Rue Beauport Riverfront opens to public at Dedication Ceremony

Riverbank_Ribbon Cutting

Kevin’s Gallery

Natchitoches held a Dedication and Unveiling Ceremony for its Rue Beauport Riverfront project Nov. 16

The community showed its support by filling the amphitheater.

Lakeview’s Air Force JROTC posted the colors and Azaria Revels sung the National Anthem. Louie Bernard was the master of ceremonies, Pastor Stanley Clemmons gave a blessing and Truman Maynard led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

“This is something we will enjoy for years,” said Mayor Lee Posey.

Rodney Harrington, Jarrett Bailey, Luke Brouillette, and Steve Wells were the first musicians to play on the new stage.

The public strolled along the new promenade after the ceremony followed. The Riverfront project features an amphitheater with seating for 700+ people, a brand new stage and Santa Claus House. A plaza overlook leading to a new handicap accessible ramp also adds a much needed feature to the Riverfront.

“We’ve created not just a Christmas venue, but a wonderful, multi-use facility,” said Bernard.

Jim Rhodes, chairman of the Cane River Waterway Commission, which funded the majority of the project, said it has made Cane River a more viable and usable part of Natchitoches. There were many City employees, community members and others that had a hand in the success of this project. Designs were created by Carbo Landscape Architecture.


Riverbank Panorama



Lakeview holds Quarterly Promotion and Recognition Program

JROTC-winslow change of command

Cadet LaDarrion Winlsow was promoted to Cadet Major and pinned by his mother Jackie Winslow and Lakeview’s Senior Aerospace Science Instructor Major Bob Kellogg as he assumed command of Lakeview’s AFJROTC Cadet Corps during Lakeview’s Quarterly Promotion and Recognition Program on Nov. 15. Cadet Winslow is a graduate of the 2016 Air Force JROTC Cadet Leadership Course, the commander of the Drill Team, and a member of both the Color Guard and Saber Team. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Civic Life, and is a Student Government representative. He previously served as the Cadet Deputy Group Commander, Support Squadron Commander, and Alpha Flight Commander. He is the recipient of 3 national medals, 49 unit level citations/ ribbons, maintains a cumulative 3.5 GPA, and has performed over 300 hours of community/school service.


JROTC-Trohpy Winners

Lakeview High School’s Air Force JROTC Quarterly Trophy Winners included: Cadet TSgt Breanna Harrison (Outstanding PT, Female Sr. Category), Cadet Amn Lexy Adams (JROTC Academic Award, Jr. Category), Cadet SSgt Hunter Thomas (Overall Academic Award, Sr. Category), Cadet Amn Makayla Cook (Outstanding PT, Female Jr. Category), and Cadet 1Lt Tyler Sullivan (Outstanding PT, Male Sr. Category). Not photographed: Cadet SSgt Karmen Jarriett (JROTC Academic Award, Sr. Category), Cadet AB Jo Porter (Overall Academic Award, Jr. Category), and Cadet A1C Daron Williams (Outstanding PT, Male Jr. Category).


JROTC-Cadets of the Quarter

Lakeview High School’s Air Force JROTC Cadets of the Quarter (Aug.- Oct. 2017) were also recognized. Cadet Captain Mason Harper was recognized as Cadet of the Quarter, Sr. Category and Cadet Airman James Earp was recognized as Cadet of the Quarter, Jr. Category.

NSU Speech & Debate compete, seek judges for tournament

By Hannah Morris

speech and debate

Northwestern State University’s Speech and Debate team are marking more success after their last tournaments at East Texas Baptist University, Louisiana State University of Shreveport, Louisiana Tech and University of Arkansas, Monticello.

In their opening tournament at UAM, junior varsity members Kelsey Jordan, Alice Wilson and varsity member Hannah Morris went on to compete in their next levels of competition, called “breaking into outrounds.” Here, Jordan and Morris were octofinalists and Wilson was a semifinalist.

At Louisiana Tech, junior varsity members Wilson, Jordan, Jeffrey Swift and novice member Brandy Ranel broke into outrounds. Ranel was an octofinalist, Jordan and Swift were quarterfinalists and Wilson was a semifinalist again. Jordan also received a fifth place speaker award for her outstanding speaking prowess.

At LSU-S, novice member Ranel broke into outrounds with a 4-2 record, and went on to octofinals, marking the first outround win for her since beginning her debate career.

Finally, at ETBU, junior varsity member Wilson broke into outrounds and was a quarterfinalist. Morris won third place speaker for her high speaker points in rounds.

The team will host their own tournament, “The Festival of Lights Invitational” Nov. 17-19. Multiple teams from around the region are registered to compete and judges are needed to help with the competition. There is no experience necessary, as volunteers will be taught how to judge upon arrival at the competition.

For more information on the NSU Debate Team or to volunteer for judging, contact Dr. Davina McClain, coach, at

LHSAA official Keith Alexander receives NSU’s Nth Degree Award during state prep cross country championships

Keith Alexander Nth Degree
Northwestern State University bestowed a special honor on Keith Alexander, assistant executive director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, for his service to high school student-athletes.

Alexander received the Nth Degree from the university, a special honor to recognize meritorious service to others, during a surprise presentation at the Louisiana Cross Country Championships, hosted at NSU this week.

“Mr. Alexander has had a powerful and positive impact on education and athletics for more than four decades,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “As a coach, teacher, principal, superintendent and a state administrator for high school athletics, Mr. Alexander has earned a position of respect and esteem with student athletes, parents and others with whom he has been associated over the years in supporting, directing and promoting high school athletic events and activities.”

“He has been a major force in the continued success of events such as these cross-country championships,” said NSU Athletic Director Greg Burke, who joined Maggio for the presentation.

“On behalf of the students, faculty and alumni of Northwestern, Mr. Burke and I are honored to present the university’s prestigious Nth Degree to Mr. Alexander for his dedication to education, community service and the university,” Maggio said.

Kindergarten students color Christmas picture for troops overseas


Kindergarten students at St. Mary’s Catholic School colored Christmas pictures to send to the troops overseas. Pictured on front row from left are Creed Manasco, Brailey Metoyer, Holt Cedars, Ava Fredieu, Connor Ireland, Presley White, Aaron Blanchard, and Anna Johnson. On back row are Anistyn Rhodes, Cole Carnline, Paisley-Rae Tilley, Roan McClung, Weston Legrande, Hudson Harrington, Avery Sheffield, Madden Cameron, and Lacey Boyd.

Annual Christmas Gala to be performed Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 10

NSU Christmas Gala.jpg

The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will present the 29th annual Christmas Gala Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium and Dec. 10 at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport. Performance times on Nov. 29- Dec. 1 are 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. performance on Dec. 1. The Gala at the Strand begins at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for the performances in Natchitoches and $12 for the show in Shreveport. NSU, BPCC@NSU and LSMSA students are admitted free with a current student I.D. For reservations or tickets, call (318) 357-4522 or go to Additional fees will apply to online tickets purchased for the performance at the Strand.

More than 300 Northwestern State students, faculty and staff in the School of Creative and Performing Arts combine their talents to present the Gala as a kickoff to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. More than 10,000 people attend the Gala each year, which is based on the long-running Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

“The Gala has become a Natchitoches holiday tradition along with the Christmas Festival and the lights,” said Gala Artistic Director Corey Trahan. “The Gala is something both the performers and audiences remember long after the show is over.”

The theme for gala this year is “Home for the Holidays.” The set and repertoire will reflect imagery and music that celebrates family and holiday traditions. The residents of Varnado Hall, CAPA’s new residential community, will contribute hand made decor for the lobby.

Trahan said the opening number will be a musical mashup of popular Christmas tunes performed by representatives of each CAPA ensemble.

“Audiences will get a quick glimpse within the opening eight minutes of what’s to come for the remainder of the show,” he said.

The finale welcomes Frosty the Snowman, the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will debut a new overture, the musical theatre ensemble will present a Motown holiday arrangement and we welcome back Demon Heat. Guest appearances by Miss Northwestern-Lady of the Bracelet Erika Jarlock, NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio and Santa and Mrs. Claus are included.

Trahan says the Gala gives students in the School of Creative and Performing Arts a chance to shine in front of packed houses.

“We are fortunate to have such talented faculty and students,” said Trahan. “Work on the Gala goes on year round which is shown in the quality of the performances.”

Each year’s Gala feature audience favorites like the Rockettes and Toy Soldiers along with new ensembles and familiar showstoppers from popular shows and some new set pieces and costumes.

Performing ensembles include the NSU Chamber Choir, Gala Choir, the NSU Jazz Orchestra, Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra, Demon Dazzlers, Rockettes, Toy Soldiers and more. Popular guest artists will round out the list of performers.

This is the second time the Gala has gone on the road to the Strand. Two years ago, the cast and crew of the Christmas Gala wowed audiences in two sold out performances at the historic theatre that drew viewers from throughout north Louisiana and east Texas.

The story behind the largest trophy in sports, Chief Caddo


College football teams across the country play for trophies in rivalry games, but none is harder to cart off afterwards than the one at stake when Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin meet Saturday at 3 p.m. in Turpin Stadium in both teams’ regular season finale.

NSU is offering a $10 special to watch the annual “Battle for Chief Caddo,” which serves as a lead-in to the annual “Turning on the Lights” holiday kickoff later Saturday evening.

All general admission tickets – youth, adult and student – are priced at $10 as the Demons wrap up the season against their longtime foes from east Texas.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. as the teams fight for possession of the largest trophy in North American sports, the 7-foot-6, 330-pound Chief Caddo. Northwestern State leads the overall series with the Lumberjacks, 44-26-3, and holds a 30-20-1 advantage since the introduction of the Chief to the rivalry.

For more information on purchasing tickets to the game or to any other NSU athletic event, contact the NSU athletic ticket office at 318-357-4268

Chief Caddo is the world’s largest sports trophy, standing 7-foot-6 and weighing over 320 pounds. He was once 400 pounds, but he’s dried out a bit over the years and supposedly went on the Pritiken Diet during the great Natchitoches experiment in 1980.

The tradition originated in 1960, when longtime rivals Northwestern State and SFA decided to award the winner of the game with a trophy. The settled on a statue of a legendary Indian chief whose tribe was responsible for settling in the locations that became the English-speaking towns of Natchitoches and Nacogdoches. The lose of the 1961 game would have a tree chopped down from its nearby forests to be sent to the winning school, who would have a statue carved. The Demons won that 1961 game 35-19 and SFA delivered a 2,000-pound black gum log to Northwestern. Wood carver Harold Green of Logansport spent some 230 hours on the statue.

It was named “Chief Caddo” to honor the native Americans that not only first settled the two communities, but provided safety for the early white settlers in the area. Historian say had it not been for the Caddo Indians, the Spanish and French colonists who came to the area would not have survived the onslaughts of the Apache and Comanche warriors from the west and the Natchez from the east. Also, French and Spanish writers of the time said certain wise Caddo chiefs made it possible for the two European colonies to live as neighbors while their mother countries were at war against each other.

As to the common heritage of Natchitoches and Nacogdoches, there’s some question about how the cities – each the oldest settlement in their respective states – got their names. Both versions agree that an Indian chief with two sons sent one east, the other west, and they each traveled the same distance and established villages. As for the folklore in question:

One version, as reported by historian Samuel Stewart Mims in Rio Sabinas, credits the chief of an Adae Indian village on the Sabine River. The village was overpopulated, and the chief ordered his two grown sons to report to him precisely at sunrise. He told one son to walk east, the other west, until the very moment of sunset. The sons were to establish a village at the place they reached. The son who went east wound up in a grove of papaw trees, and he named his village Natchitoches, meaning papaw. The westbound son reached a grove of persimmon trees and named his village Nacogdoches, meaning persimmon. There’s no documentation, but there are papaw trees in Natchitoches and persimmons in Nacogdoches.

Another version says that the chief had twin sons, Natchitoches and Nacogdoches, and couldn’t decide which would succeed him. So he split the tribe between them and sent them in different directions. They traveled for three days, one eastbound, the other westbound, and wound up where the cities are located today.

It is intriguing to note that Natchitoches and Nacogdoches are virtually equidistant from Toledo Bend, which stands on the Sabine River bed at the Texas-Louisiana border.

Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin have been playing for Chief Caddo since 1961, and the Demons have had a 30-20-1 advantage in the trophy game. That means in the 51 years of the Chief’s existence, he’s spent 36 in Natchitoches (including the 1965-1968 no contest seasons and the 1989 tie season.)

To those who know the Chief best, that comes as no surprise. Even an SFA coach admitted that the Chief seemed to like Natchitoches, blaming it on meat pies and Cajun cooking.

But longtime Northwestern followers know it goes deeper than that.

After all, if you were a wooden statue, would you want to spend a lot of time around a bunch of Lumberjacks?

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