Thursday, April 14, 2011
By SUE WATSON
Pilgrimage events were diversified this year and the Holly Springs Garden Club loved every minute of it.
Attendance was about neck and neck with last year, according to Lisa Childers, co-chair of ticket sales. Visitors from all over, including the Netherlands, Canada, California and lots of folks from Kentucky came to town to enjoy the tours and the fun, she said.
This year a luncheon was scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday under the tent at Montrose and attendance was strong, according to Kathy Elgin.
“We had 177 reserved tickets Friday, with another 80 reservations for Saturday,” she said.
Dubbed “Plant It Pink,” a packet of flower seeds were given out to each guest Friday and Saturday. Part of the luncheon receipts will go to the National Garden Club project – the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to fight breast cancer, Elgin said.
In Childers’ mind, the biggest hit this year was the showing of the movie “Cookies Fortune.”
“People loved that,” she said.
About half those attending the “Screen on the Green at Montrose” were pilgrims and about half were locals. The movie, which lots of locals had not seen, was filmed in Holly Springs.
Sunset on Salem was also a big hit, Childers said. The Marshall County Extension Office and Strawberry Plains Audubon Center provided trailers for guests to ride to each of the historic homes along Salem. Re-enactors told the story of the houses as trailers came through with tourists. Lee Niedlehaus, one Mrs. Johnson’s descendants, shared with Pilgrims his knowledge of the history of Montrose.
Some other highlights this year that made this Pilgrimage unique included Saturday’s “Montrose Under the Moonlight” with Venus Mission of Memphis, Tenn., providing the entertainment. Michael Donahue, with the Commercial Appeal, turned out for the dance and said it was one of the best parties he’d ever attended, Childers said.
A marriage proposal was made on the dance floor Saturday night.
Some exciting celebrities present at opening ceremonies included two Ole Miss students, Paris Holland, this year’s Miss Black Mississippi, and Holly Springs’ own Ashley Forester, reigning Miss New South who will be in the Miss Mississippi Pageant this year.
There were many other activities throughout the festive weekend – including tours of historic homes and churches and arts and crafts on the courthouse square.
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