Natchez ready for next big idea

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why is that the visionaries are sometimes considered a little absurd at first?

Think about that question.

Natchez’s history is filled with examples.

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Just consider a few:

So, people will pay us money just to walk through our houses and look around?

Natchez Pilgrimage was born.

What we’ll do is, we’ll bring down young, world class opera singers and they’ll come to Natchez and sing, for a whole month.

That’s how the Natchez Opera Festival — now the more diverse Natchez Festival of Music — began.

We need to do something fun in Natchez, something that no one else around does. Let’s start a hot-air balloon festival. But let’s do it Natchez-style. We’ll launch them from the bluffs and in town.

Years later, the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race continues to take flight each year.

Knives. We’ll celebrate the man who made the big knife famous, Jim Bowie.

The festival named for the knife-wielding legend draws tons of visitors each year in Vidalia.

Get a paddle and let’s kayak down the Mississippi. Yes, I said, “kayak.” It’ll be fun and lots of other paddleheads will want to join in the adventure.

Last weekend, nearly 90 kayaks hit the water for the Phatwater Kayak Challenge.

Each tale seemed amazing to some people when they first took root. Today, looking back on them, each holds a special place in the Natchez area fabric of life.

So what is the next great adventure? Where is the next seemingly odd notion that will turn into tomorrow’s gold?

Only time will tell, but we have faith that the seed is germinating somewhere out there.