Celebrate the Holidays in Natchitoches

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Celebrate the Holidays in Natchitoches
Latisha McDaniel

Celebrate the joy of the Christmas season with a visit to historic Natchitoches and enjoy Louisiana’s premiere holiday event.  Natchitoches will light up the holidays with more than 300,000 lights and more than 100 lighted set pieces.

Natchitoches’ 45 Nights of Christmas Lights celebration begins on November 20th.  Carriage tours will be available for evening tours through Natchitoches’ National Landmark Historic District. The shops in the Historic District will be open and selling their festive decorations, unique gifts, and clothing, including the Christmas Festival T-Shirt.  This year Natchitoches is celebrating the 84th year of the Christmas Festival. It is going to be the greatest family festival ever and the most exciting fireworks show in the entire state of Louisiana during the month of December. 

Celebrate the Holidays in NatchitochesEvery Saturday night in the month will be lit with a grand fireworks show.  Entertainment and food vendors will be available on the downtown riverbank. The final fireworks display will be on New Year’s Eve, but the lights will remain on until January 6, 2011.

There will be several new additions to the “45 Nights of Christmas Lights” celebration this year.  There will be carolers (and snow!) on Front Street on Friday and Saturday evenings through December 18th.  The City of Natchitoches will be adding three new lighted set pieces to the 100+ pieces that already line the downtown riverbank.  The set pieces will be: animated penguins, Clementine Hunter zinnia and a New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Champs tribute. 

On November 26th and 27th bring the entire family out to enjoy the first ever “Snow Fest” in Natchitoches.  Experience Frosty’s Avalanche Slide featuring tubing down 110 ft of totally awesome winter fun.  If your child doesn’t meet the height requirement for the slide, then there will be numerous other children activities available for them to enjoy.

The Christmas by Candlelight Holiday Tour of Homes will take place during the 2nd and 3rd weeks in December. The Tour will feature several historic homes in Natchitoches, annually presented by the Natchitoches Historic Foundation. Visit www.historicfoundation.org for more details.

Christmas arts and crafts make a presence at the Fleur de Lis Arts & Crafts Show on November 27 and the Les Amies Christmas Treasures Arts & Crafts Sale on December 11th. View hand-made Christmas ornaments and decorations at the Natchitoches Events Center, 750 Second Street. 

Natchitoches is a partner with Holiday Trail of Lights, which represents six cities and two states of lights and Christmas celebration. Visit www.holidaytrailoflights.com for more information.

Celebrate the Holidays in NatchitochesDowntown Natchitoches will kick off the holiday season during “Turn on the Holidays” on Saturday, November 20th.  Activities begin at 12:00pm. Enjoy an entire day of free family fun featuring storytelling with Dee Scallan, face painting, ornament painting, Creole doll making and much more.  Many downtown businesses will be open late.  The official lighting ceremony is at 6:30pm, and is immediately followed by a grand fireworks show.

The 84th Annual Christmas Festival will take place Saturday, December 4th in downtown Natchitoches. Food and craft vendors will be in place, and the shops will stay open late. A junior parade will stroll through the area at 11:00am, and the 2 1/2-mile main parade will begin at 2:00pm festival day. Entertainment will be available throughout the day, and fireworks will begin at 6:00pm, including a light show coordinated to high-energy Christmas music.

Rising Disney star Anna Margaret will be the grand marshal for the main parade. Margaret and Taylor Mathews will perform before the parade. For festival admission information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 562 Second Street or call (318) 352-6894.

For more information, visit the Festival of Lights web page at www.christmasfestival.com or call the  Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714 for the Festival of Lights brochure.

For more festival listings in Natchitoches Parish, please visit online at www.natchitoches.net and check out the online calendar of events or sign up for the quarterly online newsletter.