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Natchez is a city filled with adventure

The first time I ever cruised through Natchez I was riding semi-shotgun with my college roommate Kerri Cross, straddling the gear shift of her pickup truck, squeezed in between her and one of her high school BFFs.

The city seemed like a great place to visit, but it was late at night and she was leading us astray into Louisiana.

As the truck sailed across the Mississippi River on the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge, Kerri and her homegirl shimmied out their windows into the truck bed, leaving me to figure out how to get the pickup out of neutral while scooting into her seat, all while keeping it between the white lines and off the railing.

I’m retelling this tale of woe, so I was surprisingly successful. And that was one of the last times I rode anywhere with Kerri.

I’m considering another trip to Natchez soon, but this time it will be with my husband, a man who loves history almost as much as the Florida State Seminoles.

An upcoming event combines two of those things. It’s archaeology and Indians. Not exactly the same, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy it anyway.

On Oct. 8, the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will host the Mississippi Archaeological Association’s annual Archaeology Expo. Site Director Lance Harris says it’s a free, fun-filled day of activities for the whole family.

And it’s the first time to be held in Natchez. It’s usually in Jackson.

The expo will feature demonstrations of archaeological techniques as well as prehistoric and historic way of life. Of special interest this year will be demonstrations by members of Natchez Nation of Oklahoma.

There will be experts available to identify artifacts so dig out those arrowheads you found buried in your backyard.

Learn about atlatl throwing (that’s a fancy name for a stick that is used to toss spears), pottery and how to make stone tools and weave baskets. They’ll have a demonstration dig for kids, too.

On Oct. 12-13 they’ll host the 29th annual Student Days, followed by a shell carving workshop Oct. 21-22 and Music at the Mounds Oct. 29-30.

Teachers may be interested in taking their classes to the Student Days program, where the kids will learn about ancient tools and weapons and how to make flints as well as music and storytelling.

It’s from 9 a.m. to noon and will make a great field trip, or as Loyd Star principal Robin Case, likes to call them, an extended classroom experience.

Registration at info@natchezgrandvillage.com is required by Wednesday.

If you can’t take your classes this year, then I suggest making plans for next year’s event. Get it on the schedule now because I’m sure for their 30th annual they’ll be kicking up the fun a notch.

Music at the Mounds is Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Oct. 30 from noon to 7 p.m. and features bands like Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory, Papa Mali, Mojo Mudd , Gunboat, Monster and Honeyboy & Boots.

A shell carving workshop will be taught Oct. 21 and 22 by Creek artist Alex Alvarez. Participants must provide their own Dremel tool. The cost for this is $100 and registration is required by Oct. 14. Call 601-446-6502.

Donna Campbell is the managing editor of The Daily Leader. She can be reached at donna.campbell@dailyleader.com.