COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – For the second year in a row, Eufaula’s 55th annual pilgrimage has been cancelled.
During the spring, usually seven or eight thousand pilgrims head to Eufaula for their tour of homes. Tourists usually come from around the world to learn Eufaula’s history through the pilgrimage.
However, the Eufaula Heritage Association has had to cancel the event for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eufaula Heritage Association Executive Director Pam Snead says they consulted with homeowners to make the decision and essentially came to the conclusion to prioritize the safety of Eufaulans and pilgrims.
She says she feels like they made the right decision, though it has hurt them financially. According to Snead, the pilgrimage takes care of 90% of the Eufaula Heritage Association’s annual budget.
One of the sites of the pilgrimage is the historic Shorter Mansion. The money from the pilgrimage helps to pay for the maintenance of the mansion, and, with the cancellation, Snead decided to take things into her own hands.
She wrote grant application after grant application, all from the heart, to raise money for the beloved Shorter Mansion. Though the pilgrimage is cancelled, Snead hopes people will come out next week to support the mansion when they open on April 12.
“Every person who walks in the door… they’re going to tell somebody and somebody else is going to come and even though we only charge five dollars a person, trust me those five dollars add up,” Snead said.
The Eufaula Heritage Association has already taken steps to plan the pilgrimage for 2022 and they are hopeful it will be the biggest and best one yet.