- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - The Historic Natchez Tableaux, which has its origins in the first Pilgrimage events of the 1930s, will kick off at 8 p.m. Friday with a free show for residents and visitors.

The 82nd annual performance, organized and orchestrated by members of the Natchez Garden Club and Pilgrimage Garden Club, will entertain attendees Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Natchez City Auditorium.

The tableaux will run through April 5.

Several changes and additions to the performance have been added in the last few years, and Tableaux publicity chairman Aimee Guido said those have been showing tremendous results.

“There aren’t a lot of drastic changes this year because we’ve gotten really good feedback from the groups coming in,” Guido said. “It’s really the same thing locals and visitors have come to enjoy and expect.”

New changes to the script that featured nine separate scenes from history, speaking parts and voice-overs were added in recent years to make the tableaux more historically accurate and focus more on Natchez’s true history.

The tableaux includes a series of scenes, each depicting an event prominent in the life and culture of the South before the Civil War.

The Historic Natchez Tableaux was once called the Historic Natchez Pageant and before that the Confederate Pageant.

Area residents - mostly children and teens- perform four nights a week during pilgrimage in the Historic Natchez Tableaux. Participants dance in colorful period attire and portray skits depicting local history.

Pilgrimage Garden Club member Fayla Guedon said early ticket sales have performers and organizers excited about this year’s event.

“We have a ton of tours coming and a lot of presold tickets already,” Guedon said. “We’re all ready and excited to get it kicked off.”

Guido said the additional ticket sales are linked to the aggressive marketing approach organizers took this year.

“We really tried to increase our publicity this year in a number of publications across the area,” Guido said. “We rethought how we marketed this event to people, and I think we’ve been successful with the approach.”

Friday’s performance of the Natchez Tableaux kicks off Spring Pilgrimage, which officially starts Saturday.

The Spring Pilgrimage features tours of 24 historic homes and properties with three houses rotating through the morning, 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., and afternoon, 1:30 to 5 p.m., schedule.

Tickets to the performance are $15 per person, with children admitted for $7.


Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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