Cut loose at Fall Bash

Published 12:18 am Sunday, September 25, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Natchez Garden Club members Katherine Callon, Amy Johnson, Jennifer Slover, Lauren Middleton and Katie-Grace Edgin are organizers of the Fall Bash — an public, casual party to raise funds for the restotration of Magnolia Hall.

NATCHEZ — Forget suffering in spike heels or sweating in a coat and tie — Natchez Garden Club members want Miss-Lou residents to come as they are to Fall Bash 2011.

The fifth annual party, which raises funds for the preservation of the club’s historic properties, will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Natchez Coffee Company.

Funds raised by the Fall Bash this year will go toward Magnolia Hall in its second phase of restoration, which includes stucco, window and roof repair, and a fresh paint job. Phase one was completed this summer. The last phase will focus on repairing water damage inside Magnolia Hall and cosmetic fixes.

Silent auction items by Ju Ju Interiors and a baby girl gift bag are just a few of the items up for bid.

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“Then the grand lady will be ready to show,” NGC member Cheryl Rinehart said.

Rinehart said the capital campaign, which kicked off the restoration of Magnolia Hall, was a huge success.

“Casual” is the name of the game, and club members stressed that the Fall Bash is absolutely open to everyone who would like to join in the fun. Tickets are $12 in advance, and $15 at the door.

The event will feature a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres prepared by club members, music by Natchez singer/songwriter Ben Lewis and a silent auction.

Rinehart said the event is driven by younger women in the club.

Natchez Coffee Company was selected as the Fall Bash venue because of its buttoned-down, but smoke-and-neon-light-free atmosphere.

Local vendors and artists will provide auction items, including:

  • Garish autumn décor by Ju Ju Interiors
  • A Taste of Tradition for 10 friends, catered by Cissy Edit at Rip Rap, wine included
  • Framed rooster Walter Anderson print
  • T.G. McCary portrait gift certificate
  • Haute couture girls baby basket
  • “Paint it your Way” canvas party at Uniquely Aimee with a food spread from Bellemont Shake Shop
  • Fresh flowers, once a month from Morton’s Flowerland
  • Two nights on Lake St. John
  • Teeth whitening gift certificate and handmade jewelry by Paula Joseph
  • Decorative lamp and a handmade wood bowl by Walter Maier of Natchez
  • Hand-fabricated deer stand from Jim and Selah Willard
  • Pink girls gun from the Barracks of Natchez
  • Wine selection from Trey and Leigh Dickey
  • Black and white print by Lee England

“We took the best packages from last year, and added to them,” said club member Katie-Grace Edgin. “There is something for everyone.”

Rinehart said then event is a volunteer effort for a greater cause.

“We run a business,” Rinehart said. “This is not tea party stuff. I’m pretty impressed with the volunteer base who produces events like this for the community.”

Club members reiterated that the house, and the party, is for Natchez.

“Don’t think of this as a Natchez Garden Club property,” Rinehart said. “This is a property of the whole city. Our mission is to keep historic properties open for everyone to see.”

Club members said they expect at least 75 guests at the Fall Bash.

The party will also feature a 50/50 drawing. Guests can write their name on one, or several, $5 bills. The winner splits the pot.

Checks can be made out to the Preservation Society of Ellicott Hill. Advance tickets can be purchased at the NGC office 601-443-9065 or

“We are just instruments of our number one industry,” Rinehart said. “Tourism.”