Pilgrimage benefits our community

Published 12:07 am Friday, March 7, 2014

Saturday a Natchez tradition kicks off another year with grand, even over-the-top antebellum style.

It is the official start of another Natchez Spring Pilgrimage. This year looks to be another great one.

Fortunately for all of us, a few wise Natchez ladies in 1932 decided not to let a little rainy weather spoil the fun for a group of visitors who had planned to tour the city’s gardens. Instead, the women opened up their houses to the delight of visitors, many of whom had never seen the inside of the majestic mansions which grace the Natchez landscape.

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The determination of those first ladies to make lemonade from the lemons Mother Nature rained down upon them set into motion decades of entertaining visitors from all over the world — literally.

Some locals may still scoff at the importance of Spring Pilgrimage, but the event is more than just a house tour of 27 spectacular mansions. Pilgrimage began the modern historic preservation movement in Natchez, something that still helps to fuel the economy and put Natchez on the map to this day.

Most of us will likely never live in one of the amazing antebellum mansions, but we should all be thankful they’re here and so well preserved. Those houses attract thousands of visitors who tour our city and leave their money here in the form of tax dollars and in the hands of local businesses.

We hope this year’s Spring Pilgrimage is one of the best ever! If it is, we’ll all benefit.