The Trace, the truth, and good news about chili

Observations, opinions and other stuff ...

Remember all those boring trips up or down the Natchez Trace Parkway? You know, the ones when the pace of traffic was so slow you not only kept up with each and every mile-marker but were also able to count the number of painted stripes in the middle the road?

Forget about those trips (at least until the bleak midwinter) and do yourself a favor by jumping on the Natchez Trace the first chance you get.

Drop your convertible top, slide back your moon roof, or at the very least open all your windows, and pop in your favorite music or tune in to Public Radio in Mississippi.

This is the time of the year to be on the Trace. Fall has always been the Trace's most beautiful season, but this fall, following a very wet spring and summer, is something special.

Remember your ninth-grade science class? Hey, the Trace is a veritable Roy G. Biv Highway these days.

All the colors of the rainbow are there and in many places they're positively brilliant. Of course, you've got to look through all the reds, oranges, yellows, greens, indigos and violets of the trees to find the blue skies, but that's the joy of traveling the Trace during this time of the year.

If New England is any prettier than the Natchez Trace right now, I don't think I could stand it.

There's yet another site on the World Wide Web worth bookmarking to check out all the silly - many downright perverse - e-mail rumors:

Like my personal favorite - - gets straight to the point about just about every story you've ever read or heard., however, does it a bit more gracefully than, which has more of an edge.

Either one, though, is a valuable resource during this time of global hysteria.

Speaking of weather (We were, weren't we?), somebody somewhere must like the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association.

On Wednesday of last week, the temperatures were in the mid-80s and the sun was bearing down like it was mid-summer.

Come Thursday, the day of the 2nd Annual Chilifest, it was back to fall again, with the temperatures in the 60s, maybe the low 70s. The atmospheric temperatures, that is. The chili temperatures were considerably warmer.

Best lunch deal I've seen in a while. The $5 tickets were a bargain, but the $1 tickets allowing patrons a small cup of chili from each of the 15 chili teams nearly provided a full meal deal in itself.

All in all, as far as the food went, this year's Chilifest turned out to be too much of a good thing. The Main Street Association planned for 500 eaters, and more than 750 showed up.

It was a financially successful Chilifest, with all the proceeds going to the Main Street Association, which will use these funds to create more fun.

And plans are already being made to double the amount of chili cooked for the 3rd Annual Chilifest.

The highlight of this year's noontime festival, however, had to be the remarkable dance team from Regional Rehabilitation Center. If you missed it, perhaps the dancers are available for private or corporate bookings.

That was fun, this Chilifest. And good. Which, of course, makes it good fun. Which is something that seems to have been in short supply lately.

Danny McKenzie is associate editor of the Daily Journal.

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