NHDDC meets briefly for August meeting, talks event updates and cancellations

The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) held a brief Zoom meeting on Aug. 20. The commission is still in holding patterns as far as their financials are concerned because it’s still waiting on the state government to approve a budget. The commission doesn’t know what cuts may look like if they’re made, so it will have to look at what it’s able to fund for next year once members have a better idea of their budget.

Mayor Posey logged onto the meeting for a moment to thank the commission because, “Ya’ll are one of the collaborative partners in this community that makes it so special.” He went on to introduce Mayor Elect Ronnie Williams who logged on to meet commission members, and learn a little bit about the NHDDC and what it does.

Williams commended Posey for making his transition into office as smooth as possible.

“I really appreciate that,” he said.

Updates included the following:

NSU

It’s been a week to say the least with Covid protocols and seeing all the students, but Northwestern State University’s enrollment numbers are looking good.

Classes were transitioned to high-flex classes so students switch days of the week for going to class face-to-face versus listening in online. This helps cut the number of students in a classroom at any given time in half. It’s working well.

HDBA – Main Street Office

September 11-12: Lady Bass Anglers Association will hold its Tournament in Natchitoches. In conjunction, on Sept. 5 from 2-3:30 pm the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum will hold a “Get Hooked” event that’s free and open to the community.

Oct. 2-3: Classic Car Show

Oct. 9: Crows on the Cane Scarecrow Contest

Oct. 10-14: Fall Dates for Natchitoches Farmers Market

Oct. 23-24: NSU Rowing Regatta

At this point the Historic District Business Association (HDBA) doesn’t know what Christmas Fest will look like but it’ll still turn on the lights starting on Nov. 21.

NPS

Hot Yoga class for Sept. 12 was cancelled

Find Your Park Harvest Festival in October was cancelled

The Cane River Creole National Historic Parks (Oakland and Magnolia Plantations) are entering Phase 2 on Aug. 28 so visitor restrooms will be reopened. There will also be an outdoor visitor services tent and limited guided ground tours with NPS staff.

The NPS is participating with the City on a “Forward the Light” Campaign, which is a nationwide event to to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote by illuminating the historic Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot on the evening of Wednesday, August 26. The structure, located at 607 Trudeau St/Depot St, will be lit from 8 pm to 10 pm.

The NPS also has a youth hiring opportunity to work at the parks from September to March where the employee will get to experience preserving historic buildings and grounds.

Tourist Commission

July was a pretty decent month as far as visitors to Natchitoches go, but that’s thanks in large part to the travel ball tournaments in town. The Tourist Office is still seeing visitors despite Covid. Natchitoches makes it easy to social distance.

CRNHA

The Cane River National Heritage Area (CRNHA) is installing signs at the Grady Erwin Trails, along with other auto directional signs on roadways.

The Natchitoches App is doing well. A significant uptick in usage has been noticed, thanks in part to travel ball. People are downloading the app, shopping and eating at restaurants while they’re in town.

Walking tours will begin again toward the end of October

NHF

Oct. 9: American Cemetery Tours

The Natchitoches Historic Foundation (NHF) is trying to think outside the box for activities or event for the Christmas season, particularly the Christmas Tour of Homes.

APHN

Fall Tour of Homes is cancelled

Oct. 10-11: Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival

St. Augustine Church Fair was cancelled

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) is thinking about expanding tours at Melrose because they’ve been very popular.