Miss-Lou celebrates fireworks and freedom

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, July 5, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — On both sides of the Mississippi River residents gathered to watch the annual fireworks display and celebrate freedom.

For U.S. Army veteran Roy Nefven and his wife Brenda, such freedom comes at a price.

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Both Brenda and Roy grew up in military families and know personally the sacrifice that comes with such freedoms.

Roy said those serving in the military defend the freedoms Americans enjoy every day. Those who died while protecting those freedoms gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“We all pay for it,” Roy said. “People don’t understand that.”

Mona and Billy Oberlohr drove down from Nashville and discovered the Fourth of July celebration at the Vidalia Riverfront.

“We parked the car so that we could see the river, and then found out this was going on,” Mona said.

The couple decided to stay on the riverfront to enjoy the music, the sunset and the night’s show.

The City of Vidalia and the Vidalia Beautification Committee organized an evening of live entertainment before the fireworks show. Music acts started at 6 p.m. and lasted until the fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Families stopped to get their pictures in front of an oversized American flag hanging beside the amphitheater bandstand. Families lined up along the riverfront to stake out a spot from which to see the fireworks.

Samantha Armstrong came from Winnsboro, La., with her family to see the fireworks.

“I always heard it was a beautiful show,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said she and her family also enjoyed the live entertainment at the amphitheater and were excited about the fireworks.

Before the fireworks show, Natchez resident John Fleming, 27, said the event would be difficult to top last year’s tricentennial fireworks. Even still, Fleming said the bluff is always a great place to come to on the Fourth of July.

“I’ve caught quite of few of (these shows) over the last few years. There’s always a great family atmosphere,” Fleming said.

Family was certainly important to Lillie Bradford, accompanied by her two granddaughters Bri’kahlyiona and Zyren.

Bradford has been coming to the bluff for the fireworks display with family for the holiday for the last five years.

“I brought my granddaughters so they could watch the fireworks and to understand the meaning of Independence Day,” Bradford said.

As the evening drew to a close, Vidalia resident Arthur Lewis summed up the holiday fun on the river.

“It’s turned out to be a real humdinger,” Lewis said.