Cemetery hosting Serenade

Published 12:07 am Friday, April 19, 2013

Special to The Democrat

NATCHEZ — The Natchez City Cemetery Association will present its second-annual Serenade in the Cemetery, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Enjoy an afternoon of musical and dramatic entertainment with complimentary refreshments while strolling through the park-like landscape of our city’s historic cemetery, located at 2 Cemetery Road.

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Musicians performing at this year’s Serenade include: Father Walton and his bluegrass band; local guitarist and vocalist Ben Lewis; harpist Merisha Gore and flutist Robin Rutherford; and Diana Glaze, Sharon Rouse and Mary Nell Rushing with a special Patsy Cline tribute.

Cemetery “residents” sharing their stories this year include: German immigrant August Doerle, who enlisted in the “wrong” Army during the Civil War; African American brick mason Claude Alouisus Webb, whose burial crypt showcases the craftsmanship of his fellow bricklayers; prosperous merchant George T. Payne, who arrived in Natchez from Ireland during the Famine era; Irish immigrant and Confederate veteran Patrick Burns, founder of Burns Shoe Store; the ill-fated John Bayard Maxwell, a Delaware native who moved to Natchez where he fell in love with local belle Anne Wilkins; and Sicilian immigrant Paul Salvo, whose grave is marked by one of the most beautiful monuments in the cemetery.

Beautiful floral arrangements by internationally known designer John Grady Burns will be displayed throughout the cemetery. Burns, a Natchez native, will be at Serenade to autograph copies of his best-selling design books. Cemetery driving/walking tour CDs and Don Estes’ “Legends of the Natchez City Cemetery” will also be for sale.

Parking will be available at the Natchez Little Theater parking lot at 319 Linton Ave., with a free shuttle service to the cemetery. Limited parking will also be available at the cemetery. Tickets, $15, are available at the Natchez Visitor Center, 640 S. Canal St. (601-446-6345; 800-647-6724), or at the cemetery gate on the day of the event.