SuperTalk Mississippi

Start Planning Now: Natchez Celebrates Big Birthday

By John Mott Coffey
NATCHEZ. Miss. — The Natchez Tricentennial will be more than a yearlong celebration of the 300th anniversary of its founding. It’s also commemorating the past in a city “where the river is wide and the history runs deep.”

The oldest European settlement on the Mississippi River in six weeks will begin to formally mark its 1716 establishment with a series of events, displays and other programs “to commemorate the past, celebrate the present and create the future.”
Natchez Tricentennial leaders on Monday provided a public preview of what’s in store for 2016. The official kickoff will be Jan. 2 at City Auditorium with a community religious service to praise “the blessings bestowed on these 300 years of the City of Natchez’ existence.”
The Natchez Tricentennial’s  full calendar of events can be seen on its website:
While Natchez was not chartered as a town until 1803, its founding by French explorers 87 years earlier will be celebrated Aug. 3 with a large community birthday party with 300 cakes, a 300-gun salute, music and more. That’s the date historians say the French settlers finished the construction of Fort Rosalie, the small structure they lived in on the Natchez bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River.
The National Park Service will also on Aug. 3 dedicate the Fort Rosalie site being developed as part of the Natchez National Historical Park.   
Organizers see the Natchez Tricentennial as a way to draw tourists — the goal is 650,000 next year — and conventions — 67 booked so far — to a city with an economy relying heavily on visitors’ money. But, equally important, is its highlighting of significant events and people that are part of Natchez’ rich history.
The history programs include daily “Natchez History Minute” video recordings about noteworthy Natchez events that happened each particular day of the year as told by 366 people from the community. There will also be weekly “Natchez Legends and Lore” speaker series about interesting people and stories spanning Natchez’ 300 years of ethnic and social history.
And, at the Historic Natchez Foundation, there will be exhibit of local sports history in May and June. “Hometown Teams – How Sports Shaped America” is being put on by the Smithsonian Institute.  The HNF is also co-sponsoring Natchez history and genealogy conferences.
Other Natchez history-related presentations during the Tricentennial will be about the devastating tornado of 1840 and the Mississippi channel diversion that changed the course of the river at Natchez.
The yearlong anniversary will culminate Dec. 3, 2016, with a  multicultural holiday parade and celebration revolving around the diverse cultures and ethnic groups of Natchez’ history. 

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More