Despite challenges, Christmas Fest fireworks will go on as planned with sponsorship from Cane River Waterway Commission

There’s no need to worry because the Christmas Festival fireworks will take place this year. However, organizers have been struggling with the logistical nightmare Covid and a lack of workforce have created.

Everyone has surely noticed the lack of proper stock in some grocery stores. As hard as it is to get food shipped into the country currently, it’s worse with fireworks because of all the regulations placed on explosive materials. And with the delays in deliveries of shipping containers from China, fireworks are often put on the back burner.

Shipping costs have tripled, only a few ports in the United States allow explosives, so Christmas Festival Fireworks Organizer Craig George said his shipments are being transferred from the normal ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles, to a port in New Jersey. The next problem is the lack of truckers who have special credentials to transport hazardous materials (fireworks). Even the rail companies are having a hard time getting containers from the ships to the trucks. Ocean freight is three times as high as it used to be, trucking fees have doubled and fuel expenses aren’t helping.

So factor all these challenges in, and there was no way for the Christmas Festival Committee to get the same fireworks show they’re used to for the same amount they used to pay in the past. To ensure that festival attendees could enjoy the same great fireworks show that Natchitoches is known for, the committee reached out to the Cane River Waterway Commission for some support. The CRWC agreed to be a $25,000 sponsor. The commission sponsors a few events on the downtown riverbank like TappedTober and the Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival. The goal is always to bring more attention to Cane River.

“The fireworks are a big draw and we didn’t want to have to cut them back,” said Christmas Festival Director of Promotions and Event Jill Leo.