Girlfriends choose Natchez for getaway

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — Cynthia Medsger could almost be considered local.

Medsger, of League City, Texas, is on her third trip to Natchez’s Spring Pilgrimage in the past few years, and she doesn’t see any reason to stop coming back.

“I haven’t seen all the houses yet,” she said. “There is more I want to do, and I’ll probably just keep coming until I do all of that.”

Medsger is one in a group of five ladies spending nearly a week on a girlfriends’ trip to Natchez. On Friday, the group toured Richmond, Hope Farm and The Burn.

At the Burn, she and her friends were in awe of the camellias that filled the back garden of the house.

“I am in love with the garden, and the camellias are just gorgeous,” she said. “I’m this way about everything in Natchez.”

On top of seeing as many houses as possible, Medsger said the group plans to eat at a sampling of local eateries and take in some of the evening entertainment offerings.

“It’s going to be a busy trip for us,” she said. “But it is going to be fun, and we are all excited.”

Excited was also the word The Burn owner Bridget Green used to describe the visitors who have toured her house during the first half of Spring Pilgrimage.

This is the second year The Burn has been featured on the Spring Pilgrimage schedule. Green said her tours have been “steady” since the get-go.

“The first day was our slowest day, but since then we have seen steady groups coming through every day we are on tour,” she said. “The groups are all just excited to be at the house and in Natchez.

“I think the atmosphere around this year’s Pilgrimage has been more excited, and I’m not sure why that is, but it is a good thing.”

Green said having just one previous Spring Pilgrimage she wasn’t sure how high to set her expectations for this year.

“I expected it be about the same as last year, but I think it has been a little busier overall,” she said. “I know my (bed and breakfast) has been busier this year. And Monday night at The (Historic Natchez) Tableaux, I don’t think they could have gotten many more people in the auditorium.”

Natchez Pilgrimage Tours Director Marsha Colson said it is hard to judge Pilgrimage’s success at this juncture.

“It is really impossible to tell until all the income is in and all the expenses have been taken out,” she said. “What I can see from the figures that I’ve got is the group tours are doing better than last year. In some cases those groups include house tours, dinning, carriage rides and evening entertainment, and sometimes they even include bed and breakfast.”

Colson said while group tour numbers are encouraging, all worry is not gone.

“Individual ticket numbers haven’t been consistent from day-to-day,” Colson said. “Some of my days have been outstanding, but some of my sales are down, which is very discouraging.

“I’m not able to hazard a guess right now about whether it is going to be a strong Pilgrimage or if I’m going to be wishing we could do better.”

Pilgrimage continues each day until April 10.

A total of 23 houses are on tour this year; tickets for two-house tours are $16 and tickets for three-house tours are $24.

For the full tour schedule and more information, visit www.natchezpilgrimage.com or call 601-446-6631.