Proud of our town

Published 12:24 pm Saturday, July 3, 2021

July rings in patriotism at the opening of this summer month year after year with Independence Day celebrations.

What may have once been a one-day event filled with gatherings around a BBQ pit or neighbors pooling together for one heck of a firework display, has transformed into weekend-long ‘Merica-fests across the country.

During my college years, I celebrated the Fourth away from home. One summer, I traveled to Chicago for a sorority convention; and while fireworks over Lake Michigan are magical, it was 50 degrees and I had goosebumps.

Another summer, I spent the weekend in Heber Springs, Arkansas, with friends. It was beautiful, but I missed our traditions.

In our area, we always look forward to the Saturday of the 4th being the day of Lake St. John’s Flotilla. Whether you have a lake house or not, most locals find a way to either participate in or watch the unique parade of decorated water craft “Mardi Gras” up and down the lake. With the addition of the Liberty Loop on Lake Concordia, it’s obvious that the lakes across the river are the place to be this July 3rd.

With the Fourth falling on a Sunday, many of us will get the advantage of a long weekend and the chance to continue the celebrations on through Monday. For most, that will be much needed after the activities happening along the Bluff on Sunday afternoon.

Can anyone else believe just how lucky we are to have none other than Hank Williams Jr. playing the most iconic and American country music with the sun setting over the wide Mississippi River as a backdrop? Have we hit the jackpot or what?

The colorful fireworks that are displayed over the river each year are always a treat for locals and tourists, but this year we get to share it with Hank and all his rowdy friends.

I can tell you that the number of tourists that will be in attendance is going to be unlike any other event we’ve seen before. The hotels have been booked. The restaurants and shops are now nervously preparing. Downtown isn’t going to know whether it’s coming or going once Monday gets here.

But for once, Natchez is going to get to showcase its best self courtesy of the red, white, and blue.

So, I’m proud to be an American, Mississippian, and (most of all) a Natchezian this weekend.

Jennie Guido writes a weekly column for The Natchez Democrat.