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Weekend Ticket: Saturday Audubon presentation part of National Park Week celebration

 

NATCHEZ — Each year in April, America’s national parks host events to celebrate National Park Week to highlight the beauty and activities they have to offer.

To celebrate National Park Week, the Natchez National Historical Park will host a special program in the theater of the Natchez Visitor’s Center from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event is free and open to the public, said David Slay, chief of interpretation at Natchez National Historical Park.

The park week celebration happens to fall on the day after John James Audubon’s birthday.

Audubon is known for his historical paintings published in the book, “Birds of America” — comprised of 435 life-size watercolors that were printed between 1827 and 1838 using hand-engraved plates.

To celebrate his 234th birthday, Judy Wiggins and Adam Gwin will spearhead an educational program and portrayal of Audubon’s life, Slay said.

Born on April 26, 1785, Audubon spent a significant amount of time in Natchez during the early 1820s as he gathered specimens for his portraits and even taught at the Elizabeth Female Academy on the Natchez Trace, Slay said.

Audubon also painted a cityscape of Fort Rosalie and downtown Natchez, which hung in the dining room of the Melrose mansion for more than a century.

“James Audubon is a pioneering conservationist in this country,” Slay said. “His work brought worldwide attention to a wide variety of birds living along the lower Mississippi River, and there is now an organization that bears his name, The Audubon Society.”

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