Fly high with The Democrat this weekend

Published 12:01 am Friday, October 17, 2014

“Put me on the front page, mister.”

The words are so common for this newspaper photographer, that I am surprised more often than not when I don’t get at least one request on any of my daily assignments.

Usually the call comes from below — from a youngster jumping up and down, waving her hands hoping that she catch enough of my attention that I will compelled to snap at least one picture.

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It is hard not to take that picture when you are staring down at a cherub-like face with a pair of sad eyes.

But the requests are not limited to children. Adults, too, call out for a quick snapshot when they can.

There are many days when I wish I could put everyone on the front page, knowing that there isn’t enough room for everybody.

But wait. There IS room for everybody. There is room for even you, if you want.

In celebration of The Natchez Democrat’s 150th year, the newspaper wants to put you on the front page.

No. We really do.

During this year’s Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, the newspaper will build a giant photo booth on the festival site.

An 8-foot high and 5-foot wide replica of the newspaper will be set up with a giant hole cut out of it for you, your family and friends to pose behind.

For a small donation, we will take your picture, which will then be uploaded to our website. From the website, you can share photos on Facebook and Twitter. You can also purchase prints and other merchandise.

All of the donations and proceeds from the event will be given to the Historic Natchez Foundation.

Click on the link at natchez to see your picture and all of the other pictures from this weekend’s event.

Also, don’t forget all of the other offerings from The Natchez Democrat this balloon race weekend.

In today’s edition, you will find our annual 2014 Lift Off guide to the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race. In it is a list of the various events offered on both sides of the river.

There is also a spotting guide you can take with you during each one of the races to identify each of the balloons in this year’s competition.

And to get you where you can see the balloons, we continue to offer balloon race text alerts.

If you want to hug your pillow a few more minutes this weekend instead of dragging yourself out of bed to stare bleary-eyed into the morning sky, sign up for the alerts by going to the homepage at

From this morning’s liftoff to Sunday afternoon’s landing, the newspaper will report from balloon race headquarters with up-to-the-minute information.

The Natchez Democrat will also be posting updates on the newspaper’s Facebook page during the weekend. Readers can also select “Get Notifications” under the “Like” button on the Facebook page to get updates sent to their phone.

And if you have photos and videos, send them to and become part of this weekend’s Web coverage. It is just another way you can be part of The Natchez Democrat.


Ben Hillyer is the design editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by e-mail at