Visitors serve as reminder of city’s value

Published 12:01 am Friday, October 31, 2014

You no doubt noticed more people walking around Natchez in the last month or so.

That’s because approximately 12,000 visitors spent time — and money — in Natchez during this year’s Fall Pilgrimage, which ran from Sept. 26 through Oct. 13.

Fall Pilgrimage was followed quickly by the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, which by all accounts enjoyed a banner year in terms of attendance.

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Final numbers for the balloon race, which had been in jeopardy before this year’s race because of poor attendance related to bad weather in recent years, have yet to be released. However, all indications are this year’s participation was certainly good enough to ensure next year’s — the 30th annual — takes place.

Pilgrimage officials said group ticket sales were up nearly 22 percent over last year and overall Fall Pilgrimage sales are up 6 percent, preliminary numbers indicate.

Those good numbers mean good revenue for Natchez businesses. An owner at The Briars Bed and Breakfast said her numbers doubled this year over last.

During these events, tourists from all over America, as well as France, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany visited Natchez.

The success of these events is a reminder of how attractive a place our city is and how important tourism dollars are to all of us.

People come to Natchez because of our antebellum houses and interesting history. They return because of our hospitality.

Here’s hoping we’ll have lots of opportunity to show off our hospitality skills during our next big event, Spring Pilgrimage, March 7 through April 7, 2015.

Happy Halloween and be sure to drive carefully tonight to keep all the area trick-or-treaters safe.