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Easter festivities falling into place

ERIC J. SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Ellen Yates, left, Teresa Dennis, center and Jan Yates prepares a bow for the Easter basket placed near the Vidalia Convention Center Thursday afternoon in preparation for the first annual Easter on the Riverfront in Vidalia.

VIDALIA — The first annual Easter on the Riverfront in Vidalia is two weeks away, and the festivities are shaping up for residents looking for a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate the Easter holiday.

The new event will be April 16 on the Vidalia Riverfront and will offer a variety of activities for parents and their children to enjoy.

Booths, music and cantatas, photo opportunities, an Easter egg hunt and an Easter children’s parade are all scheduled for the event to help the Miss-Lou celebrate in style.

Event co-founder and coordinator Jan Yates said there will also be puppet shows, the telling of the Easter story and a play area for children to compete in carnival-type games.

“It is really coming together,” she said.

Yates also said efforts to decorate Vidalia and the Riverfront are in motion, and things are looking good.

“You will really see the magic start to happen next week,” she said. “Our volunteers are hard at it decorating and setting everything up for the event.”

Event coordinator Teresa Dennis said planning the event has been going very smoothly.

“We are continuing to get sponsorships from local businesses,” she said. “Businesses from both sides of the river have been very supportive in our efforts.”

Yates said churches from Roxie to Olla and everywhere in between have signed up to be a part of the festivities.

“We invited every church in the area, and we have been blessed that we have had so many respond,” she said.

Dennis said the event already has a number of groups signed up to sell food, and that there will be three drink stations scattered throughout the Riverfront.

“People can just come on out, set up a blanket and have a picnic,” she said. “It’s really going to be just a fun time for everyone.”

The event is a joint effort by Vidalia, Natchez and Ferriday and Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton said he is excited for another opportunity to work together across state lines.

“It is just another reason to incorporate the regionalism efforts we share,” he said. “It’s three cities working together for a greater cause.”

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said he is proud to help usher in this new project in the Miss-Lou.

“We are all just excited about it, because we believe it is an amazing project for the region,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue to build on it every year so that it continues to get better with time.”

Copeland said he also wanted to thank the efforts of Yates and Dennis for bringing this project to life.

“Events like this just don’t happen on their own,” he said. “It takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes, and we have a great team leading the way.”

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