Miss-Lou welcomes 2019 with fireworks

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 1, 2019

VIDALIA — Tatum Maxwell gripped the iron fence lining the Natchez bluff with two hands while pressing his face between the posts Monday evening as fireworks in the Miss-Lou sky illuminated his awed expression.

The 6-year-old was one of the hundreds of people staring out over the Mississippi River while Pyro Mania Fireworks LLC of Shreveport worked its magic, said Sabrina Doré, president of the Vidalia Beautification Committee, which hosted Monday night’s show.

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“It was an amazing show,” Doré said Monday evening. “The weather was perfect. It wasn’t too cold, and the rain let up just in time. This was a great way to close out the year.”

Doré said Monday’s show was the third trip this year for Curtis Elkins, owner of Pyro Mania and the artist responsible for the New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Great Mississippi River Balloon Race fireworks shows.

“He does a fantastic job, and he never, ever disappoints,” Doré said.

Tatum only took his eyes away from the sky to grab his 2-year-old sister, Tinley, as if to make sure she was watching, too.

Their mother, Lexie, said 2018 was pretty eventful for the Maxwell family, who drove more than an hour from Jena, La., to see the fireworks.

“What grade did you start this year?” Lexie asked her son, to which he replied, “forst” with two missing front teeth that Lexie said he lost a couple of months ago.

This year, Tinley also learned to ride her bicycle over the Thanksgiving holiday — training wheels on, of course, Lexie said.

Doré said she feels 2018 was a great year for the Miss-Lou, and said she has high hopes for 2019.

“The Miss-Lou area seems to be flourishing,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a great 2019.”

Doré said she was thankful for the sponsors of Monday night’s show, including the City of Natchez and Adams County, the Town of Vidalia, Callon Petroleum, River Park Medical Center, Riverview RV Park, Syrah Industries, Hotel Vue, Delta Bank, Concordia Bank and Trust, Concordia Chamber of Commerce, Bryant Hammett and Associates, Crofford Welding, Clyde Ray Webber, McLemore Law Firm and Garden Song Bed and Breakfast — the sponsors collectively managed to raise the $12,000 it took to light up the river within a month, she said.

“Without those sponsors, we could not have done this show at all,” Doré said.