Natchitoches features plenty of tourism options for Prep Classic attendees

NATCHITOCHES – Avid followers of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association cross country championships are more than familiar with the bevy of tourism options for visitors to Natchitoches.

Even those veteran visitors who find their way to town for next week’s LHSAA Prep Classic state football championships will learn the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase remains a tourist haven in the final week of the year.

The renowned Christmas lights, a display that recently garnered top-10 national acclaim from USA TODAY, remain lit throughout the season and there will be a fireworks show Dec. 26, the night before the nine-game football slate kicks off at Turpin Stadium at 1 p.m. Dec. 27.

In addition to the yearly lights display, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum will have extended hours and days during the championships, allowing prep football fans from across the state to take in the rich tapestry of Louisiana sports at every level.

The museum, which typically is closed on Sundays and Mondays, will be open throughout the Prep Classic Dec. 27-30 daily from 10 a.m. -4:30 p.m. (last ticket sold at 4 p.m.). Guests who mention they are in town for the Prep Classic receive $1 off admission. Admission before the discount is applied is $6 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, and military, with children 6 and under admitted free. State pandemic guidelines limit museum capacity to 250 people and no groups larger than 8 family members. Masking is required. For more information on the museum, visit http://www.LaSportsHall.com.

Alongside the lights and the Hall of Fame, Front Street offers a cadre of locally owned restaurants and shops. A short distance from Front Street, the hub of downtown Natchitoches, is the Steel Magnolia House, where much of the 1989 film of the same name was filmed.

For all information surrounding the LHSAA Prep Classic, visit www.nsudemons.com/lhsaaprepclassic.