“I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” Julia Roberts’ character Shelby said this famous line in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias. And now, 30 years after the release of film, the city of Natchitoches is celebrating wonderful visitors and a lifetime of memories with a Blush and Bashful Weekend November 7-10, 2019.
The iconic movie was filmed in Natchitoches in 1988 and released in theaters in November 1989. Based on the screenplay written by Bobby Harling about his real-life sister and her fight with diabetes along with the “steel magnolias” of Chinquapin, a fictitious town modeled after Natchitoches.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of Steel Magnolias, several community organizations and businesses have come together to create a Blush and Bashful Weekend which will include movie showings, an Easter egg hunt, look-alike contests, receptions, brunch and more!
“Not a week goes by at the Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Welcome Center that visitors come in asking about the Steel Magnolias movie and wanting to learn more about the movie being filmed here,” said Arlene Gould, Natchitoches CVB Executive Director. “Some are surprised to learn it is based on a true story about one of our beloved Natchitoches families, the Harlings. When Susan’s (Shelby in the film) brother Bobby wrote Steel Magnolias, he wanted to keep the memory of his sister alive. It gives me great pleasure when I speak to visitors in our office of my memories of Mrs. Margaret and Mr. Robert Harling, who have now both passed and were portrayed in the movie by Sally Fields and Tom Skerritt. I did not know Susan, but I was blessed to know her parents.”
The weekend celebration will kick off on Nov. 7 with an armadillo cake contest hosted by Northwestern State University’s Hospitality Management & Tourism Department. The deadline to register for the cake contest is Nov. 4. To register, visit Natchitoches.com/steelmagnolias.
Premiering in 1989, Natchitoches was one of the main premiere sites of the film. To commemorate the event, there will be a Red Carpet Movie Premiere at the Parkway Cinema on Nov. 8. A reception will be held before the showing. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best blush and bashful attire. The movie will be available for viewing Nov. 8 to Nov. 14. The Friday evening shows on Nov. 8 will offer a one-time special $5 movie ticket.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau will unveil the Natchitoches Film Trail highlighting the points of interest in Natchitoches Parish associated with movie filming sites. Movies filmed in Natchitoches include Steel Magnolias, Man in the Moon, and The Horse Soldiers.
“The Natchitoches CVB looks forward to continue welcoming visitors who want to visit the filming sites of Steel Magnolias and other movies filmed in Natchitoches as we launch the new Natchitoches Film Trail in November,” says Gould.
Saturday activities on the riverbank will kick off with a children’s Easter egg hunt for ages 2 to 10 in Beau Jardin hosted by the The Service League of Natchitoches. A character look-alike contest, hosted by the Service League and Phi Mu Fraternity, will take place on the riverbank stage that afternoon, followed by a panel discussion at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum. A Dolly look-alike contest will take place at Cane River Brewing Company that evening.
Throughout the day on Saturday, the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches will present a special tour of homes and sites used in the filming of the movie Steel Magnolias. Special events will be held at selected locations along the tour, as well as a speaker series and exhibit at the Lemee House entitled “Behind the Scenes of Steel Magnolias.” Tickets will be available soon.
Join the owners of the Steel Magnolia Bed and Breakfast for an enchanted evening full of lasting memories, fantastic catered Louisiana cuisine, and toe-stomping Zydeco music, dancing, and a bleeding armadillo cake too! Cocktail attire, semi-formal, or 80’s themed is preferred for the ticketed event.
Join the Natchitoches Historic Foundation for a Sunday brunch even Ouiser wouldn’t pass up! Catered by world-famous Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen and held at the historic Prud’homme-Rouqier House. Tickets are available at www.natchitocheshf.com.
St. Augustine Catholic Church invites the public to mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning in the church where the wedding scene took place.
For detailed information about Steel Magnolias and the Blush & Bashful Weekend and events, visit www.natchitoches.com/steelmagnolias.