Weekend Ticket: MLK celebrations and more this weekend

Published 7:17 am Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Leah Schwarting

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — This weekend, the Miss-Lou is preparing to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But events aren’t confined to the celebrations, with a movie screening, Friday Forum and a 5K run also on tap.

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Skies are expected to be relatively clear this weekend, with some clouds on Friday and a high temperature of 65 and a low of 41. Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are expected to drop slightly, with highs in the low- to mid-50s and lows in in the low-30s.

Film screening of “First Encounter” and speaker

Tonight, the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians is hosting a screening of the documentary “First Encounter” with Brad Prewitt, who serves as founding executive director of the Chickasaw Inkana Foundation.

The documentary tells the story of the first encounter between Europeans and the Chickasaw in the 1500s. Hernando de Soto’s expedition arrived in America searching for riches, but instead found themselves face to face with the Native Americans.

The program begins at 6 p.m. at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. Admission is free.

Friday Forum

It might be too early to drink at 8 a.m. Friday, but it’s not too early to talk about some of Natchez’s local brews and drinks at this week’s Friday Forum.

Representatives from Charboneau Distillery, Natchez Brewing Company and the Old South Winery will tell the story of how they got started and what the future looks like for them. Alcorn State University Special Assistant to the President for Community and Economic Development Dr. Ruth Nichols said alcohol-producing businesses must jump through many hoops before they can start selling their goods.

“You have to have the tenacity and the courage to see them all through,” Nichols said.

Friday Forum is a joint project between Alcorn, the Natchez Chamber of Commerce and Natchez Coffee Company. The forum will be at Natchez Coffee Company.

5K Trail Run for the Animals

Get ready to walk, run and bound for the 5K Trail Run for the Animals this Saturday at Historic Jefferson College.

The run represents a partnership between the historic site and the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society in order to raise money for the shelter. The event is open to runners and walkers. Dogs are welcome to join their owners, too, provided the dogs are leashed.

The event begins 10 a.m. and costs $25. For the registration form, visit HJC’s Facebook page.

For more information, contact Deanne Tanksley at deannetanksley@me.com or 601-807-2997, or HJC Director Robin Person at info@historicjeffersoncollege.com or 662-515-0490

Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the horizon, the NAACP is celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at their annual banquet Sunday.

This year’s theme is “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice.” The speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Al Sampson of Chicago, who was in Natchez and was one of the many who were arrested as part of the 1965 Parchman Ordeal. During the ordeal, approximately 700 civil rights activists were arrested after meeting to discuss marching in protest of the denial of their right to vote.

The charge was parading without a permit, although the march never actually took place. Approximately 200 of those arrested were taken to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman where they were mistreated and abused.

The event starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Natchez Convention Center. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from any member of the Natchez branch of the NAACP.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth


This Monday, the Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture will host its Youth Luncheon, showcasing the multi-talented youth of the community.

Students Xavian Lewis and Damira McGruder will serve as the guest speaker and master of ceremonies.

Seating begins at approximately 9:30 a.m. and the event begins at 10 a.m. at the Natchez Convention Center.

Admission is $11. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Bluff City Post.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

Starting at approximately 3:15 p.m. Monday, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will begin at the bluff before moving down Franklin Street before turning left on Martin Luther King. Jr. Street and continuing on to Minor Street.

Like the banquet, the theme is “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice.”

Prizes will be awarded to the most creative floats. Judges Patricia Dunmore and Lillie B. Sanders will serve as co-grand marshals.

Family members who have lost loved ones to violence are invited to walk in the parade to promote peace in the community.

Bands and alumni sororities and fraternities are welcome to register. There is no cut off date for floats or other entries.

For more information on how to register, contact Jacqueline Marsaw at 601-443-3630.

Free tours of Melrose House

Visitors to Melrose House Monday will be able to explore the historic halls for free Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The day is a fee-free day throughout the National Park Service.

The house is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Tours begin at every hour starting at 9 a.m. except at 11 a.m.