2023 events include beloved annual festivals and celebrations for every age group

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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NATCHEZ – Visit Natchez this morning released its 2023 calendar of events for the city, including the return of several beloved annual festivals, concerts and celebrations that are perfect for all ages to enjoy.

“We are pleased to share our exciting lineup of events planned for this year, ranging from music festivals and holiday celebrations to hot air balloons and historical experiences,” said Devin Heath, executive director of Visit Natchez. “These events showcase the best of what Natchez has to offer, including our local flavors, hospitality, history and culture. We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to make unforgettable memories in Natchez in 2023.”

1. Mardi Gras Parade, February 17

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This parade is held in downtown Natchez beginning at North Broadway, featuring brilliantly lit decorated floats, live music and much more. This event is free and open to the public starting at

6:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.kreweofphoenixnatchez.com/upcoming_events.

2. Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC), February 23-24

This annual celebration, which began in 1990, is a theme-based lecture series enhanced by films, workshops, exhibitions, book signings, concerts, discussions and more. The conference is made possible in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council. For more information, visit www.colin.edu/community/natchez-literary-and-cinema-celebration.

3. The Road to “A Raisin in the Sun”: The Link Between the Hansberry Family of Gloster, Mississippi, and Alcorn A & M College, February 28

The Natchez Historical Society will present J. Janice Coleman, professor of English at Alcorn State University, as she traces the critically acclaimed 1959 play, “Raisin in the Sun,” to the influence of the cherished home library of Lorraine Hansberry’s grandfather, an 1891 Alcorn graduate, in Gloster, Amite County, Mississippi. For more information, visit https://www.natchezhistoricalsociety.org/1801.html.

4. Natchez Powwow, March 25-26

Every March, thousands gather at the Natchez Bluff to celebrate the area’s rich Native American heritage. The annual event includes traditional Native American dancing, singing and fun. For more information, visit www.natchezpowwow.com.

5.   Natchez Garden Club Spring Pilgrimage, March 1-May 15

Visitors may tour fourteen unique and beautiful historic Natchez Garden Club homes – some available for the first time in quite a while – as well as museum home Rosalie, on this exclusive tour. Many offer late afternoon or evening events such as a candlelight dinner at Magnolia Hall and an opportunity to meet the owners at Elms Court. For information and a list of participating homes, visit www.littleeasytours.com.

6.   Pilgrimage Garden Club’s Spring and Fall Pilgrimage Tours, March 11-April 11 & September 23-October 20

In a tradition dating back to 1932, Natchez opens the doors to its exquisite historic homes to welcome travelers from across the world. The celebrations include tours led by costumed hosts in 19th-century characters, theater performances, unique presentations and live music, all focused on the city’s stunning historic homes. For more information and a list of participating homes, visit www.natchezpilgrimage.com.

7.   Euro Auto Festival Car Show, April 21-23

The 2023 Natchez Euro Fest Classic European Auto & Motorcycle Show combines European engineering and beauty with southern hospitality. This family-friendly event is free and held on the Natchez Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and will feature vintage and new exotic autos and motorcycles. For more information, visit www.euro-fest.net/natchez.

8.   The Rhythm Night Club Fire Commemoration, April 22

The Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum will commemorate the 83rd anniversary of the Rhythm Night Club Fire of April 23, 1940. This annual event tells the tragic story of the Rhythm Night Club fire that killed more than 200 people, including Walter Barnes and his band members. It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://www.rnconsitemm.org.

9.  Festival of Music: A Month-Long Celebration, May

Celebrate the arts in Natchez with a series of live musical performances throughout the month of May. Guests can experience special shows from musicians spanning various genres, including blues, rock & roll, theater and much more throughout the fall and spring seasons. For more information, visit www.natchezfestivalofmusic.com.

10.  157th Annual Miss Lou Memorial Day Parade, May 29

To honor our nation’s veterans, Natchez will hold the 157th Annual Miss Lou Memorial Day Parade, where participants will march from Vidalia, La., across the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge, to the Natchez National Cemetery, where a celebratory ceremony will be held. The parade will begin at 8:45 a.m. and the ceremony will start around 11 a.m.

11.  Mudbug Music Festival, May (Dates Coming Soon)

This brand-new festival, which kicked off in May 2021, features incredible live music from country music superstars, fresh crawfish and a wide variety of food vendors complemented with cold beer, drinks and cocktails along the Natchez Bluff. Guests can also take to the streets Friday night for Smoot’s Epic Street Party with food, live music, drinks and fun for the whole family.

12.  Natchez Bicycle Classic, June 10

With the slogan, “Come for the Ride, Stay for the Party,” cyclists of all skill levels are invited to Natchez for this exciting event. This classic includes paved and gravel routes which stretch through some of the most scenic portions of the Natchez Trace Parkway. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/natchezbicycleclassic.

13.  International Crepe Myrtle Festival: A Month-Long Celebration, July

Thousands of Crepe Myrtle trees flower with breathtaking beauty each July in Natchez and this event is held after the first bloom. Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour through historic downtown and the Natchez Cemetery to see some of the area’s top gardens, historic sites and to admire the beauty of summer in Natchez. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/NatchezCelebratestheBlooms.

14.  Natchez Food and Wine Festival, July 27-29

After retiring in 2018, Natchez’s Food and Wine Festival is back this year in collaboration with the Natchez Adams County Chamber of Commerce to educate locals and visitors about culinary trends, experiences and wine and to celebrate all that the wonderful food the region has to offer. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/natchezfoodandwinefest/.

15.  Soul Food Fusion Festival, September (Dates Coming Soon)

The Soul Food Fusion Festival is an immense culinary and cultural experience that highlights the area’s traditional soul food cooking, fused with historic folklore, cultural arts and music therapy from the diverse background of Natchez. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/soulfoodfusionfestntz.

16.  Natchez Balloon Festival, October 20-21

Since 1986, the Natchez Balloon Festival has filled historic downtown Natchez with hot-air balloons, local live music and dozens of art and food vendors. From the festival site on the beautiful grounds of Rosalie Mansion, visitors can savor fantastic fall weather and enjoy festival activities, including the evening balloon glow, fireworks and carnival rides, all while taking in spectacular views of the Mississippi River. For more information, visit https://natchezballoonfestival.com/.

17.  Y’all Means All Natchez, October 27-29

Y’all Means All Natchez is an LGBTQ+-friendly festival that celebrates the diversity of the Natchez community while raising funds for suicide prevention. Notable weekend events include drag queen bingo, a welcome reception at Choctaw Hall and speakeasy after-parties, the Battle of the Belles and Beaus contest and much more. For more information, visit www.yallmeansallnatchez.org.

18.  Longwood Afternoon, October (Date Coming Soon)

This event features live music, food, beer, carnival activities and crafts and is held on the grounds of Longwood Hall. For more information, visit www.longwoodafternoon.com.

19.  Angels on The Bluff Cemetery Tour, November (Dates Coming Soon)

The Natchez City Cemetery, one of the oldest burial grounds in the country, hosts the Angels on the Bluff event each November, featuring iconic Natchez personalities buried within the cemetery, portrayed by their descendants and other local citizens in period costumes. This elaborate production includes candlelight tours of the beautiful and historic site, enchanting storytelling and musical tributes to the lives and deaths of some of Natchez’s oldest “residents.” For more information, visit https://www.natchez.ms.us/300/Angels-on-the-Bluff.

20.  Annual Christmas Tree Lighting + Chili Cook-off, November 25

Christmas in Natchez kicks off with the annual tree-lighting event on Main Street in the center of downtown. Held on Thanksgiving weekend, this event features pyrotechnics set to music, Santa inside Home Bank, caroling around the tree, delicious food vendors, kids rides and other family-friendly activities. For more information, visit www.christmasinnatchez.org.

21.  Christmas in Natchez, November 25-December 31

This Christmas celebration lasts from the Saturday after Thanksgiving until Dec. 31. The city of Natchez fills the season with magic and holiday cheer during this event, featuring caroling in the park, the downtown Christmas parade, decorative Christmas tours and much more. For more information, visit www.christmasinnatchez.org.