Christmas tree lighting, gumbo cook-off set for Nov. 24

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018


NATCHEZ — The 10th Annual Lighting of the Tree & Gumbo Cookoff in downtown Natchez will be 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 24 and people will notice a couple changes to the event this year.

The event that has traditionally been held on Fridays will be held on a Saturday this year and the city has a new Christmas tree, courtesy of Taco Bell.

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Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said the city’s old Christmas tree was outdated.

“Debbie Hudson (Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO) called requesting a new Christmas tree, and asked me to raise money for it,” Grennell said, adding he called around and when he called the local Taco Bell they said Taco Bell would take care of it and paid the $27,500 for the new tree.

“The problem is, the old tree has been a challenge because it is old,” Grennell said “There are parts that are not functioning properly, and public works would have to spend a lot of time on the tree because it is old and worn out.”

The new tree, Grennell said, features LED technology that will offer savings in energy costs.

“It also is brighter and prettier with the new technology associated with it,” Grennell said.

As for changing the event from Friday to Saturday, organizers said they hope to make the event easier for people to attend.

“We’re trying not to take away from Black Friday and all the shops,” said Deanna Kimbro, Christmas in Natchez committee member. “We also wanted to make it a little less stressful for people to come down here. On Friday, some people work and it just made it harder. … We are going to try it Saturday this year and see how it goes.”

The deadline to submit entry forms for the gumbo cook-off is end of the day Friday, Kimbro said, and forms are available at any Home Bank location or at