Columbus Pilgrimage needs you
By Sonic Johnson, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 15, 2007
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Columbus kicks off the 67th annual Pilgrimage event March 26 and will run through April. Sponsored by the Columbus Historic Foundation, the Pilgrimage offers a peek into the unique history of the circa antebellum period, often with the history coming to life. March 26 at Rent Auditorium, viewers will be entertained with music from Ruby Jane Smith, Mississippi's Fiddler, Brice Miller and his Columbus All Stars, and the adult choir from Missionary Union Baptist Church. This event begins at 7:00 pm and the cost is $5 per person.
The antebellum home and garden tours feature 11 homes and gardens open for guided tours. Organized in five different tours, many of the homes feature recreated activities of the 1800's where your tour will encounter many inhabitants of the homes in period costumes. Tour dates and times all vary with two of the homes offering evening candlelight tours. Tours of six of the local downtown Columbus churches are also available. Tour tickets are $15 per tour and there is a military discount.
Another Pilgrimage highlight is "Tales of the Crypt" in Friendship Cemetery. An award-winning project of the Mississippi School for Math and Science, the students select, research and portray the lives of noted local personalities interred at Friendship Cemetery and bring them back to life with the telling of their life story. Friendship Cemetery is the site of Confederate Decoration Day and inspired the poem, "The Blue and the Gray" and is suitable for the entire family. "Tales" tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for students.
Putting on an event of this magnitude requires year-long preparation for the home owners and many local volunteers. "Columbus AFB has always been a big help with providing volunteers for our Pilgrimage" remarked Nancy Carpenter, Columbus Historic Foundation executive director.
Volunteers are used for the daily home tours where you will don period dress and learn the history of the home. If volunteers do not have the time to help with the home tours, the Historic Foundation can use assistance at the Welcome Center greeting guests and selling tour tickets. According to Carpenter, "We had visitors for Pilgrimage from 48 states and 19 countries last year." Volunteers can help all day or a half a day from 8 a.m. until noon or noon until 4 p.m. daily beginning March 27. All volunteers will receive a free tour ticket.
Whether it is historic home tours, 10K run, carriage rides or Artisan Alley hand-made art, there is something for everyone during Pilgrimage. More information about tour times and details on all the other events is available at www.historic-columbus.org. If you would like to volunteer, contact Nancy Carpenter at the Columbus Historic Foundation at 1-800-920-3533 or 662-329-3533.