Minorville natives: Annual Jubilee like family reunion

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; To some, the 13th annual Minorville Jubilee might have looked like simply a gathering of friends.

But to those who gathered in the shade to visit with each other, hear a full day of gospel music and enjoy good food, it was more like a family reunion.

Minorville, composed of Minor and surrounding streets, has long been a close-knit neighborhood, so much so that even people who have long since moved from their childhood homes there come back for the annual reunion.

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Like Ira Smith Young, for example.

She grew up in the Minorville neighborhood and has since moved to Pintard Street but comes back for the yearly celebration.

&uot;It serves to bring all the old neighbors out, Š to bring people together,&uot; Young said.

Organizer Burnett Bridgewater said the gathering also serves a larger purpose &045; getting the attention of young people who might not otherwise feel the old community ties.

&uot;This is for the young children, to teach them community values,&uot; said Bridgewater, a Minorville resident for 51 years.

&uot;To teach them that, you need to get their attention, and this is one way to go that. And it keeps the community alive.&uot;

The celebration stemmed from a program former Alderman Paul O’Malley brought to the Board of Aldermen in the 1990s called &uot;Taking Our Neighborhoods Back,&uot; Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West said.

&uot;The concept is that if you clean up your community and have wholesome recreation, neighbors will begin to mingle and congregate and you’ll have a more viable community,&uot; West said.

The Minorville Jubilee &uot;is something the city has embraced as one of its program, and (the community) has done a fine job of organizing it,&uot; he added.

West also said he especially looks forward to next year’s Jubilee, because infrastructure improvements to Minor and adjacent streets are set to be complete by then.

Such improvements will include widening of the streets, installation of sidewalks and improved drainage, and erosion control, among other things. Because of the work on Minor Street, this year’s Jubilee was held in Concord Park.