Natchitoches, Louisiana is blessed with natural beauty, numerous historic sites, and holds the title of the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. It also has the longest-running Christmas Festival in the nation. What a great reason to visit this National Historic Landmark District and see this epic Christmas celebration event.
For 96 years, the Christmas season is celebrated like none other in Natchitoches. This festival is full of excitement and is visually stunning. It is filled with music, entertainment, arts and crafts, food vendors, and their famous firework show. What makes the fireworks so special is that they are choreographed to holiday music, reflecting all the vibrant colors over the Cane River. This festival is very impressive and is honestly like being on a movie set, it’s very picturesque.
I was shocked to learn how long this festival lasts; it runs for 45 nights showing off the spectacular Christmas lights and fireworks over the Cane River. It’s really a sight to see…and don’t miss the beautiful Christmas Parade, as lighted barges parade on the river! Also, be sure to go early in the day for the “Christmas by Candlelight Tour of Homes” sponsored by the Historical Society. We really enjoyed these tours as we learned so much about the city’s history, and saw Christmas decorations and crafts from long ago.
Throughout the festival, you’ll find food booths stocked by local restaurants and home-bakers, along with the popular and legendary Natchitoches meat pies, this is a must. One of my favorite memories was riding around in a horse-drawn carriage. Cane River Carriage Rides offers the best tours all around town.
Natchitoches’ Christmas Festival of Lights is truly unique and enchanting. There is something really magical about this charming southern town and this wonderful Christmas tradition that is for everyone to enjoy!
Check out their website for schedules and details.