2015 Natchitoches Christmas Festival a great success!

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The 89th Annual Christmas Festival was, by all accounts, deemed a major success.  The weather was picture-perfect with clear skies and a high temperature of 65 degrees. The festivities on the riverfront kicked off early this year with music starting at 11:00 followed by the Festival of Lights Parade, which was considered one of the best parades in years by many who lined the parade route. While official numbers are expected to be reported later in the week, the preliminary figures show that attendance at this year’s festival was down slightly from last year. However, vendor ticket sales appear to be up more than 10% according to Lee Waskom, Chairman of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Committee. While there was a small showing of supporters for the Confederate Battle Flag, there were no major incidences reported and the controversy appeared to be a non-issue for the thousands of people who attended the festivities.

The Christmas festivities continue with fireworks and activities on the riverfront each Saturday. See remaining schedule below.

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Friday, December 11 – Free admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank

* 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $
* 5:00-8:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation. For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

Metoyer Brown House, 366 rue Jefferson. The house was constructed by Trizzini and Soldini for the Metoyer family at a cost of $17,000 in 1850. It is a typical 2-story Late Greek Revival with French influence. Remodeled in the early 1900s in a Mission Bugaloid manner and again in 1974 when purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Brown III, the original architecture of the house was preserved. The home is a private residence.

Chamard-Dunahoe House, 120 rue Amulet. This unique and historic French Colonial home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has features including hand hewn cypress rafters, bousillage walls, and fireplaces on the interior of the rooms rather than on the exterior walls. The home features an extensive display of Old World Santas and a collection of Pat Martin’s cypress Santas and is a private residence.

Prudhomme-Rouquier House, 446 rue Jefferson. This Save America’s Treasures property, circa 1790, is the only known two and one-half story bousillage structure on the North American continent. Owned and operated by the Service League of Natchitoches, Inc., the house went through an extensive restoration in 2005. League members take pride in its period décor and decorations appropriate for the Christmas season in the City of Lights. Used as the Service League headquarters, Prudhomme-Rouquier is available for rental throughout the year as well as during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 12 – Admission to Downtown Riverbank beginning at 2p.m. – $5 Ages 12 & over. Advance armband will be available to purchase November 1st.

* 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $
* 1:00-4:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

Chaplin House, 434 rue Second. A fine example of Victorian architecture circa 1892. Particularly interesting are the wide gallery, the original fan-shaped floor and the curved roof of the main entrance. Chaplin House contains much of the original family furnishings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home is decorated for the Christmas Season and is a private residence.

Steel Magnolias, 320 rue Jefferson. Constructed before 1841 by the Italian architects Trizini and Soldini, this home is reported to have been used as a hospital during the Civil War. The home was made famous by serving as a filming location for the movie “Steel Magnolias”. The “most photographed home in Natchitoches” is beautifully presented with classic Christmas décor and is open to the public for events and as a bed and breakfast.

Maison Louisiane, 332 rue Jefferson. A Queen Ann Victorian house that was built in the 1880’s by Giovanni Anselmo Rusca. Much of the home’s original architectural features such as the front doors, turned balustrades, gabled bay, and cypress pocket doors have remained intact. Maison Louisiana features traditional Christmas displays as is open year round to visitors as a bed and breakfast.

Complimentary Admission for Saturday Tour Ticket Holders to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum

* 3:30 – 6:00 p.m. – Entertainment – After Hours – Downtown Riverbank
* 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Entertainment – Hank Staples & Thunder Creek – Downtown Riverbank
* 7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River

Sunday, December 13

* 6:00 p.m. – First Baptiste Natchitoches, 508 Second Street presents Christmas Fantasia.

Wednesday, December 16

* 5:00 -8:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

         Steamboat House, 200 rue Jefferson. This two-story home was reportedly constructed by a Captain Haynes from materials taken from two dismantled steamboats in the 1850’s. The
interior ofthe home features bousillage construction. The beautiful second-floor veranda has hosted many wonderful evenings for visitors and locals alike. The home has been recently
renovated by new owners and is a private residence.

         Green Gables, 201 Pine Street. Built in the 1890s by Estelle Ducournau Plôché as a wedding gift for her niece, Green Gables remained with the original family until 1939 and is an excellent
example of a one-story Victorian. Turned and sawn woodwork on the exterior and a wrap-around front gallery, ornate fireplaces, stained glass windows, original art and eclectic antiques
from the 18th and 19th centuries, create a unique ambiance for all who visit this bed and breakfast.

         Samuel Guy House, 309 rue Pine. Built in 1850 by Samuel Eldridge Guy, this Greek revival style house remained in the Guy family for more than 150 years before being moved by its
current owner from Mansfield to Natchitoches in 2002. Known for its ornate collection displays and elaborate Christmas decorations, Guy House operates as a bed and breakfast.

Thursday, December 17

* 6:30 p.m. “Lessons & Carols” Featuring Trinity Episcopal Church choir and special guests, Trinity Episcopal Church, 533 Second Street. FREE

Friday, December 18 – Free admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank

* 3:00-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $

* 5:00-8:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation. For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

         Metoyer Brown House, 366 rue Jefferson. The house was constructed by Trizzini and Soldini for the Metoyer family at a cost of $17,000 in 1850. It is a typical 2-story Late Greek Revival
with French influence. Remodeled in the early 1900s in a Mission Bugaloid manner and again in 1974 when purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Brown III, the original architecture of the house was
preserved. The home is a private residence.

         Chamard-Dunahoe House, 120 rue Amulet. This unique and historic French Colonial home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has features including hand hewn
cypress rafters, bousillage walls, and fireplaces on the interior of the rooms rather than on the exterior walls. The home features an extensive display of Old World Santas and a collection
of Pat Martin’s cypress Santas and is a private residence.

         Prudhomme-Rouquier House, 446 rue Jefferson. This Save America’s Treasures property, circa 1790, is the only known two and one-half story bousillage structure on the North American
continent. Owned and operated by the Service League of Natchitoches, Inc., the house went through an extensive restoration in 2005. League members take pride in its period décor and
decorations appropriate for the Christmas season in the City of Lights. Used as the Service League headquarters, Prudhomme-Rouquier is available for rental throughout the year as well
as during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 19 – Admission to Downtown Riverbank beginning at 2p.m. – $5 Ages 12 & over. Advance armband will be available to purchase November 1st.

* 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $

* 12Noon-4:00 p.m. Cane River Creole Christmas at Badin-Roque House.

The St. Augustine Historical Society hosts special tours and Creole holiday stories. FREE

* 1:00-2:30p.m. Christmas Downriver. Cane River Creole National Historic Park presents Creole Christmas with special tours, educational programs and musical events FREE

* 1:00-4:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714

* 3:30 – 6:00p.m. – Entertainment – TBA – Downtown Riverbank

* 6:00 – 8:30 P.M. – eNTERTAINMENT – Johnny Earthquake & The Moondogs – Downtown Riverbank

* 7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake

Friday, December 25 Free admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank – MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 26
* 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $
* 3:30-8:30 p.m. – Entertainment – Downtown Riverbank
* 7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake FREE

Thursday, December 31
*7:00 p.m. – Fireworks over Cane River Lake FREE

December 7 – 23
* 6:00-8:00 p.m. Photos with Santa. Visit with Santa & Photos with Santa on the south end of downtown riverbank.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum will have extended hours on Saturday November 21 and 28, December 12, 19 and 26, 2015 until 7:00pm, last ticket sold at 6:30pm.  Regular admission prices will apply.

Natchitoches Historic District Business Association & the City of Natchitoches hosts the annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival. For additional information call 1-800-259-1714.

5 thoughts on “2015 Natchitoches Christmas Festival a great success!

  1. I counted at least 6 of those old homes that wouldn’t be there today, if it were not for those hero calvarymen that rode in under a battle flag behind the 30,000 union soldiers and put out their fires. Alexandria was not as lucky. Personally I thank them for their service and preserving those treasures for us today. Funny how we forget some things and rewrite history the way some people want it.

  2. During the 89th Christmas Celebration, Natchitoches Parish, the city and NSU were spectacular! The fireworks were the best in over 40 years of our attendance. It was a pleasure to have so many people enjoy our town, the restaurants, museums, shops and for all in attendance, to enjoy our hospitality.

    Its a chore to produce such a wonderful product. Congratulations and thanks to all of the volunteers who participated.

    As a community, we are blessed well beyond that which separates us by well-intentioned public servants. I’m proud to be a 45 year immigrant from Alexandria.

    I’m proud to exclaim, the world over, “I’m from Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest and friendliest community in all of the south.”

    As we travel, I’ve learned that Natchitoches is a city of over a million people. We just don’t all live here at the same time.

    Count your blessings. Be thankful for what the good Lord has provided us. Be resistant to that which separates us. In the wonderful lyrics of Lyndsey Buckingham, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. Don’t stop, it will soon be here.”

    All the best for a wonderful Christmas Season and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

    Coley & Sharon Gahagan

  3. My family boycotted. But I supported Old River Clothier by buying several of his beautiful NEVER SURRENDER shirts last week. I talked to some folks today that went to the Festival of Lights which use to be called the Natchitoches Christmas Festival before the City of Natchitoches changed the name because they were scared that it might offend some Muslim group. And they were very very disappointed in the parade . They have attended as a family for over 60 years. They said on the high note that it was not as crowded as before and had plenty of elbow room. But also said that the fireworks to them was as good as the fireworks display on the Red River in Shreveport. It is nice to see how many people really love the south and our SCV and flag that stayed home or went to another real CHRISTMAS PARADE . I hope the people in Natchitoches some day rename the festival after Jesus Christ as Christmas Festival which it did for a long long time. GOD HELP US ALL !!!!

    • William Keith Stewart – The town of Many has invited the SCV to be in their parade next Saturday. It will be interesting to see what their attendance is like.

  4. Picture perfect weather, and yet attendance was down. Gee, I wonder why that would be? As for vendor receipts reported up, that’s well may be because prices are up – so could we have reports on that please.

    As for the presence of the Confederate Battle Flag, judge for yourself.

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