Pageant is economic boom in town
Published 12:22 am Friday, March 7, 2008
Natchez has many traditions that have survived for many years. That is a rare thing to find in this day and age. History and traditions are things that people are learning to re-appreciate.
One Natchez tradition that has survived since the 1930s is the Historic Natchez Pageant. There have been a few changes over the years, but it still incorporates two women-based organizations. These women utilize over 250 volunteers to put on a live pageant that is performed four nights a week for six weeks. Work on the pageant goes on 12 months out of the year and many of the dance practices start well before the Christmas holidays. Not one person on the Pageant Committee gets paid; it is all volunteer labor.
This is the second year that the Historic Natchez Pageant committee members will showcase another part of Natchez’ rich heritage. Some special additions include, the portrayal of Ibrahima, the African Prince, the William Johnson family and a special soloist singing Old Man River. Many visitors enjoyed these new additions last year.
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Many of our area merchants, hotels, bed and breakfasts and restaurants depend on this time of the year to help boost profits. You may say this doesn’t affect you. Believe me, the effect can be tremendous. The more profits a business in the Miss-Lou makes, the more money stays circulated in this area. Increased sales tax gives our city government more money in the operating budget which helps give us better city services. It is definitely a domino effect.
What can you do? Encourage friends and family to come visit during this wonderful time in Natchez. Not only do we have the Pageant, but also the Southern Road to Freedom, Natchez Little Theater’s “Southern Exposure,” and over 30 historic homes that are on tour. No one sells Natchez better than the citizens. For event times and dates, call Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at 601-446-6631 or go to www.natchezpilgrimage.com.
The Historic Natchez Pageant begins this tonight. The public is invited on this night to see the pageant for free.
Haven’t been for a while? Want to see some friends performing? Never seen the pageant? Come see what Natchez volunteers can do when they put their minds to it.
Remember to come this Friday beginning at 8 p.m. at the City Auditorium.
Tammi Gardner is a Pilgrimage Garden Club Pageant Committee Member.