Christmas tree lighting is Saturday with rides, Santa and treats

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

NATCHEZ — Christmas is Natchez plans its most festive kick off to the holiday season yet on Saturday beginning with the annual Natchez Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony downtown.

Jaki Yarbrough, vice president and senior commercial relationship manager at Home Bank, has led Christmas in Natchez efforts for a number of years. She said events to boost the holiday season for residents, visitors and Natchez businesses alike continue to grow.

Beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, children and parents can enjoy a petting zoo, rides and treats for vendors at the Christmas tree at Main and Commerce streets.

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“And kids can line up at 3 p.m. to have their photo take for free with Santa, who will be inside Home Bank,” Yarbrough said.

“At 6 p.m. all the rides will shut down and everyone will gather around the tree and the Natchez High School Concert Choir will perform,” she said. “At 6:15 p.m., Mayor Dan Gibson will lead the community in Christmas caroling around the tree.”

The main event is expected at 6:30 p.m., when Santa Claus himself will lead the countdown to the lighting of the city’s majestic Christmas tree.

“Right after the tree lighting, we will have pyrotechnics, which will be synchronized to music. That will be made possible because of the generosity of Magnolia Bluffs Casino,” she said.

“The lighting of the tree last year brought out probably our largest crowd yet, and every year it gets better. It is such a wonderful event that brings together our entire community,” Yarbrough said.