October 3, 2022

French ambassador to visit Natchez Saturday

Therese Apel

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson and French Ambassador Philippe Etienne

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson never expected when he invited the Ambassador of France to visit Natchez that it would happen so fast.

Gibson was at a meeting in St. Louis when he invited the Honorable Philippe Etienne to visit the Bluff City, which was founded by the French in 1716.

Etienne accepted.

“I never anticipated that his visit would happen so soon,” said Mayor Gibson, “Here we are literally two weeks after inviting him and now he’s coming. We are elated.”

Etienne and his party are expected to arrive mid-morning Saturday and will be given a tour of Natchez hosted by the Mayor, to include lunch and a visit to the Natchez National Historic Park at Fort Rosalie, a commanding site on the river and home to the remains of the 1716 fort established by the French over 300 years ago.

“We are also looking forward to taking the Ambassador to the ‘Blues and Soul Superbowl’ concert on our historic bluff Saturday night,” Gibson continued. “We can’t wait to introduce him to the Queen of our Hearts, Ms. Patti La Belle!”

Also on the schedule are meetings to discuss development of French heritage sites, to include Fort Rosalie, cultural arts exchange possibilities between Natchez and France, and observance of the significance of the Natchez Indians, the first inhabitants of Natchez. More details will be released as the visit draws closer.

“I am delighted to visit the beautiful city of Natchez, that was founded by the French more than 300 years ago. I am looking forward to touring Fort Rosalie and discovering the Southern hospitality,” said Ambassador Etienne. “I would also like to take advantage of this visit to recognize the importance of the Natchez Indians, the first inhabitants of Natchez.”

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