Celebrate our fallen heroes at 157th annual Miss-Lou Memorial Day Parade
Published 12:02 pm Saturday, May 27, 2023
NATCHEZ — The 157th Annual Miss-Lou Memorial Day Parade, where participants march from Vidalia, La., across the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge, to the Natchez National Cemetery, will be held on Monday, May 29.
Laura Ann Jackson, who chairs the Committee for the Miss-Lou Memorial Day Parade, said the event is an important tradition that attracts people from many states.
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“This is a special event that honors all veterans, especially those who lost their lives defending our country,” she said. “I’ve been doing this since I was five years old and I’m 72 now. It means a lot to me and to many others.”
Past Memorial Day parades have drawn up to 1,500 people, Jackson said. At one point, the number dropped because of COVID-19, but attendance this year is expected to rise, she said, especially if the weather is good.
According to Jackson, local families often hold family reunions this time of year. As a result, there are many people who visit from out of town, she said. Some of the families participate in the procession, she noted.
Although vehicles of various kinds will participate in the parade, most of the participants will be the people who march from Vidalia to the cemetery in Natchez, a distance of about four miles.
This year’s procession will be led by Author Lewis, Louisiana Parade Representative for 2023, and Douglas McCallister, Mississippi Parade Representative for 2023.
Jackson provided the following information on the parade:
The parade lineup will begin at 8 a.m. at Zion Baptist Church at 601 Magnolia Street in Vidalia. The parade will start at 9 a.m. It will proceed from the church to the corner of Carter and Magnolia streets, and then across the bridge to the Natchez Visitor Center, where participants will take a 30-minute break. Shuttles will be available at the cemetery and at the Visitor Center.
From the Visitor Center, which is located at 640 S Canal St., the participants will proceed north on Canal to Franklin Street. From Franklin, they will move along to Pearl Street and from Pearl to Oak Street. From Oak, they will proceed to Maple Street and then travel north to Cemetery Road.
The Memorial Day Ceremony will start at 11 a.m. Ryan Hannon, assistant director of the Natchez National Cemetery, will present the welcome for the ceremony. Natchez High School Air Force Junior ROTC will present and retire the colors. Jeff McClure will serve as guest speaker.
Jackson said the day’s participants will include the Natchez High School Air Force Junior ROTC, the Miss-Lou Memorial Day Band from Vidalia, the American Legion Post 590 from Natchez, and the Ladies Auxiliary from Vidalia.
Additionally, Jackson said, volunteer assistance will be provided by Vidalia Police Department, Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Natchez Police Department, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and Natchez Fire Department. Area ambulance services will also be available, she added.
“We’re looking forward to a great day of respect, observance and celebration,” Jackson said. “We’re honoring all of our veterans.”
In addition to Jackson, committee members who helped to organize the procession include Douglas McCallister, Dorothy Sanders, Renard Chatman, and Nathaniel Williams.
“Everybody worked hard and diligently to make this event possible,” Jackson said. “I appreciate everyone’s contribution.”
For more information, call Laura Ann Jackson at 601-446-9052.