The month of July in Natchitoches will not only be hot, but the town will be bustling with activity. Whether you want to experience true Louisiana cuisine or you want to take a relaxing stroll along Cane River Lake, Natchitoches has a lot to offer. Come and see why Oprah declared it the “Best Little Town in the Whole USA!”
The 31st Annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival will be held July 16th – 17th in air-conditioned Prather Coliseum on the campus of Northwestern State University. This year’s festival is themed “Traditional Remedies: Folklife During Times of Adversity” and will focus on ingenious folk solutions people find when times are tough. From singing to putting tobacco on bee stings, Louisiana culture is rich with age-old folk remedies.
The two day event is filled with activities, food, discussions, and music for the entire family. Tickets are $8.00 for an all-day pass, $5.00 for an evening pass, and $11.00 for a weekend pass which is available in advance only. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free with an accompanying adult.
The Festival begins on Friday at 5:00pm with music, dancing and dance lessons. A mixture of Cajun and country music will set the tune for the night with performances by Sean Vidrine & da’ Classics, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Jambalaya Cajun Band and Champ Crossno. Saturday’s festivities kick off at 8:30am with the beginning of the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship, opening of the Kid Fest area and the beginning of the narrative sessions. The Fiddle Championship will take place from 8:30am to 11:30am with the champion performing at 12:00noon.
Musical entertainment will be available throughout the day Saturday with performances by Hadley Castille, Back Porch Band, Hezekiah Early, Knight Train, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Gail Holiday, Shekinah Glory COGIC, Goldman Thibodeaux and more. Vendors will be on site offering baskets, toys, filè, bonnets, walking canes, jewelry and knives. Traditional meat pies, boudin, gumbo, jambalaya, and ethnic foods will also be available to eat during the Festival. For a complete schedule of events or more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332 or visit them online at www.nsula.edu/folklife.
If you’re in town, stop by the Natchitoches Welcome Center at 781 Front Street. The Center is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Contact the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or (318) 352-8072 for event or accommodation information. Visit online at www.natchitoches.net.