The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) met Thursday, May 21 via Zoom. The Commission members received an update from Rebecca Blakenbaker, executive director of the Cane River National Heritage Area (CRNHA) on the Go Natchitoches campaign, which is a collaboration between the CRNHA, the Natchitoches Historic District Business Association (HDBA), the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (NACVB), and Natchitoches Main Street. The campiaign was started on March 19 to support community businesses.
The NHDDC funded a film project with Zack Breau from Northwestern State University to create a series of videos focusing on travel and tourism, announcing that Natchitoches has reopened while inviting visitors to come back and inviting locals to explore their backyard. Video segments will focus on outdoor recreation, night life/young adult things to do, and more.
The campaign then needs visitor and community participation. When you’re eating, shopping, or exploring Natchitoches post all your pictures with the hashtags #gonatchitoches and #golocal. This will help people searching fro Natchitoches see everything the town has to offer.
The Main Street Office is planning a Freedom Festival for the Fourth of July in conjunction with KTBS. Organizers are moving forward with the event, but it’s hard to say what it will look like with things still up in the air. The idea is that KTBS will do live feeds in several cities and Main Street said they’ll have fireworks and possibly live entertainment. More information will be released on this event as the date approaches.
As far as the new budget, following up on last month’s meeting, nothing has changed. The Commission has reapplied last year’s budget to this year because at this point it’s all they can do. They don’t know what kind of financial hit they’re going to take along with everybody else in the state. There will be some carry over from this year, so hopefully that will help supplement the budget if there are any holes in it. The Commission understands some events may not occur for this next year’s cycle, which would also free up some additional funds. If an event does not occur, the NHDDC will have to ask for the money they funded to be returned. For the next budget an agreement will have to be signed to cover this.