Weekend to bring entertainment, information

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

NATCHEZ — Southern history buffs, British car enthusiasts, Civil Rights advocates and folks who just want to party should rest up tonight for a very busy weekend in the Miss-Lou.

Bowie Fest

Organizers say this year’s Jim Bowie Festival on the Vidalia Riverfront will be packed with entertainment and various vendor booths.

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The headlining act is Wayne Toups and ZyDeCajun. Other performances include Kevin Curtis Live, the Texaco Country Showdown, local gospel groups and more.

The annual Bowie Barbecue Duel will be Friday evening. Admission is free.

Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday, beginning with the Little Mr. and Ms. Jim Bowie pageant. There will be a pie and cupcake bake-off, DARE tournament awards, college football corner tent showing live games and food from burgers to “fried gator.”

Tickets at the gate are $10 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

Cathedral Fall Festival

The Cathedral Fall Festival has been an annual tradition since the school began in 1847, and will continue again Saturday and Sunday.

The Fall Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, with children’s games, rides and food. Special attractions include a cakewalk, arts and crafts table, plant sale, homemade cakes, candy and casseroles. Games include cakewalk, go fish, pony rides, dunking booth and face painting.

Adult night begins Saturday night with a rib supper and gumbo dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. Pick ups are available down center drive. The

Games, rides, crafts and concessions open at noon next Sunday. The silent auction ends and raffle drawings/bingo begin at 1:30 pm.

British Car Show

The British are coming!

The English Motoring Club of Mississippi is bringing its annual car show back to Natchez Saturday, with approximately 50 vintage British automobiles expected from around the South.

The show will be downtown from noon until 3 p.m. at the “green space” where Broadway deadends at the Rosalie antebellum property. The show is free and open to the public.

“Most of the famous British sports cars, such as Triumphs, MGs and Austin-Healeys, have faded into automotive history, but you’d be amazed how many are still in the U.S. in various stages of renovation,” said Natchez resident Terry Trovato.

“Because of baby-boomer nostalgia associated with restoring and enjoying these vehicles, organizations dedicated to each individual make, or marque, have grown considerably over the past few years.”

Secret of the Ouachita

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will present a documentary by Eric Keith Glatzer titled “Secret of the Ouachita” in the museum auditorium at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Admission is free and seating is limited.

“Secret of the Ouachita” focuses on the prehistoric mound-building civilization that flourished along the Ouachita and Mississippi rivers.

The documentary features aerial photography that allows viewers to see how the mound sites were part of a large system of interconnecting bayous and streams that served as highways for the indians’ wooden dugout canoes.

NAACP Convention

The weekend starts today for people attending the 69th annual Louisiana State NAACP Conference, with registration opening at noon at Arcade Theater in Ferriday.

It has been 55 years since the state convention was hosted in Concordia Parish, and another twist — this year much of the Louisiana convention will be in Natchez.

“We consider this a Miss-Lou event,” said Bishop Justin L. Conner, president of the Greater Concordia and Catahoula parish branches, and District F vice president. “This convention will be power packed. There are lots of things we address.”

NAACP President Ernest Johnson agreed.

“Natchez has close ties to Concordia Parish, and it’s like being home,” Johnson said. “We are looking forward to great turnout, and hoping everyone will come out and join us.”

Conner said the convention features workshops, special speakers, clinics and services.

Thursday’s opening events will feature a religious leaders conference and fashion show, and conclude with a late night service at 9 — all at Arcade Theater.

The convention moves to the Natchez Convention Center Friday, with registration opening at 8 a.m.

Session one will begin at 9 a.m. with an education town hall meeting, with Carmen Watkins of the NAACP’s national office sharing a keynote address.

Session two will be an education workshop, followed by a legal clinic. A gospel musical extravaganza talent display will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a public mass meeting at 7 p.m. with radio personality Tony Brown, of 88.1 Alexandria, speaking. A delegates reception will begin at 9 p.m.

Saturday’s sessions begin at 9 a.m., with registration and exhibits open at 8 a.m. at the convention center. Session one will focus on voting rights — specifically redistricting. Conner said Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson is just one presenter of many for the session.

Session two encompasses economic development, with a business and labor luncheon at noon, featuring Steve Monoghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. Session three will focus on addressing problems in education. Saturday’s closing session will discuss the state of black Louisiana, Conner said.

“We will talk about the realities of what it going on in Louisiana when it comes to minorities,” Conner said.

As a climax to the NAACP convention, professor and “In the Heat of the Night” actress Tonea Stewart will speak at the Freedom Fund dinner — which raises money to continue the fight for civil rights, Conner said.

Conner said the fee for the dinner is $50, and tickets are selling fast. The night ends with a youth dance for college and youth chapters of the NAACP.

The convention will wrap Sunday with an 8 a.m. worship service. Conner added that the NAACP is open to individuals of all races and backgrounds. For more information, call event coordinator Emerson Slain at 318-719-1060 or Conner at 318-719-1060.