Organizers say Pilgrimage attracting younger audiences

Published 12:15 am Sunday, October 7, 2018


NATCHEZ — This year’s Fall Pilgrimage that wraps up Monday featured several new events, and organizers say they are pleased with the results.

New Fall Pilgrimage events included live music and ghost tours that helped draw some younger participants, said Eugenie Cates, president of the Natchez Pilgrimage Garden Club.

Email newsletter signup

“The new things went really well, and it really made a difference,” Cates said.

Deborah Cosey, Cates said, did a lovely job showing off her house Concord Quarters. Cosey is the first African-American Garden Club member, Cates said. It also was the first time for an African-American to show off their house for the tour.

Cates said the Ghosts at Longwood tour got a great response.

“It really got great feedback from young people,” Cates said. “We sold out both weekends, so we added some more tours because we just didn’t want to turn them away.”

Some of the other events unique to this year’s Pilgrimage were Sunnyside’s reenactment of a Victorian wake and live music with Amos Polk Voices of Hope at the Carriage House Restaurant, which also offered a Southern buffet with fried chicken and biscuits.

Not to be forgotten, Cates said, was the opportunity to see the 17 historic houses many of which are only open for viewing during Pilgrimage.

“They’re not open any other time of year,” she said. “It gives people a chance to see what it’s like to live in an old home and what it takes to care for an old home.”

Cates said the success of this year’s event came through partnering with Executive Director Jennifer Ogden-Combs and Community and Public Relations specialist Stratton Hall, both of Visit Natchez, Inc.

“We all have to work together, and we do feel like we had a good year. We feel like we did attract some people to Natchez,” Cates said.

The Pilgrimage will continue through Monday.

The Natchez Little Theatre’s matinee presentation of “Belles” will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at 319 Linton Ave. Tickets are $15.

Afternoon Sweets at Sunnyside will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at 102 Rembert St.

Amos Polk’s Voices of Hope will offer dinner at 6:45 p.m. and live gospel music at 7:30 on Sunday at Stanton Hall’s Carriage House Restaurant, 401 High St. Tickets are $45.