The Phatwater Kayak Challenge, and the Great Mississippi Balloon Race are two events that brought a lively crowd to the saloon.
The Phatwater Kayak Challenge took place Saturday, October 9th. Over 100 participants had pre-registered, either on-line or Friday night before the race Saturday. However, bad weather kept many away and only 46 actually showed up to participate in the race.
The saloon was busy Friday evening with contestants coming to the saloon to register, or if they had pre-registered they were on hand to pick up their packets. While most contestants didnít partake of the spirits many of their friends helped the regulars kick back a few.
Early Saturday the saloon greeted groups of people who came by to ask about the race and inquire when the Kayakers would be arriving. Around 1:00 p.m. the activity at the saloon was pretty busy. The contestantís friends and supporters were present, food was being cooked, the finish line, which was at the steamboat landing just across Silver Street from the saloon, was being prepared to greet the hardy contestants and of course the locals were on hand to partake and offer cheers with each arriving contestant.
The Phatwater Kayak Challenge started in Port Hudson, about 45 river miles above Natchez at 8:00 a.m. and the winner arrived in Natchez at 4:26 p.m. with the other contestants not far behind.
Visit their web site to read more about the Phatwater Kayak Challenge.
The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race was a three-day event, starting Friday and continuing until Sunday, October 15th through the 17th. This event is the largest annual event in Natchez and it brings thousands of people to town.
Friday evening brought hundreds of people to the saloon as everyone wanted to view the fireworks that took place on the river. And beautiful fireworks it was, when it took place, which was a little later than announced. Unfortunately there was a little problem with a licensed pyrotechnic person not being on-site at the appointed time, so the fireworks began later than planned. But when they began it was a beauty to behold.
Saturday and Sunday were busy days under-the-hill with balloon contestantís chase teams, civilian observers and saloon regulars all watching the balloons drop a bean bag on a target, which was painted on a barge that was in the middle of the river. One balloon actually hit the water in an effort to get as close as possible to the drop zone.
If you havenít seen these two events we encourage you to consider making plans for next year, both are unique and a wonder to behold.