Pilgrimage tradition important to Natchez

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Saturday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and pleasant temperatures &045;&045; the perfect weather to welcome visitors to the annual Spring Pilgrimage in Natchez.

We expect that, as always, that includes the sunny disposition of everyone who will greet these tourists as they visit antebellum houses, restaurants, stores and hotels.

By now we should all know how important Pilgrimage is to our community. Rather than just an opportunity to show off the beautiful antebellum homes of Natchez, the 73-year-old tradition has a major impact on our tourism economy. Visitors bring new dollars that multiply throughout the community as they spend money on meals, gifts, gas and lodging.

Email newsletter signup

Pilgrimage ticket sales were up last year, and with the city’s revocation of a long-standing bus tour tax, we hope they will be up again this year.

The annual tour season is also a good time for us to get in our spring cleaning, not only at the houses but throughout the community.

The city has made a concerted effort toward beautification education and enforcement of beautification policies in recent months, and that should be paying off as we approach a significant event like Pilgrimage. We need to greet tourists not only with our hospitality but with clean, beautiful streets and sidewalks.

By the way, Natchez residents can begin enjoying Pilgrimage tonight, with the first performance of the Historic Natchez Pageant. It is free to the local public tonight.