Holiday Glow Up event is still on today, rain or shine

Published 9:07 am Saturday, November 26, 2022

Submitted Article

Christmas in Natchez is a big deal and a local nonprofit is working to ensure that it’s big deal in all of downtown—not just part of it.

Building on efforts started last December to bring Christmas cheer to downtown’s MLK Triangle area, BlackNatchez.org is again presenting “Christmas with the Inflatables,” which features electric powered inflatable Christmas scenes in the 200 block of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr St. in Natchez.

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“We’re excited to do this again for the community. We had a lot of positive feedback from a lot of people in the community last year and we’re glad to do it again. It’s all about spreading the light. We’re spreading light,” said Anita Smith, a volunteer helping to coordinate the effort.

To kick off this year’s display, BlackNatchez.org in collaboration with nearly two dozen community organizations and local businesses will host a Holiday Glow Up on Saturday Nov. 26, rain or shine.

It’s was previously scheduled to be after the Downtown Natchez Christmas Tree Lighting, which has been moved to Sunday. Now it’s a standalone event for Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. In the event of rain, the activities will be moved to inside the warehouse at 6 Saint Catherine St.

The Glow Up will feature free games hosted by local community organizations, free food donated by local businesses, music and old fashioned community fun.

“I think this is great. We need more activities like this in the community that focus on families with children and activities that bring the community together. I’m excited about it,” said Erienne Washington-Smith, who, along with her husband NHS coach Dan Smith and other friends, will host a face painting booth.

Prior to last year’s inflatable exhibit, MLK business owners say it had been over 50 years since they’d seen decoration of any kind in the triangle area.

“The streets of downtown proper have been punctuated with wreaths and garland, the bluffs has the old IP holiday automatons, and now the MLK Triangle area has Christmas with the Inflatables. We think it’s an exciting, new modern addition to the traditional Christmas in Natchez. The kids and young families really like it,” said Joseph A.C. Smith, founder of BlackNatchez.org.

“We want the community to get used to visiting the Triangle area to support the businesses and activities down there. … Walk the sidewalks, say a prayer, send some good vibes to our efforts to bring this long forgotten part of Downtown Natchez back to life,” Joseph Smith said.

According to the organization’s website, “BlackNatchez.org is committed to promoting and uplifting African-American culture in Southwest, Mississippi. We promote love, collaboration, and understanding of ALL people, with specific emphasis on Black achievement, Black history, and Black empowerment.”

Christmas with the Inflatables will be on display from Saturday November 26-Dec 31, 2022 in the MLK Triangle area. For more information, visit blacknatchez.org or contact Anita Smith at 601.807.2707. Organizations and individuals who desire to host a game tent or become a vendor can do so on the BlackNatchez facebook page or by visiting blacknatchez.org on the web.