Help light up Natchez this Christmas

Published 12:05 am Friday, November 7, 2014

For the past several years, this is about the time I begin looking forward to the day after Thanksgiving.

Not because I cook for well over 130 every Thanksgiving or that it is “Black Friday” when all the stores and shops have huge sales, but because it is the official kick-off date of “Christmas in Natchez.”

On Friday, Nov. 28, we are hoping you will gather with family and friends downtown for shopping, eating and enjoying a great event.

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Shops will be decorated and ready for the season, there will be a turkey gumbo cook off sponsored this year by Home Bank with special things for children to enjoy from 4 to 6 p.m., that will end with a ceremony and celebrating the lighting of the tree and turning on the lights of Natchez.

Many people have asked me, “Why do you think people would want to come to Natchez during the Christmas season?”

For me, this is simple. Christmas is a warm and wonderful holiday and this is what we have so much to offer:

4People love Natchez any time of the year.

4Our average temperature the month of November is characterized by falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing from 71 degrees to 63 degrees over the course of the month, exceeding 81 degrees or dropping below 51 degrees only one day in 10. (Many visitors consider this tropical).

4Historic homes that draw thousands of visitors a year put on their best  hosting holiday events and tours. One of the highlights is The Towers, which is decorated unlike any house in America for the Holidays.

4Gorgeous historic churches with amazing concerts.

4Natchez has a charming downtown, which is more rare than we realize, with fabulous shops and restaurants — all individually owned and operated — even a few with live music. Again, each one is uniquely Natchez.

4Never forget our wonderful trails project and the view of the Mississippi River.

However, best of all we have you, the people of Natchez, who are so hospitable and wonderful to all who visit Natchez. You are the ones that make Natchez worth visiting.

Why do you need to light up?

Several years ago there was a meeting trying to think of ideas to help Natchez. Two new residents came up with the idea for everyone to turn their porch lights on. Something that simple brings instant warmth to visitors as they enter our town. Personally, I thought it was one of the best ideas that came from the meeting. I am urging everyone in Natchez to decorate as much as you can for Christmas in Natchez. This could build into something so wonderful for our town. Now with LED lights and timers, it is not as costly. Please turn your porch lights on from dark until whatever time you see fit all year.

Let’s light up Natchez. Natchez may seem faded to all that have lived here for long periods of time, and after a time you may not see the beauty outsiders see when they come to visit. Our visitors, however, see all the preserved architecture, a city set on one of the most scenic parts of the Mississippi River, a downtown that still has some life to it, a variety of restaurants and things to do. Let’s turn our lights on to show how proud we are of our town.

For a full list of events, go to


Regina Charboneau is committee co-chair of Christmas in Natchez.