Calendar full of holiday events

Published 12:02 am Sunday, November 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — Santa better be checking his calendar twice this year.

If not, he’s bound to miss something happening in Natchez.

Friday’s Christmas tree lighting officially kicked off the second year of Christmas in Natchez: City of Lights and the calendar is packed with holiday events thanks to the work of the Christmas in Natchez committee.

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The committee began to breathe new life into the Christmas season last year and has added even more events to this year’s calendar.

Regina Charboneau, committee co-chairman, said Christmas in Natchez is a destination for visitors and locals to enjoy.

“People are looking for things to do at Christmas,” Charboneau said. “Natchez is a place that people love to come and to add something spectacular at Christmas just makes Natchez more appealing.”

A few lighted displays are open through the new year.

Longwood will be open for driving tours each night for $5 per car.

All the money raised at Longwood will go to benefit the preservation of the house.

The restored International Paper animated Christmas decorations will be on display on the Mississippi River Bluff.

“Sunday is going to be a good night for families to bundle up in their pajamas and just drive through and see the decorations,” Charboneau said.

After this weekend, things don’t slow down.

Holiday tours

During the month-long celebration, many houses will be available for special tours.

The Towers will be open for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday each week until Jan. 2.

Candlelight tours of Stanton Hall will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3. Those tours are $15.

The Library Tour of Homes sponsored by the Friends of the Armstrong Library will feature four homes beginning a 2 p.m. Dec. 5 Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple.

Monmouth will offer garden of lights tour with white chocolate hot chocolate at 5 p.m., Dec. 5 for $15.

Champagne and Candlelight Tour of Linden and The Burn are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10. Tickets are $30 per person.

Brandon Hall will host local artist selling their goods from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. A special tour of the house will be offered as well. Tickets are $15.

“A lot of these events that appeal to out-of-town guests are great for locals, too,” Charboneau said.

Trinity Episcopal Day School will host its first Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Grand Hotel ballroom. Vendors will be selling jewelry, decorations, gifts and more.

Musical magic

Christmas will be set to music in Natchez. Christmas music will be played from 5 to 6 p.m. every Thursday in the lobby of the Eola Hotel. The music will be provided by different local musical groups.

The Alcorn State University faculty and staff jazz band will play Friday, Dec. 3 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Eola.

Other musical offerings include the Alcorn State choir concert at St. Mary Basilica at 7 p.m. Dec. 3, First Presbyterian Church choir will bells during the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday, Dec. 12, a Christmas concert by Trinity Episcopal Church choir at 5 p.m. on Dec. 12, a Christmas concert by St. Mary Basilica choir, Holy Family choir and the Cathedral School choir at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19 and Caroling in the Park from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 19. There will be a hot chocolate competition on Dec. 19 during Caroling in the Park.

Family weekend

The weekend of Dec. 10 has been organized to cater to families, Charboneau said.

The weekend includes free cookies with Santa from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11 at The Natchez Grand Hotel a children’s shopping spree event at the House on Ellicott Hill from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, the Nutcracker puppet show at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at Cathedral School and the Teddy Bear Tea at D’Evereux from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. Tickets of the puppet show are $8 each and ticket for the tea are $25 for children and $30 for adults and each child gets a teddy bear.

Melrose is also hosting a free event, “Christmas of 1860 in Natchez,” that weekend. The event includes free house tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, tours of outbuildings and children’s activities.

Natchez Little Theatre will also perform its annual Christmas production between Dec. 3 and Dec. 12. Tickets for that can be reserved by calling the theater at 601-442-2233.

Charboneau said it takes a lot of time to put together these events, but the payoff is seeing crowds of people enjoying Natchez.

“This is good for everyone in town,” she said. “It puts people in our hotels, in our shops, in our restaurants, that is why we work so hard to put these events together.”

Tickets for events can be purchased through Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at 601-446-6631, at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center or online at

More events and information can be found at or by e-mail at