Workers prepare set for Natchez Christmas film

Published 9:15 pm Thursday, September 9, 2021

NATCHEZ — On Thursday, a comfortable 80-degree September morning in Downtown Natchez, workers from Natchez Public Works and the Christmas Depot Inc., based in Hammond, Louisiana, started to set up the artificial Christmas Tree on Main Street.

A few of the workers’ homes were in the path of Hurricane Ida, which devastated much of South Louisiana around the anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina’s eye reached New Orleans Aug. 29, 2005.

Charles Pines, a native of Hammond, said he had a tree fall right down the middle of his 40-foot trailer home and is now staying with a relative.

“A lot of people are still staying in hotel rooms and don’t have power,” he said.

His coworker Lorne Joseph, who also lost his home to the storm, was bright with smiles and laughter as he placed the screws in the frame of the tree Thursday.

The workers shared lighthearted conversation about the irony of putting up a tree when summer is barely over.

The Christmas decorations, wreaths with bows, lights, garland and other ornaments that have been popping up around town are part of “The Search for Christmas” movie set, a Hallmark Christmas that is now being filmed in Natchez and stars lead actress and producer Erin Cahill and is directed by Maclain Nelson.

Daniel Lewis of Evergreen Film Productions said filming took place all day aboard the American Duchess cruise ship as the tree was being set up downtown.

The tree will have to be taken down again after filming and replaced come Christmastime, said Eddie Coleman of Natchez Public Works.

“It’s like Christmas in September,” he said with a smile. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years and this is the first time I’ll ever help put it up twice in one year.”