Ready or not, Christmas begins today

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 2010

Ready or not, Christmas begins today.

Forget the turkey in your fridge, grab your Santa hat and get ready to hum a few Christmas carols.

Natchez doesn’t intend to be left behind in the rush to Christmas, and you shouldn’t either.

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The official kick off to the 2010 Christmas in Natchez: City of Lights campaign begins this afternoon with turkey gumbo and the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree.

The lighting event received a makeover last year, and the same organizers are leading the way this year.

More than 500 people are expected to begin gathering on Main Street at 4 p.m. to sample turkey gumbo made by at least 10 different cooks. Music will fill the air in the hours leading up to the start of the lighting ceremony. Sometime shortly after 6 p.m., the lights go on.

Maybe it’s no Rockefeller Center tree, but our Main Street Christmas tree has great quirks of its own, mainly its location in the middle of a busy intersection.

But the tree lighting is just the beginning, really. The Christmas in Natchez calendar has grown and events fill many days between now and the New Year. More lights are up around town; displays on the bluff and the Vidalia Riverfront are delightful.

The volunteer organizers of Christmas in Natchez told us this time last year that they wanted to make Christmas a big deal. They asked for patience as they got organized and built up steam.

Now, with a successful year one behind them and year two just beginning, it’s obvious that this group was serious and effective.

Natchez offers plenty of free and paid holiday events this year. Tourists will come, dollars in hand, to participate, but locals should be the first to truly take advantage of a great time right at home.