Tree lit, confetti flies in Natchez

Published 12:16 am Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat Kendall Coleman throws up confetti Friday night during the annual lighting.

NATCHEZ — Confetti fell from the downtown sky Friday as Natchezians celebrated the third annual lighting of the tree ceremony.

The confetti surprise along with the tree lighting ceremony was organized by the Christmas in Natchez committee.

Christmas in Natchez Committee member Regina Charboneau said the confetti just made sense to them.

“It’s a celebration so we thought it would be neat to have streamers and confetti,” Charboneau said. “It was something our fireworks people helped us do.”

Emily Shafer, 5, played in the confetti long after the crowds dispersed.

“I liked the confetti a lot,” Shafer said. “My favorite part was the tree lighting up.”

With the ceremony drawing larger crowds each year, Charboneau said she couldn’t be happier with the turnout.

“Standing up there and seeing everything so full is so rewarding,” Charboneau said. “I think we’ve reached the point where people will count on coming out and celebrating, so it’s become a tradition — a genuine tradition.

Natchez Alderman Tony Fields leads a chorus in Jingle Bells at the lighting.

Christmas in Natchez Committee member Ginger Hyland she was glad to have such nice weather and a large turnout of approximately 250.

“I think we’re bringing Natchez together for wonderful moments that they’ll remember,” Hyland said.

“It’s just all about that warm fuzzy feeling of family and togetherness in the season before us.”

Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton spoke before the tree was lit and took a moment to recognize the efforts of everyone involved in the ceremony.

“I’m just thankful to be here tonight,” Middleton said. “This is the greatest city in America.”

The lighting of the tree kicks off the Christmas in Natchez month long celebration.

Celebrations will continue tonight with the lighting of the bluff and street dance from 6 to 9 p.m. followed by fireworks on the bluff at 9 p.m.