Spring brings excitement and a party

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring, nature’s season of renewal, is coming upon us in the next few days. With the troubled political times happening right now and the emotional toll taken on all of us from the severe fluctuations in weather over the past months, we can certainly use the rejuvenation that comes with this special time of the year.

Perhaps because of the present instability in the world and weather, spring will be even more enticing and refreshing this year with its fresh green grass and the brilliant profusion of flowers in bloom. With such welcoming sights and smells, spring beckons us to come outdoors and celebrate the season.

Celebrate the season is exactly what the Natchez Garden Club, in conjunction with the Preservation Society of Ellicott Hill, invites us all to do by attending the ninth annual Party for Preservation dinner and dance event, “A Garden Gala at The Gardens.”

Dr. and Mrs. Fred Emrick have graciously offered their exquisite home, The Gardens, 35 Cemetery Road, as the site for the 2010 Party for Preservation scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17. Valet parking will be available.

The Gardens was built in 1794 as a summer retreat by Stephen Minor, the last Spanish Governor to the Natchez District. Serving as a Union Civil War hospital, the home was later purchased by the present owner’s family in 1881. The Gardens is listed on the National Register and was also featured on HGTV’s “Homes Across America” in 1999.

Stepping into The Gardens, located just a short distance from downtown Natchez, is very much like arriving at a quiet summer retreat. Vibrant with the colors, textures and the soothing ambience of spring, The Gardens will welcome guests to the surrounding grounds and patios lush with the pinks peeping out of the flowering azaleas and a variety of other blooming creations and into the house itself to relax, have a cocktail and delicious food and visit with friends.

Besides coming together for a fun, social evening, this event is for a very good cause. The Party for Preservation is the annual fundraiser with ticket sales going for the restoration of historic properties owned by the Natchez Garden Club.

Tickets are $45 per person with a cash bar. Or if you prefer to do a sponsorship, those are available as well. A platinum sponsorship is $1,000 for 10 people. A gold sponsorship is $600 for eight people. A silver sponsorship is available for $500 for four people. A bronze sponsorship is available for $250 for two people.

Loveta Byrne will be whetting everyone’s palate with an array of delectable entrees, hors d’oeuvres, dips, and desserts from her extensive collection of recipes. Kitty Bray will bring “oohs” and “aahs” of approval for her extraordinary simple but elegant flower arrangements. The music will be provided by Osgood & Blaque Duo-Band from Vicksburg. This duo performed at the Natchez Food & Wine Festival and was a huge success. We are pleased to have them this year at the Party for Preservation and know everyone will enjoy dancing to their broad selection of tunes.

We will have a very special guest for the evening. Many of you will be familiar with him from the “Look Around Mississippi” television features series on WLBT Jackson.

Walt Grayson has enthusiastically accepted the invitation for him and his wife, Jo, to join us on April 17. Grayson has been to Natchez many times and has done many stories on Natchez’s colorful and historical past and is delighted for any opportunity to visit. Grayson is also host and contributing segment producer for “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Walt has written three books, “Jackson, the Good Life,” “Looking Around Mississippi,” and “Looking Around Mississippi Some More.” Walt has been inducted into the Associated Press Mississippi Broadcasters Hall of Fame and is a huge fan of Natchez.

Walt will be bringing copies of his book, “Looking Around Mississippi Some More,” to autograph and sign for those who wish to purchase a copy.

So, where else can you get all this for $45 and a full-service cash bar, a brief respite from the worries of the world, sumptuous food and cocktails, a good time with friends, music to dance to or just listen to and all the intoxicating amenities of spring.

For ticket information, call or stop by Natchez Garden Club 601-443-9065 or Kimbrell Office Supply 601-442-1494. The e-mail address for the Natchez Garden Club is ntzgardenclub@bellsouth.net.

Janet Sullivan is a member of the Natchez Garden Club.