’s hopeful that the work can at least be started this year.

Across town, many of Trinity Episcopal Day School’s 317 students and their families flocked to another fund-raiser, the school’s annual Mayfair, taking part in more than a dozen different games.

While younger children’s games such as &uot;go fish,&uot; a basketball throw and a space jump were quite popular, the school added some pastimes for middle and high school students this year.

&uot;We added the bungee jumping and the rock climbing wall this year to give the older children something to do,&uot; Head of School Delecia Carey said &045; although she added her younger son had tried his hand at bungee jumping, too.

The Mayfair and related events, such as a golf tournament and Saturday night’s crawfish boil and silent auction, make up the largest source of money for the private school’s Annual Fund.

Walking between the Trinity Episcopal Church women’s plant sale and the face painting booth, Noreen Pyron said it’s more than fun that brings her and her family back each year. It’s tradition.

&uot;Both my children went here, and my grandchildren go to Trinity, too,&uot; said Pyron, who accompanied grandchildren Lucy, 5, and twins Harris and Hartley Pyron, 2. &uot;It’s for the school.&uot;

Outside Vidalia, the Concordia Parish Airport held a gathering of a different kind &045; the local Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual fly-in, featuring 34 aircraft from throughout the state.

Ty Coley, a veteran who flew more than 50 missions in World War II, said that as an EAA member, his favorite part of Saturday’s fly-in was seeing the two homemade aircraft that were entered.

One belonged to Robert Dean of Youngsville, La., and formerly of Waterproof, who got into the hobby as a project he could enjoy with his father. The replica of an F47R Corsair took them four-and-a-half years to build.

&uot;I’ve just always liked World War II fighter-style designs &045; the shape, the performance,&uot; said Dean, a member of the local EAA chapter.

But Dean said that aircraft may be the last he builds. &uot;Too much work,&uot; he said with a grin.

The work it takes to put on the fly-in each year is worth it, said organizer Donna Maroon of Concordia Parish.

&uot;It’s to keep the awareness of small-craft aviation (alive) in Louisiana,&uot; she said.