Garden Club flower show coming

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Two Clubs, One Purpose: The Historic Natchez Pageant — this theme for the 2007 Flower Show was picked to go with this year’s 75th anniversary of the Spring Pilgrimage.

In 1931, the ladies of the Natchez Garden Club hosted the state garden club meeting in Natchez. As women in the South are apt to do, they opened their homes and gardens to their visitors. And the visitors were amazed to find that these were not you everyday family homes but mansions that had been in the same families for generations and were surrounded by magnificent gardens. The garden club ladies of Natchez realized that the very successful meeting was largely due to tours given of their homes and gardens and soon decided to hold tours again in the spring of 1932.

The garden club members called the upcoming event Garden Pilgrimage Week. A few years later the Natchez Garden Club members split into the two clubs that we have today — The Natchez Garden Club and the Pilgrimage Garden Club. Then in 1946 the clubs spent several years sharing the royal couple with one club selecting the queen and the other selecting the king on alternating years. In 1958 the clubs not only held Pilgrimage together but they also settled on a way to split the royal reign and each club had their king, queen and royal court.

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But there is still only one Spring Pilgrimage. And that purpose is to continue a 75-year tradition of opening the doors of our magnificent mansions and gardens to the thousands of tourists who make the pilgrimage to Natchez.

Two clubs with one purpose, to continue a 75-year-old tradition through music, song, dance and today the beauty of flowers.

This event will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church at 511 Jefferson Street in Natchez. It is open to the public and free of charge.

The chairmen are Mrs. Ron Smilo of the Natchez Garden Club and Mrs. David G. Hall of the Pilgrimage Garden Club.