- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - On Wednesday, Natchez will celebrate a day 300 years in the making.

The city will blow out the candle on its 300 birthday, the tri-centennial of the founding of Natchez on Aug. 3, 1716, with an all-day celebration with all activities open and free to the public.

The Natchez Democrat reports (https://bit.ly/2aIQU9k) the day will begin at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians with Principal Chief and Great Sun of the Natchez nation Hutke Fields, a presentation by historian Jim Barnett and children’s activities, including art projects, artifact displays.

Grand Village Director Lance Harris said he is happy the Natchez nation will be represented on the tri-centennial by Fields, who travels to Natchez for the annual Powwow at the Grand Village.

“He’s no stranger to these parts,” Harris said. “We’ve enjoyed keeping up the relationship with the Natchez out of Oklahoma.”

Harris said the impact of the Natchez people have had on the city is still felt today.

“I think it’s important for people to come out and learn about some of the history of the town beyond antebellum homes, history that really started with the Native Americans.”

At 1:30 p.m., authors and historians Emily Clark and Erin Greenwald will make colonial French presentations at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.

Book signings for Barnett, Clark and Greenwald will follow. Artifacts from Fort Rosalie will also be on display, and National Park Service Junior Ranger children’s activities.

At 4 p.m., the Natchez National Historical Park will host a dedication ceremony at Fort Rosalie in commemoration of the opening of the third NPS site in Natchez.

“Our park was created back in 1980, and one of the main reasons was for the preservation of Fort Roaslie,” Natchez National Historical Park Superintendent Kathleen Bond said. “There are a lot of people who have been waiting for us to get this point, and even though it’s taken so long, we are finally getting to that point.”

The celebration will be topped off with a street party on Broadway Street.

Security and police personnel will be stationed at security checkpoints where bags will be checked for prohibited items, including weapons or illegal substances. Coolers and pets, except service animals, will not be permitted on the site.

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

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