The Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will partner with the Louisiana Office of Tourism as sponsors of the 2024 Tournament of Roses Parade. With a parade viewership of over 45 million people, Natchitoches will be featured as a member of the Louisiana delegation along with Shreveport-Bossier TCB, Visit Baton Rouge, Lafayette CVB, Visit Lake Charles, Tangipahoa Parish Tourism and New Orleans and Company.
With activities spread out over several days, Natchitoches will be able to garner attention from around the world. This popular event will culminate with the one of a kind Rose Parade to air on national television, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. Since 1890, the Tournament of Roses has produced America’s New Year Celebration, bringing the traditions of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game to Pasadena and the world for over 130 years. The 2024 Tournament of Roses’ theme is “Celebrating a World of Music”. Natchitoches is home to someone who has been celebrating, and sharing, a World of Music for decades and we are excited to announce that Katrice LaCour will serve as the Natchitoches Float Rider.
“Katrice embodies his Creole roots and musical culture that is like no other and was the perfect choice to represent Natchitoches at this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade. We are grateful for the many years of teaching music to our Natchitoches Parish students and he deserves this honor and experience. He has provided wonderful experiences over the years traveling with his students to perform around the country”, said Arlene Gould, Executive Director for the Natchitoches CBV. “With the theme of “Celebrating A World of Music,” it is fitting that Katrice be our rider. Last year Miss Merry Christmas, Emma ‘Rose’ Giddens rode in the Rose parade representing Natchitoches and it was a wonderful opportunity and experience that we are proud to be a part of again this year with Mr. LaCour.”
LaCour, an award winning music instructor has a teaching career covering twenty years in Natchitoches Parish. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Grambling State University. He was an active member in the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band, Grambling Orchestra, Ruston Civic Symphony, Grambling Jazz Ensemble, and a member of Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity. He is also the lead singer, bass and trumpet player for the popular local band, The LaCour Trio.
His first position after obtaining his degree was Orchestra and Band Director at Campti /Lakeview Jr/Sr High School. Throughout his teaching career, LaCour remained active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician of numerous Honor Orchestras and Festivals. His ensembles have participated in numerous L.M.E.A. and National Festivals. Additionally, on numerous occasions he was a recipient of the Mayor’s Award in Natchitoches for his community service with the orchestra.
He is currently the Orchestra Director for the Northwestern State University Elementary/Middle Laboratory school in Natchitoches. In 2017 his middle school orchestra won Gold in the high school division at Festival Disney followed by a Performance at Carnegie Hall in 2019. That same year the Orchestra performed for Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. In 2014 he was elected Orchestra Division chairman for L.M.E.A. and has held that position for the past 10 years. During the 2022-23 school year, LaCour’s students would return to Disney and receive Best in Class and First Place overall for the N.S.U. Middle Lab School Orchestra under his leadership. In May 2023, Lacour was recognized for his international recognition and accomplishments on the House and Senate Floor of the State Capitol with Senate Concurrent Resolution No 35 and 36. LaCour will be inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame in Baton Rouge during the L.M.E.A. annual music conference on November 18, 2023.
LaCour also has an extensive performance career. In October 2020, he was inducted into the Folk Music Hall of Fame by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser for his performance of French Creole Music on the accordion across the state of Louisiana and Texas, among many other awards.
The 2024 Louisiana float features a larger-than-life Mardi Gras jester, fleur de lis and second-line inspired umbrellas. What better place than Louisiana to highlight the world of music and Mardi Gras? Just the words “Mardi Gras” conjure up images of spectacular parades with floats and unbelievable costumes, such as the renowned Mardi Gras Indians, to beads and, of course, the trademark colors of purple, green, and gold representing justice, faith, and power. From boat parades to pet parades, and from chasing chickens to pink flamingos, our one-of-a-kind culture and rich, diverse history results in offbeat, authentic, and family-friendly experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Each Mardi Gras celebration is defined by who we are and the people who live in those communities, which is why no two celebrations are alike. Louisiana has over 400 festivals throughout the state every year, the biggest and most unique of those celebrations is Mardi Gras. No one throws a parade or speaks the language of music better than Louisianans. Once again, Louisiana will provide mid-parade entertainment. Stay tuned for an exciting reveal of all the thrilling details about the Louisiana performance and riders.