Tracings celebrates 29th birthday

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 30, 2009

Break out the birthday candles. Tracings turns 29 on Tuesday.

On Feb. 3, 1980, The Natchez Democrat published the first edition of the popular newspaper feature.

For 29 years, area residents have been submitting items ranging from bake sales to scout meetings, from church revivals to Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

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Churches have played a big part in the community calendar from the beginning.

Of the seven events featured that Sunday, four were from area churches. The Union Baptist Church youth presented the Logan Family in a Sunday afternoon concert. The children’s choir of Washington Baptist Church presented the musical “Noah’s Ark.” The First United Pentecostal Church continued its “Power Packed Revival” and The Holy Family Catholic Church promoted a men’s seminar.

Both Cathedral and ACCS booster clubs were set to meet on Monday night, and WNAT and WQNZ were promoting their award-winning radio commentary featuring George F. West Jr, Mary Lee Toles and Josie Anderson.

The list of items was short that day, only taking up a very tiny corner of the paper. By 1990, however, Tracings had expanded to take up prime real-estate on page 2A next to the weather.

Still beside the weather, Tracings now fills up a full quarter page each day, featuring about 30 events happening in our community.

Since its inception, The Tracings has taken on many forms, but its mission has remained the same — keeping readers up to date with the events happening in the Miss-Lou.

Starting this week, The Tracings has taken on another look — this time on the Internet.

In 1980, there were few places people could go to find out what events were happening where. The Tracings provided that need.

Today, with the advent of the Internet and e-mail, the problem is not so much where to find the information but how to keep track of it all.

Like me, I suspect most people have e-mail inboxes filled with messages from numerous organizations promoting their upcoming events.

Unfortunately there is not one place that has tried to consolidate all of these e-mails into one calendar — until now.

Before Thursday, featured a calendar people could use to find out what was happening in the area. Unfortunately the calendar was not very user-friendly. It didn’t allow users to separate events by category, search for particular events or see a list of events between a particular set of dates.

Now that has all changed with our improved online Tracings.

Want to see art events happening in town or school events in the upcoming week? Now you can using our online Tracings.

Not only can you search by category or by date, but now displays a short list of Tracings happening each day on the Web site’s homepage.

Want to see a list of upcoming events happening in the future? Just click on the “Click here for more” button below these listings to see all of the future Tracings that have been submitted.

We still offer the ability to have our computer remind you by e-mail or by phone about an upcoming event.

And if you have an event to submit for Tracings, you can now do it online by clicking on the “Submit Your Own Event” button on the homepage. Just follow the simple instructions to find out.

After 29 years, Tracings remains the one spot to which residents can go to discover what is happening in our community — now online and in print.

Ben Hillyer is Web editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540.