State to recognize Natchez Tricentennial

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NATCHEZ — Leaders from around the state will join local tourism officials Wednesday at the state capitol to celebrate Natchez Tricentennial Day.

The Mississippi Legislature passed a resolution earlier in the current session declaring Wednesday Natchez Tricentennial Day in Mississippi. The declaration coincides with the city’s annual Natchez Day at the capitol.

Natchez Tricentennial Director Jennifer Ogden Combs contacted Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, about presenting a joint resolution in the House and Senate, and Dearing said he jumped at the opportunity.

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“It’s the proper thing to do to recognize cities around the state when they have special occasions,” Dearing said. “There’s no more special an occasion than having a 300th birthday.”

The resolution — Senate Concurrent Resolution 586 — was drafted by the city’s tricentennial liaison Kelin Hendricks and includes history of Natchez’s founding on Aug. 3, 1716. It will be presented to the tricentennial staff in the Senate.

The resolution in part states, “The City of Natchez has had a varied past, bountiful as well as tragic, and once home to one of the largest cotton trade ports and second-largest slave markets in the country, it shall be recognized for all it has endured and persevered. The City of Natchez has preserved, through the work of the community, its history through the stories and places over 300 years.”

The resolution goes on to state “the contributions of residents and visitors alike have influenced the architecture, cuisine, education, geography, arts, music, literature, health care, religion, government, agriculture and social landscapes of the river city.”

Since the Legislature will not be in session in August, Combs said she thought it appropriate for Natchez Tricentennial Day to happen on the city’s day at the capitol.

“I’m excited particularly that it’s a joint resolution, and having the recognition now will hopefully encourage more people to visit Natchez and come take part in our tricentennial events and all of the events throughout the year,” Combs said.

Natchez Inc. and the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau partner each year to host Natchez Day at the Capitol during which local economic development and tourism officials travel to Jackson to meet and greet legislators.

Anyone wishing to attend the presentation of the resolution at the Senate should arrive at the capitol by 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dearing said. Visitors from Natchez have the option of coming on the Senate floor or viewing the presentation from the public gallery accessible on the fourth floor of the capitol.