Tens of thousands of visitors descended on Natchitoches for a holiday experience unlike any other. From a 5-K road race to one of the finest fireworks shows in the country and top quality entertainment, there was something for everyone at the 91st Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival on Dec. 2. Louisiana Governor and Mrs. Edwards joined Grand Marshalls The 610 Stompers in leading the Christmas Festival Parade. The 610 Stompers were a huge hit with the crowd as they marched and performed their signature dance routines. They are indeed “ordinary men with extraordinary moves!”
Natchitoches’ Northwestern State University had a full contingent in the parade. The Spirit of Northwestern Band was joined by the Demon cheerleaders and spirit and dance groups as well as the ubiquitous Dr. Chris Maggio. Natchitoches Central, Lakeview, Natchitoches Junior High and St. Mary’s were also represented by their bands, ROTC and spirit groups. Area dance schools showcased their students’ routines to a delighted crowd that lined the route several people deep. It just is not Christmas in Natchitoches without the Christmas Belles and Miss Merry Christmas who threw beads and candy to paradegoers. Visiting high school bands and pageant queens rounded out the family fun.
After the parade, there was nary an empty spot on the riverbank as Louisiana music legend Jo-El Sonnier entertained the festive crowd. The evening concluded with the Festival’s traditional fireworks show.