The 46th Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival – a Beloved Community Tradition

By Kevin Shannahan

The 46th Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival was held over the weekend of October 17-18 on the grounds of the historic plantation. The iconic local event is sponsored by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN.)

Hundreds of visitors enjoyed 60 vendors sited throughout the grounds selling a wide variety of arts and crafts as well as food and drinks. Students from NSU’s Presidential Leadership Program and St. Augustine Catholic Church’s Confraternity of Christian Mothers were joined by volunteers from throughout the community in assisting the hundreds of plantation visitors. The Calico Belles, a group of young ladies aged 13-18 gave tours of the various buildings on Melrose. The Calico Belles have been a long-standing community tradition for generations of young women in our parish.

The Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival is one of the major fundraisers for the APHN. The proceeds are used for the maintenance, upkeep and associated expenses of the plantation grounds and buildings. This year has seen two hurricanes pass through that uprooted several trees and damaged some of the buildings, making the need for funds all the more urgent. The Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival is a community tradition, one of the many events that makes life in our community special.

If you would like to donate your time or resources to the APHN’s efforts in preserving our area’s history, please contact Dr. Vicki Parrish at 318-355-8317.