Celebrate Natchez’s successes Friday on the bluff

Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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There could be 10,000 good things happening at a given moment and there will always be naysayers out there who try to ruin the mood. In light of all the good that has happened amid a pandemic, it seems the cries from the naysayers have been significantly less.

Despite COVID, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson is boasting of a record number of new jobs, new building permits, new business permits, real estate closings and more. These claims are backed by new businesses popping up and disappearing “for sale” signs all over the city.

Out of the pandemic, we saw the rise of Kate Lee Laird’s art studio and Taylor Cooley making serious renovations on a new photography studio on Franklin Street. We saw Stacy Conde open a new art gallery and with it encouraged family and friends from Miami to open up new businesses such as Mother’s Natchez, a project between Stacy and her daughter Sophia, and Lexi Lehrman’s Butter Cakery on Main Street. We saw the opening of the new Arts District Studio on Commerce Street by former New Yorker and Louisiana native Beau Deshotel. Rolling River Reloaded owned by Maurice and Robbie Cade-Furdge, which occupies the former Rolling River Bistro on Main Street, offers a new dining option in Natchez as does The Castle at Dunleith, which finally opened this year.

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Among these many new establishments to celebrate are more good things to come, such as Natchez official’s plans for new playground equipment in all six city parks and a restored Youth Center at North Natchez Park and Golf Pro Shop at Duncan Park.

A new restaurant and entertainment venue at the historic train depot on Broadway Street will be just a short walk from Church Hill Variety’s other new restaurant, the Little Easy, and Smoot’s.

City officials have also signed leases for three cruise ships to dock at Natchez and a new dock to be built on the water where the public can access it.

Gibson wants to celebrate these and other good things that are happening at a party to which we’re all invited. His first State of the City address will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday from the historic bandstand on the Natchez bluff followed by a party at Rolling River Reloaded.

Now we can be one of two things, a naysayer who gripes about things that haven’t happened or a person who chooses to celebrate the good things that are.

We’ll see you on the bluff.