Louisiana's oldest town salutes state's bicentennial during annual Festival of Lights celebration

 NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA … Celebrate the joy of the Christmas season with a visit to historic Natchitoches.

The holiday season officially kicks off on November 17 with “Turn on the Holidays,” an entire day of free family entertainment on the downtown riverbank.  Events will include numerous children’s activities, entertainment, arts and crafts vendors and food vendors.  A special edition to the event this year will be a ‘Salute to Louisiana's Bicentennial’ presented by the Holiday Trail of Lights, the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The highlight of the day will be official turning on of thousands of Christmas lights followed by a grand fireworks display.  Live entertainment will be provided by Tab Benoit.

The entire Festival of Lights season runs from November 17 through January 6, 2013. Thousands of Christmas lights are on daily at dusk illuminating the downtown district and the Cane River Lake.

On November 23-24, December 14-16 and 21-23 bring the entire family out to enjoy “Snow Fest” in Natchitoches.  Experience Frosty’s Avalanche Slide featuring tubing down 110 ft of totally awesome winter fun.  If your child doesn’t meet the height requirement for the slide, then there will be numerous other children activities available for them to enjoy.

Don’t forget about our other holiday attractions and events.  Carriage tours will be available for evening tours through the National Landmark Historic District. The shops in the Historic District will be open and selling their festive decorations, unique gifts and clothing, including the Christmas Festival T-Shirt.  There will be live entertainment on Saturday nights in December followed by a grand fireworks show.

The 86th annual Christmas Festival will take place Saturday, December 1 in downtown Natchitoches. Food and craft vendors will be in place and the shops will stay open late. There will be a daylong celebration filled with live

entertainment, arts, crafts and food vendors, two parades, fireworks extravaganza and a spectacular laser show.

The Christmas by Candlelight Holiday Tour of Homes will take place during the 2nd and 3rd weeks in December. The Tour will feature several historic homes decorated for the holidays. Visit www.historicfoundation.com for more details.

For more information, visit the Festival of Lights web page at www.christmasfestival.com or call the Christmas Festival Office at (318) 352-6894 or the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714.


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