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The Dart: Family celebrates daughter’s 3rd birthday at Duncan Park

NATCHEZ — Watch out world. Xaria Ellis is young, wild and 3.

When The Dart landed in Duncan Park Sunday, Ellis was busy exploring the world dressed in pink glitter.

Ellis was the center of attention during a small birthday celebration with her parents, grandparents and other family in one of the park’s pavilions decorated with balloons and banners.

Xaria and her family traveled to Natchez this weekend to celebrate themomentous occasion.

“We live in Tennessee,” Xaria’s mother Keitra Ellis said. “This is our hometown, so we came here for the weekend.”

A home health nurse in Clarksdale, Tennessee, Keitra said she graduated from Natchez High School in 2006. After graduation, Keitra went to study at the University of Southern Mississippi before moving to Tennessee.

Keitra now lives in Tennessee with her husband, a 6-month-old son and Xaria.

“We try to come here every couple of months to see family,” Ellis said.

As some of the adults were gathered under the picnic shelter talking, Xaria was busy enjoying the festivities with her 3-year-old cousin, Reagan Ellis.

The two were nearly inseparable as they ran between the swing sets and slide with a quick stop to play with birthday noisemakers and to look at the presents piled on top of the picnic table.

Keitra said, like most 3-year-olds, Xaria likes everything from reading to watching Disney Jr. video. But most of all Keitra said she likes to stay busy, running around and playing.

After a few moments of making noise, the two were back to running around the shelter laughing and playing.

As they ran to take another trip down the slide, the youngsters streaked past a banner strung across the front of the picnic shelter that read, “Young, Wild and Three.”

“That about describes her,” Keitra said.