Live at Five – On the Fourth! A celebration for all!

Published 2:00 pm Sunday, June 25, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Summertime is a wonderful time. Yes, it’s hot – but along with the heat come some great summer events, and top on the list is the opportunity to gather as a community and celebrate our nation’s birthday with music, fun, food, fellowship, and last but certainly not least, FIREWORKS!!

Growing up in a patriotic home, I’ve always loved the Fourth of July. And Natchez has had some mighty special celebrations over the years. Great concerts, family gatherings on the bluff, fireworks – these are all events we will long remember. This year, we have decided to do something truly special, something free and fun, for the entire community and for all of our families.

Sarah Lindsey Laukhuff launched our Live at Five concert series in the fall of 2020 by bringing great music to the historic bandstand on the Natchez Bluff. Since then, Live at Five has grown, and people from all over now look forward to these concerts every spring and fall. When looking for a person to help us create the perfect family-friendly event for this year’s Fourth of July celebration, Sarah Lindsey was the obvious choice, and Live at Five – On the Fourth was born!

Email newsletter signup

Arden Barnett, the talent behind Ardenland, the entertainment company that has brought so many great events to Natchez, has now caught the “Live at Five on the Fourth Fever,” and has stepped forward to be the Primary Sponsor. We couldn’t be more excited!

Natchez, get ready to celebrate in grand style. We are busy sprucing up the Bandstand. It will soon have a new coat of paint and new landscaping. Sarah Lindsey has lined up a great program.  Local rock and blues band Cha Cha Boo will begin playing at 5 p.m. while another local act, Emerson Hill and the Room 102 Band, take the Grandstand at 7!

We will have food vendors, fans, tents, and the city’s Interim Director of Parks and Recreation Ryan Porter is organizing free activities for the kids. It’s going to be an old-fashioned July 4th Community Party to say the least – one we hope will become an annual tradition for years to come. Bring your chairs, wear your red, white and blue, and get ready to have some family fun!

We all hit the lottery being born Americans. As Ronald Reagan famously said many years ago, “Double-no, triple-our troubles and we’d still be better off than any other people on earth.” We are blessed to live in a country that strives every day to live up to the principles of freedom. No, we are not perfect, and never shall we be. But Americans every day are on the front lines to keep the Miracle of 1776 going, and for this we should all be grateful.

As a tribute to those who have served our country on the front lines, our celebration will include a Salute to Veterans at 8 p.m., which will feature a singing of the National Anthem by Miss Teen Mississippi Claire Ulmer and a special presentation to surviving Natchez veterans of World War II, being organized by our own Galen Mark LaFrancis, Founder of Home with Heroes and Natchez Poet Laureate.

The grand finale will happen at 9:30 with fireworks over the river, and we are so grateful to Sabrina Dore’ of Vidalia who makes sure this spectacular show goes on every Fourth of July and New Years Eve. She is a true blessing to the Miss-Lou.

Spread the word Natchez! Get ready to celebrate freedom as a community, in grand style on our beautiful bluff! Because Natchez Deserves More.

Dan M. Gibson is mayor of Natchez.