Natchez Celebrates the Blooms with three self guided tours

Published 10:19 am Saturday, July 24, 2021

By Chloe Abernathy

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The annual “Natchez Celebrates the Blooms” event is under way until July 31.

This annual celebration has had to compromise the way it is run this year and last due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped organizers from finding a way for participants to have a wonderful time under Natchez’s crepe myrtle trees, they said.

While there is no in-person Crepe Myrtle Festival this year, organizers have set up three self-guided tours in order to showcase the city’s beautiful crepe myrtle trees.

The three self-guided tours are free and each offers a unique experience. These are:

4 Sip & See Walking Tour, in which participants take in the largest concentration of blooms along the downtown entertainment and “go cup” district. There are bevarage stops, restaurants, shops and opportunities to hear live music. This tour also includes the crepe myrtle at Bontura, the largest tree of its kind in Mississippi.

4 Bloom Drive tour, in which participants explore gardens and gorgeous sites in the downtown area and beyond. Monmouth Historic Inn, for example, has over 100 crepe myrtles on its grounds.

4 Historic Natchez City Cemetery tour, in which participants can drive or walk to see more than 500 crepe myrtles amid a mature landscape overlooking the Mississippi River.

Lee Anne Garner, a Natchez Celebrates the Blooms organizer, said these tours are flexible and allow people to discover Natchez in a way that works well for them.

“These three different experiences really tie it all together,” Garner said. “You can do a really quick condensed version or you can take them all in. It’s up to the visitor.”

Complimentary maps to enjoy Natchez Celebrates the Blooms can be found at VisitNatchez.Org/Events. Maps are also available on the Facebook and Instagram pages: @Natchez Celebrates the Blooms and at some area businesses.

The maps were developed by Elaine Gemmell, retired Master Gardener and the group’s crepe myrtle historian and archivist. Gemmell said the goal of these maps is to allow people to discover the beauty of Natchez and the local businesses as well.

“We were trying to tag local businesses with the sip and see tour,” Gemmell said, “We wanted people to realize what a friendly downtown it is and how accessible it is.”

Many businesses are participating in the celebration by offering themed drinks and food items such as The Castle Pub and Restaurant’s signature crepe myrtle cocktails and the Little Easy Café’s crepe myrtle cupcakes.

People are encouraged to share their favorite blooms on social media by tagging them with #NatchezCelebratestheBlooms.

Visit Natchez also encourages locals and visitors to upload their photos at visitnatchez.org/events/2021/natchez-celebrates-the-blooms.