Come help save the halls at the ball

Published 12:16 am Monday, March 14, 2016

On Saturday, The Pilgrimage Historic Association will host its second annual Save the Hall Ball. This party is for everyone who has ever admired two of Natchez’s most beloved and popular attractions, Stanton Hall and Longwood, and would like to help them stay well preserved. If you think about it, we all benefit from our city’s tourism — gas stations, restaurants, hotels, gift shops — you name it. Visitors bring a lot of gravy to our city. You don’t have to own a big old house to benefit from tourism, and you don’t have to be a member of anything to come to this shindig. Dust off your tux, throw on a pretty frock, and buy a ticket. It’s a good cause that helps us all.

Approximately 20,000 people visited Stanton Hall and Longwood last year. That’s an impressive number of admirers for these old girls — not to mention the thousands of people who enjoy strolling by, getting married in, or living near the South’s most palatial mansion, or the largest octagonal house in America. Paris has the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triomphe, we have Stanton Hall and Longwood.

Through 80 some odd years of economic ups and downs, the doors of Stanton Hall or Longwood have been open to tourists every day except Christmas and New Year’s. While the tour ticket sales help with the enormous upkeep, every now and then they need something major. For instance, last year’s proceeds helped to put a cedar shake roof which the Mississippi Department of Archives and History requires on the dependency building at Longwood, and this year’s funds are slated for Stanton Hall’s project — the analysis and repair of structural issues impacting the exterior cornice. What better way to raise money than to celebrate within the walls of Stanton Hall itself?

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These great houses were built for entertaining and that tradition is exemplified by the many generations who have enjoyed them. From WWII officers’ parties, to weddings and Halloween carnivals, these girls have shaken and rattled to jazz, big bands, rock and funk. If these walls could talk, they’d know the lyrics to your favorite tunes and more than a few juicy secrets!

So come join in the fun and make your own historic good time. The evening will offer guests an opportunity to meet Natchez born celebrities; celebrate art, architecture, heritage, and preservation, and a chance to win a bevy of prizes in the silent auction. The ball kicks off after the Historic Natchez Tableaux which Greg Iles, best-selling novelist, has given a great new narrative, Hollywood production values and fabulous music. His gift to Natchez should not be missed — guests can start at the Tableaux then come to the ball.

Guests can expect a grand entrance festooned with elaborate floral décor by renowned designer John Grady Burns, followed by the silent auction, top-shelf libations, and amazing food by New Orleans Chef Bingo Starr. Additionally, guests will enjoy dancing to the amazing dance and show band “Momentum” from Atlanta, Ga. The Save the Hall Ball brings together old friends, new friends, tourists, history buffs, preservationists, and people who love a great party!

Tickets and donations are tax deductible. Cost is $100 per person for the ball and $125 per person for the ball with reserved seating at the Tableaux.

For individual and group tickets and more information, go to, call 800-647-6742 or email


Courtney Taylor is the publicity chairman for the Save the Hall Ball.