Good, bad Pilgrimage must go on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2006

For nearly three-quarters of a century Natchez has opened its doors to the world during the annual Spring Pilgrimage.

Those doors have opened during times of great economic boom and in times we&8217;d all rather forget.

Pilgrimage has continued in the face of war, natural disaster, and economic downturn, almost everything imaginable.

Email newsletter signup

Even in the toughest of times, Natchez figures out a way to survive and prosper.

This year&8217;s Pilgrimage is off and running. Although early indications are that it will not be a record-breaking season, that&8217;s not unexpected.

The South took a severe blow with back-to-back hurricanes last year.

Hurricane Rita &8212; the second destructive storm to hit &8212; would have been considered an awful storm, if it were viewed with a traditional perspective.

However, given the catastrophic scope of Rita&8217;s predecessor, Hurricane Katrina, and the flooding it sparked, Rita is almost relegated to a mere footnote in our nation&8217;s memory.

Obviously, the hurricanes adversely affected the tourism season here, but tourism leaders are making the best of the situation &8212; focusing on the individual tourists rather than group tours.

Despite the slight downtown in tourism, the Miss-Lou remains truly blessed. Our community came through the storms relatively unscathed. For those blessings we should be thankful.

Pilgrimage will continue and it will get better. We&8217;ll learn from this year&8217;s bump in the road and continue to make history by celebrating our history for another 75 years to come.