‘It’s all about this house’: Festival brings music, fun to historic Longwood

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

NATCHEZ — This Saturday, the largest octagonal house in the United States once again becomes the beautiful backdrop for musical entertainment and fun during the Longwood Afternoon Music Fest.

All proceeds from the festival supports the maintenance and preservation of Longwood, one of Natchez’s most beloved historic houses, said event organizer Lou-Ellen Stout.

“All of the money, every penny of what we make, goes directly into expenses and repairs at Longwood,” she said. “Some of the money (from past festivals) just installed a sprinkler system and security system.

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Tickets this year are $20 each for adults. Children age 10 and younger may attend for free.

For an additional $10, guests may also tour the house during the festival.

“Traditionally a house tour is $25 by itself,” Stout said. “For just five dollars more you can have that and enjoy the music and festival, too.”

The headliner for the ninth annual Longwood Afternoon Music Fest is the Lamont Landers Band, featuring Landers himself who is seen on Season 14 of Americas Got Talent and Showtime at the Apollo with Steve Harvey. Landers performs at 7 p.m.

At 1 p.m., this year’s lineup also includes Hash Cabbage, a New Orleans-based funk band described on its website as having an “eclectic sound with a variety of influences from southern rock, improvisational jazz, reggae, funk, outlaw country all the way to surreal psychedelia.”

As always, Longwood also hosts local rising artists to showcase their talent.

Former Anteeks singer Hana Hart returns Longwood with her new band, Hana Hart & Friends performing at 2:30.

Tyler Gregg of the former Easily Distracted returns with Logan Sanders Band, a band “formed of top musicians from Belmont University in Nashville,” Stout said. Logan Sanders Band goes on at 4 p.m. followed by NRhythm Band at 5:30.

NRhythm, a Natchez-based crowd pleaser, features skilled pianist Kejuan Hawkins with jam music to dance to.

“I started working on this lineup in April,” Stout said. “This is our ninth year and its growing bigger every year.”

Stout said the Longwood fest also includes child-friendly games and activities, including a mechanical bull ride, super slide, petting zoo and children’s games.

A walkable haunted trail will open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as well.

Stout thanked several event sponsors for their help making the festival happen for the preservation of Longwood.

“It’s all about this house,” she said. “Every time I look at Longwood I’m in awe and it reminds me of why I do this.”