The 2023 Christmas season began in grand style at the “Turn on the Holidays” event Saturday, November 18 in downtown Natchitoches. The riverbank was the place to be for family fun as thousands of visitors enjoyed a free concert from Louisiana Red and the legendary local favorite, the Kelli Roberts Band. Visitors also enjoyed shopping and dining along the iconic bricks of Front Street.
The evening’s penultimate event was Miss Merry Christmas and the Christmas Belles flipping the switch as the audience counted down to zero and lit up Cane River with a myriad of lights. Miss Merry Christmas and the Belles were joined by the Christmas Angels, Miss City of Lights. Miss Cane River, and Miss Natchitoches Parish. The turning on of the lights was followed by one of Natchitoches’ iconic fireworks shows. The fireworks have been an integral part of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival for 87 of the show’s 97 years and are a perennial crowd favorite.
The Natchitoches Christmas Festival is in its 97th year of delivering holiday fun and building family memories. It has grown over the years from a local event into an internationally recognized festival. The Natchitoches Christmas Festival won the 2018 Southeastern Tourism Society’s “Shining Example Award” as a top twenty festival of the year. The Natchitoches Christmas Lights are the oldest, and in the Natchitoches Parish Journal’s opinion, far and away the finest, component of the multi-city “Trail of Lights” that stretches across central and northern Louisiana.
With thousands of lights, fireworks, concerts and the festival day’s events, there is nothing quite like the Christmas season in Natchitoches!