Natchez native honored to represent Natchez in Tableaux
NATCHEZ — Made of cadet-gray wool and trimmed with yellow collars and cuffs, the confederate soldier’s jacket is authentic all on its own.
However, this year’s Pilgrimage Garden Club king, Tyler Douglas Jordan, 21, plans to wear a personal touch on his custom-made outfit.
“In the search to make his costume authentic, his aunt (DeAnn Sullivan) found an actual Mississippi confederate soldier button,” Jordan’s mother, Lisa Jordan Dale said.
Jordan said his costume is just one of the many reasons why his reign over the first half of Spring Pilgrimage is be special.
Ever since he can remember, Jordan said pilgrimage has played an important role in his life.
“Getting to be king was something I always thought of when I was younger,” Jordan said. “And now that it’s happening, I just feel extremely honored.”
Leading up to his prestigious role, Jordan has served as ring bearer in The Wedding, Confederate flag runner, Court General and participated in Little Maypole, Big Maypole, The Polka and Soiree.
“Since he was 3 years old, Tyler has always been very involved with pilgrimage,” Dale said. “I can remember him looking up at the king and saying ‘I want to be that one day.’”
Now in his senior year at Mississippi State University and about to graduate with a finance degree, Jordan said serving as the Pilgrimage Garden Club king is the perfect way to end his college years — and stay involved with the place he calls home.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping out Natchez and learning about the Civil War,” Jordan said. “This is also a great way to spend time with old friends.”
And when Jordan isn’t in his hometown, it’s not uncommon to still see him donning a Confederate jacket and paying tribute to his Southern roots.
As a member of Kappa Alpha Order, a collegiate fraternity that routinely celebrates Southern heritage, Jordan takes great pride in his Mississippi roots.
“When my fraternity brothers found out I would be king, a bunch of them decided they would come to Natchez to see (Tableaux),” said Jordan, adding that 18 of his friends will travel to the Miss-Lou to see him perform.
Above all, though, Jordan said he is honored and humbled to be this year’s Pilgrimage Garden Club king, as it’s something he’s wanted to do his whole life.
And as for that Civil War button, it will be sewed into Jordan’s jacket, right atop his heart.
“More than anything, I want to thank my parents for supporting me and the Pilgrimage Garden Club for choosing me,” he said.
Jordan is the son of Lisa Jordan Dale and Ronny Jordan. He has one younger brother, Alex Dale. His grandparents are Claude Harrison Dillingham and Josephine Baldwin Young of Natchez and Donald Jordan and Billie Godwin Smith of Jackson, Georgia.
Jordan will reign over the first half of Spring Pilgrimage, which began March 6 and ends March 20.