NHDDC discusses funding, Christmas decorations, Christmas Festival and more during October meeting

There was good news during the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission’s virtual meeting on Oct. 15 regarding the organization’s annual budget. They’ve heard from the state that they can expect full funding. The check should arrive in the near future and they hope to confirm their full funding at the November meeting.

Kelli West, director of marketing and communication at the Natchitoches Tourist Office said some concern has been voiced over the eyesore created on the south end of Front Street by the vacant building left over from the fire that occurred earlier this year. Some ideas include the installation of art pieces or covering up the windows with paintings themed to the season until renovations can be completed.

West also gave an update on a collaboration effort with the Natchitoches Historic Foundation to diversity events during the upcoming holiday season. The Tourist Office will work with the NHF to encourage bed & breakfasts to participate in a door/front porch Christmas decorating contest. This will help social distance tourists as they walk through the downtown area and admire historic homes. Of course, all residents are welcome to join in the festivities by decorating their homes as well.

Speaking of Christmas, the parade for the Natchitoches Christmas Festival has been cancelled and Festival Day will be scaled down. While the Historic District Business Association (HDBA) is still awaiting final approval from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, they’re planning on moving forward with live music and fireworks every weekend. If they get approval to move forward, there will be a limited number of people allowed on the downtown riverbank. This means there will only be a certain number of tickets for sale. Front Street and the rest of the downtown area will be open to the public.

On Festival Day the Women’s Resource Center will still have Arts & Crafts booths set up in the City Bank parking lot. The HDBA is working on holding the lighted boat parade again, along with Cookies with Santa and a few other elements that they’ll release information on soon.

The Cane River National Heritage Area (CRNHA) released its 2020 Grants Program application and guidelines on Oct. 5. Now in its twentieth cycle, the CRNHA Grant Program provides funding to local, regional, state, and out of state entities, as well as individuals, for projects that contribute to the conservation of the Cane River region’s unique historical, cultural, and natural resources.

All grant applications must be received by Nov. 13 at 5 pm CST. For more information or request a copy of the grant application and guidelines, contact Logan Schlatre at (318) 356-5555.

Walkg Tours have started running again. Hours of Operation are Wednesday – Friday at 10 am and 1 pm and Saturday at 10 am. Due to COVID-19 all walking tours have a group limit of 10 people or less, and masks are required. For questions, call 318-356-5555.

Other upcoming events include:

Scarecrow Contest: Oct. 16
Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival: Oct. 17-18
Modern in Motion: Oct. 18-19
Farmers Market: Oct. 17 from 8 am – 12 pm
NSU Drums Along the River: Oct. 23
Pumpkin Glow: Oct. 29
Witch Way to Main Street: Oct. 31 from 9-11 am
Veterans Day Program: Nov. 11
NCHS Pep Rally: Nov. 12
Turn on the Holidays: Nov. 21
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Dec. 15-17
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Rockin’ on the River Concert: Dec. 16
Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting and Tasting for New Business (Local Flavor): Nov. 5