Cathedral welcomes area to 160th Fall Festival

Published 12:14 am Sunday, October 14, 2007

NATCHEZ — Folks from around the Miss-Lou turned out to support Cathedral School at the 160th installation of its long-running Fall Festival Saturday.

“Cathedral (School) was established in 1847, and every year at about the same time we have had a festival of some sorts,” festival volunteer Betty Lou Hicks said.

All of the funds the festival, which will continue today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will go toward the school’s general fund, Hicks said.

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“This is certainly a major fundraiser for the school,” she said.

But even more important than money is the sense of local unity the festival brings, Hicks said.

“More importantly than the fact that this is a fundraiser is that it is a major community event,” she said. “It brings in people from outside our school community.”

Festival chair Paul Burns agreed.

“The community, they support us so much,” he said. “It’s not just the Cathedral family, it’s not just Natchez — it’s the whole Miss-Lou that supports us.”

This year was the first year the school paired the festival with homecoming, Burns said.

“We did that so everyone could come and do both events,” he said.

Saturday, the schoolyard was converted into a carnival midway, with — including but not limited to — inflatable jumping toys and slides, dunking booths, a ring toss, a cakewalk and even a small putting green.

Children wandered through the games while the adults turned their attention to other things, like browsing through auction items and test-driving cars.

Heritage Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge brought several vehicles to the fair, and those who test drove the cars and answered a simple questionnaire actually ended up helping the school.

“For every person who does that, Heritage will donate $5 to the school,” Burns said.

Today, beginning at 11 a.m., a traditional turkey and dressing dinner will be available for $5.

“If you don’t want to get out of your car, you can drive straight up our center drive and we will bring it to you,” volunteer Susan Granning said. “If you know a shut-in or invalid who can’t come get it themselves, we will deliver it free of charge.”

The midway will also re-open today at 11 a.m., and when it closes at 2 p.m. a bingo game will begin and raffle drawings will begin at that time.