The Village of Natchez held its 27th Natchez Heritage Festival Saturday, June 25 at the village’s Pecan Park. The small town event had the easygoing, friendly feel of a family reunion, as evidenced by the attendees’ colorful “It’s a Family Thang!” shirts.
The event began with a parade through the village featuring an eclectic mix of 4 wheelers, cars, church floats, motorcycles, fire trucks, and a few horses. The parade was headed by grand marshal Howard Conday and his wife, Alexa Bernard-Conday. Howard Conday is a Natchez native who has returned to his hometown and a career in the practice of law. Alexis Bernard-Conday serves as the principal of Natchitoches Junior High School.
The parade ended at Natchez’ Pecan Park where an afternoon of fun, music, food and fellowship then began. The event opened with brief welcomes from Mr. Howard Conday, Mayor-Elect Patsy Hoover-Ward, Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams and others. Children from local dance troupes also performed for the crowd of several hundred. The wonderful aromas of grilling arose from a number of tents where superb meals were prepared for the attendees.
The Natchez Heritage Festival was a delightful example of southern hospitality. The festival commemorated the past, celebrated the present and expressed hope for the future. To paraphrase Daniel Webster, it is a small town and yet there are those who love it!