Weekend Ticket: Wine, dine at TourFest this weekend

Published 12:15 am Thursday, August 8, 2019


NATCHEZ — The three-day “Natchez Summer Wine and Dine TourFest” hosted by the Natchez Bed & Breakfasts Association is this weekend with a smorgasbord and entertainment spread out at local venues, organizers said.

Ronald Fry, vice president of the Natchez Bed and Breakfast Association, said the Tour Fest is a first for the association in this caliber and began as a means to keep visiting parties entertained while attracting new visitors to Natchez during the slow-season for tourists.

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“In the past, we depended partially upon the Natchez Food and Wine Festival to bring people into town,” Fry said. “A number of us got together and put on a weekend of events that would attract people to town and give them something to look forward to — music, food and tours put on by our bed and breakfasts. … This is our way of celebrating what Natchez has to offer.”

The tour kicks off this Friday the Stanton Guest House and Concert Hall located at 411 North Commerce Street, which is celebrating its opening night with a wine and cheese soiree, Fry said.

The show lasts from 7 to 9 p.m. and includes a selection of wines and cheeses paired with musical entertainment, including pianist Dan Gibson and the “Terry Trovato Trio,” soprano Kristi Tingle Higginbotham and violinist David Troutman performing a medley of jazz, classical and old southern tunes.

The festivities continue at 10 a.m. Saturday at Linden Antebellum B&B, where hosts Jeanette and Marjorie Feltus will provide a tour of the federal-style home complete with refreshments — brandy milk punch and cheese straws.

Three Natchez homes not included in tour packages during pilgrimage are inviting guests to a progressive dinner with music and optional tours from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, starting with appetizers at the Natchez Guest House, dinner and a performance by Y.Z. Ealey at Sunnyside B&B and dessert with a performance by Troutman at Magnolia Cottage B&B.

As an alternative to the progressive dinner, weekend participants may choose to treat themselves to a four-course dinner, wine and live music at Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens.

The festival concludes Sunday with a Jazz brunch at Devereaux Shields House and B&B from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Individual event prices range from $17 to $136.

Jackie Wild, Natchez Bed & Breakfasts Association President said participants may pick and choose from events hosted at seven different Natchez bed and breakfast venues throughout the weekend, or opt to fill their weekend with one of two discounted weekend packages that include entry into a drawing for a free two-day stay at one of the seven homes — winner’s choice.

“We’re hoping to put an interest out there that would draw someone new to Natchez that has not been here for a weekend,” Wild said. “They’ll just fall in love with this city and want to come back.”

Wild said tickets or packages may be purchased online at bontempstix.com/organizations/natchez-bandb or visitnathcez.org.