NHDDC discusses budgets and upcoming events

The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) discussed next year’s budget at its April 15 meeting. Due to Covid restrictions not all of the events the NHDDC normally sponsors were able to occur over the past year. This means there will be an amount they’re able to carry over, but the exact number hasn’t been determined yet. At this time, the NHDDC is planning to continue as they’ve done in the past as far as funding events and is hopeful that a lot of them will be able to occur later on this year. One event that they’re sure is happening is the Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival on May 22. A similar budget will be proposed as in previous years

The NHDDC is interested in bringing back facade grants. Commercial entities who have contributing structures in the Historic District can apply for facade grants to include painting, or other work approved by the Historic District Commission. $10,000 would be taken out of special projects and put into a separate line item, which would be matched by the Cane River National Heritage Area. There will be an application process and a committee that will review the submissions so the NHDDC is still figuring out all the details. This will be part of the budget proposal and will be voted on at a later meeting before the new fiscal year.

Other business items included:

NSU:
Prospective numbers look great for entering freshmen. Applications were 14% higher than last year. May 6,7, and 8 are graduation dates.

NHF:
The Natchitoches Historic Foundation will hold a membership event at the Roque House on Sunday, May 2 from 5-7 pm.

Main Street:
The Northwestern State University Steel Band will perform Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fleur de Lis Stage at the Natchitoches Downtown Riverbank. Admission is free and open to the public.

Benton High School’s band will perform at the Fleur de Lis Stage at the Natchitoches Downtown Riverbank on Saturday, April 17 at 6:30 pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
April 27- The Natchitoches Northwestern Symphony Society. Admission is free and open to the public.
April 22- Citywide Cleanup for Earth Day from 9-11 am
April 24-July 31- Natchitoches Farmers Market
May 2- British Brass Band. Admission is free and open to the public.
May 7-8- Sale on the Trail

June and July- Natchitoches Parish Summer Reading Program on the downtown riverbank stage on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9-11:30 am

June 18- Lady Bass Anglers Tournament

June 25 and August 27- Friday night riverbank concerts that coincide with Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies

May 8, 15, 22 and 29- Lecture Series at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

July- The Main Street Office is working on new activities to bring people to Natchitoches, which is usually a down time for the Historic District. July 4 falls on a Sunday, so fireworks will be moved to July 3 and that will kick off the July festivities. Main Street is looking at having live music on the downtown riverbank stage every Saturday night in July. They’re working with the NSU Folk Festival, who will be putting on some unplugged music sessions at the La Sports Hall of Fame for 6 Saturdays. Details are still in the works.

Mid July- Restaurant week (More details will be announced)

Tourist Office:
Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival- April 17-18

May 2-8- National Travel and Tourism Week (Celebration at Fort St. Jean Baptiste Friday, May 7 at 2 pm and a community wide cleanup event on May 3)

October- FAM Tour with Group Travel through the Louisiana Office of Tourism

November- LACVB will hold its annual statewide meeting in Natchitoches

November 28- Pre-FAM Tour out of Shreveport for Travel South International, which is being held in New Orleans. They will be coming through Natchitoches during the Christmas Festival season.

Cane River National Heritage Area:

Fort Jessup will host a Mother Daughter Historic Tea that’s open for registration on May 8 in conjunction with the Sale on the Trail. More information is available through the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission.

April 23-24- The Choctaw Apache Tribe of Ebarb will host its annual Spring Pow Wow. This event is open to the public.

NPS:

April 17- Night Photography Workshop

April 23- The NPS will be part of the Lunchtime Lagniappe Series at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

April 17-24- National Park Week. New APP will be launched consisting of all 400 parks.

The NPS will hold a Train Depot Tuesday Series on Social Media to prepare for the Natchitoches Train Depot project. Each week will address a different part of the depot historically and talk about its features and what it will be used for

Late May- The NPS will hold two community meetings regarding the Train Depot restoration project (Details will be released soon).