NHDDC discusses ‘Parade Your Valentine,’ Pub Crawl, other upcoming events

The first meeting of the new year for the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) was full of tentative hope as the representatives from different offices and organizations as they discussed upcoming events.

Natchitoches Main Street Office Director Jill Leo summed it up best when she said, “We’re in a new year, but we’re still not out of the woods yet.” She shared that her office still has some events on its calendar.

Since everyone is disappointed with the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade this year, Leo shared that in conjunction with “Go Natchitoches” and “Shop Local” efforts a campaign will be rolled out for Feb. 13 called “Parade Your Valentine.” So far the plan includes live music spread across the downtown area from 10 am – 5 pm with restaurants scheduling music for the evening hours. Specials are being planned at the restaurants and there might even be a second line parading on the sidewalk. More information will be released soon.

Leo also hopes to get the empty shop windows on the South end of Front Street repainted with a spring theme soon.

The news from Northwestern State University was good as classes are back in session with flex scheduling. A lot of campus life is going on and they’re starting to plan events safely with a 75 person maximum limit for on campus events.

N-Side View Day is coming up on March 6, which correlates with a home football game. There’s five other sporting events scheduled on that day as well. Homecoming is scheduled for March 20.

The final numbers for the Christmas Festival aren’t in yet but it wasn’t as bad as some feared it might be due to the pandemic. According to the Historic District Business Association (HDBA), the lighted boat parade created a lot of interest. Closing front street and using more technology at the booths worked really well and may be something to look at for future years.

News from the Tourist Office included fishing tournaments slated to happen at Grand Ecore landing in February. One is a high school bass tournament on Feb. 5-6 and the other is an adult tournament on Feb. 26-28. The Cane River Film Festival is also looking at holding its event on March 19-20.

Cane River Creole National Historic Park will illuminate Oakland Plantation on Feb. 20 and Magnolia Plantation on Feb. 27 in honor of black history month.

The Cane River National Heritage Area is continuing its walking tours in the historic district and Los Adaes hosted its first field trip since February, 2020.

The Natchitoches Historic Foundation (NHF) reported that its Christmas Tour of Homes was successful with people coming out despite the rainy weather.

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) is planning a membership reception at Melrose in the spring. Tours at Melrose are suspended on Thursdays starting Feb. 1. This is a temporary measure as they’re not seeing many people visiting on this day of the week. Vendors are still showing a really big interest in the annual arts and crafts festival so APHN plans on having it.

Upcoming events include:

Feb. 27 – Pub Crawl with the Holo Decks Concert
March 6 – Reading on the River
March 13 – Bloomin’ on the Bricks and CAPA on the Cane
March 13 – Home and Garden Expo at the Events Center
April 16 – NSU Steel Band Concert
April 25 – NSU Band: Concert on the Cane
May 21-22 – Jazz R&B Festival
June 17-19 – Lady Anglers Bass Tournament
June 25 – Sports Hall of Fame Induction

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