BEST OF 2022: Mayor Williams- Blackout View of the Riverbank and Cane River Lake

This Best of the NPJ for 2022 story was originally published on May 9, 2022.

Keith Frank called upon the City of Natchitoches as a venue for his latest concert. The Creole Renaissance Foundation presented Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band on the beautiful stage in downtown Natchitoches. The event attracted people from all over including neighboring cities and states. While Keith Frank’s team erected a barrier to block the view of onlookers from Front Street, the melodic zydeco tunes filled the air of downtown and beyond. Our city is poised to attract even more talent. The City of Natchitoches remains poised to attract other talent and spotlight our city for the jewel it is. Given my continuous improvement mindset, the city will be persistent in process overview and implementation regarding future events.

Ronnie Williams, Mayor
May 9, 2022

Photo: Carbo Landscape/City of Natchitoches

Original Article: Black tarp blocks habitual bystanders from riverbank concert

There’s been a bit of recent buzz on social media over a black tarp being used to obstruct the view of the downtown riverbank stage during a concert. Comments expressed concern over the “tacky” look of the tarp in the historic district and how it might make tourists shy away from what is otherwise a scenic destination.

The NPJ reached out to Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. to see if the City had prior knowledge that the obstruction would be put in place. The mayor said he was working on a statement to be released soon. (See ABOVE)

The Keith Frank concert on May 6 was a ticketed event put on by the Creole Renaissance Foundation. The riverbank area was rented for the event.

During ticketed concerts on the downtown riverbank, there is usually a large crowd enjoying the music from their vantage point on Front Street, which is outside of the ticketed area. The black tarp obstructed this view from Church Street to Lafayette. The goal seems to be to prevent anyone from enjoying the event without paying. Upon reflection, this must be the first time this tactic has been used in Natchitoches: blocking the view to an outdoor event in an area normally open to the public.