Miss-Lou Black History Parade is back bigger and better than ever

Published 1:55 pm Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Black History Month is here and BlackNatchez.org is ready to help the Miss- Lou region celebrate in grand style as the host of the 2024 Miss-Lou Black History Parade and Community Block Party.

This year’s festivities will kick off Saturday, Feb. 17, with a Vendor Village from noon until 6 p.m. in the MLK Triangle, where the public can support local small businesses and learn about the work of local community organizations.

Participation in the Vendor Village and the parade is free, but all prospective vendors and parade participants are encouraged to register at BlackNatchez.org.

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“The community response this year has been great. I don’t think we expected to have so much interest in the Vendor Village or the parade but we are excited and grateful,” said Erienne Washington-Smith, the Vendor Village coordinator.

The parade will kick off at 2 p.m. and proceed from the Forks of the Road (once the second largest slave market in the South) to the MLK triangle (once the hub for Natchez’s thriving Black Business District).

This year’s parade theme is “We Made That: Ideas and Inventions That Changed the World.”

“We wanted a theme that is both inspiring and educational. We want to inspire a spirit of innovation and creativity in our local community and learning all that our ancestors were able to do with so little gives us hope about what is possible for us now,” said Dr. Azalia Smith, a parade organizer.

Following the parade, the public is invited to hang out at the Community Block Party in the Triangle.

Local deejays are invited to participate in a DJ battle and a few cameos are expected from local musicians and artists.

“It’s been amazing watching this come together this year. The support from various sectors of our community has been great. My prayer is that our entire community will grow to see black history as an important part of the Natchez story and something to be celebrated by everyone. We hope the entire community will come out and enjoy all we’ve prepared,” commented Joseph Smith, founder and Executive Director of BlackNatchez.org.

Each event is free and open to the public but donations to offset events costs can be made at BlackNatchez.org.

“I guarantee you any money you send (no matter how large or small) will be put to good use,” said Smith.

BlackNachez.org is a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code with a SILVER Guide Star transparency rating.