VICKSBURG HOSPITALITY: Locals welcome American Queen Voyages Presidential Cruise

Published 4:02 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

With temperatures in the 30s, volunteers poised to welcome guests from the American Queen Voyages’ special Presidential Cruise on Friday were a little chilly. But that did not deter them from receiving the visitors and handing out Mardi Gras beads and masks as passengers came on shore.

“I think the passengers really appreciated us being there,” Bobbie Marascalco said.

Marascalco, who is the owner of Peterson’s said she along with Michel’s Music store owner Timmie Fedell were some of the first to greet those coming off the boat.

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“I kind of ended up being at the front of the line and was saying ‘Welcome to Vicksburg!’” Marascalso said. “And several of them (passengers) said we were really going above and beyond and saying, ‘thank you, this is so nice.’”

On board the Presidential Cruise was American Queen founder John Waggoner and President Cindy D’Aoust. D’Aoust said there were two things that impressed her the moment the boat arrived in Vicksburg.

“The very first thing was this very beautiful wall,” she said, in reference to the new Vicksburg mural. “You talk about a bright bold welcome, and to see the history spelled out in the letters was just storytelling and it is right there front and center.”

The second impressive feature D’Aoust said she witnessed upon arriving in Vicksburg were the people.

“The fact that it was a chilly wintry day and volunteers came out. I say that was a lot,” D’Aoust said. American Queen Voyages vice president of marketing, Angela Composto added, “And with smiles on their faces.”

D’Aoust said for her, there is a big difference between being in travel and tourism and being in hospitality.

“Hospitality is welcoming and that’s what Vicksburg did; it welcomed us,” she said.

In addition to Marascalco and Fedell, others at the waterfront who were welcoming visitors from the boat included Mayor George Flaggs Jr., executive director of Vicksburg Main Street Kim Hopkins, Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Sales and Marketing Manager Ashley Gatian, members of the Chamber of Commerce and local business and homeowners. Also at the waterfront was Corey Cooper, a local resident who was dressed as a Union Soldier. There was a couple dressed in Mardi Gras king and queen costumes and saxophonist Kevin Lewis performed jazz selections.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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