Natchez honors tourists for event

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; For National Tourism Week the Natchez tourism center did their part Wednesday with style.

Displays detailing the many historic and latest attractions of the city were only part of the offered information.

&8220;This week is National Tourism Week and we&8217;re having tourist appreciation day,&8221; tourist center Director Annette Anderson said. &8220;It&8217;s a national event every year in the month of May where we have crafts, artwork and local attractions to promote the state of Mississippi.&8221;

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The event, which included lunch, had displays set up around the tourism center from the Old South Winery, state parks and history preservation, among others.

&8220;Our business is a big draw for tourists that want to see how muscadine wine is made,&8221; Old South Manager Diane Galbreath said. &8220;People tend to wonder what a winery is doing in Mississippi and it&8217;s just one more different thing in Natchez.&8221;

The center also offered visitors a chance to look into the history, worker for the Friends of The Forks of the Road, Ser Seshs Ab Heter-CM Boxley said.

&8220;We&8217;re here because the story of the forks of the road and the slavery market is a big part of the history of Natchez,&8221; Boxley said. &8220;The tourists should certainly be able to hear the stories of slaves and what they went through.&8221;

Tourists wondered around the center throughout the day taking information from the various displays to learn of the history and attractions in Natchez.

&8220;We are full-time RVers,&8221; New Mexico resident Lester Miller said. &8220;Other&8217;s told us to come by and check out the Natchez Trace, and we happened to catch this.&8221;

Miller and his wife plan to drive the length of the Natchez Trace in their RV seeing the sites along the way.

&8220;This is our first stop of the trip,&8221; Miller said. &8220;We stopped here to get some information and begin our trip, and we got lucky and got some lunch too.&8221;

The National Park Service also offered a display, showing that some of the historic homes and places in Natchez were under their control, Park Ranger Nathan Hatfield said.

&8220;So many associate parks with large wilderness areas, but we have battlefields and other things too,&8221; Hatfield said. &8220;We like being a part of tourism and really wanted to be a presence in this event.&8221;