December 22, 2008

Webster Parish: January-April 2009 Events

January 17th, The Krewe of Artemis-Springhill Mardi Gras Ball in Springhill, 318-539-4717, www.springhilllouisiana.net.

February 7th, Main Street Mardi Gras Parade in Springhill at 1:00 p.m., 318-539-5699.
February 7th, Main Street Mardi Gras Parade in Minden at 5:00 p.m., 318-371-4258.

March 29th, Spring Fling at Yellow Pine Inn in Sibley. This annual event features a tour of the historic Yellow Pine Inn listed in the National Register, as well as a plant sale and swap, antiques, collectibles and craft items. For more information, call 318-377-3600 or visit www.yellowpineinn.com.

April 4th, Scottish Tartan Festival, Scotland Farms just north of Minden off Hwy. 79 at the Athens Road. Events include the Celtic Run, Bagpipe and Scottish Fiddling competitions and demos and begin at 9:00 a.m. A Highland Feast on the Beast lunch will be served at a cost of $5.00. Parking: $3.00 per car. For more information, call 318-798-6771 or www.scottishsocietyla.com.

April 23rd-25th, Spring Arts Festival presented by Cultural Crossroads at the Farm located at the corner of East Union and Talton Streets in Minden. Festival Theme: “Pharaoh’s Favorite” Celebrate the history, culture and art of ancient Egypt. Featuring childrens’ art contests, adult workshops, exhibits, live entertainment including live theater, dance and music. Admission for adults: $3.00, free for students. For more information, call 318-393-5991 or www.artsinminden.com.

Source: Webster Parish Convention and Visitor's Bureau
www.visitwebster.com/calendar.htm
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December 18, 2008

Game ideas and tips for traveling with children

Fun ideas for traveling with children

Small dry erase board to play games like tic-tac-toe, hangman, etc.
Music/Story on CD's
Variety of snacks in Ziploc bags - trail mix, crackers, etc.
Hand sanitizer
Water bottles with children's initials

List of fun games:
  • ABC game - find billboards & license plates with letters - be the 1st to complete the list of A-Z
  • Lines & Dots - make a grid of dots - connect 2 dots together and then it's another person's turn - once you complete a square you put your initials inside - the person with the most squares wins!
  • License Plates - for long trips see how many different states you can find and keep a list
  • Rock/Paper/Scissors - the traditional game

Here are some helpful websites.

Tips from the Transportation Security Administration

Traveling with Children with disabilities

Top 10 Safety Tips for Traveling with Children from Airsafe.com

Great website with lots of ideas for car travel games and road trip ideas for kids of all ages

Seven ways to keep your children occupied while traveling
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Enjoy the Alexandria Zoo all year long by becoming a Friend of the Zoo

Great gift idea for families, children, grandparents and animal lovers, purchase a Friend of the Zoo Membership to the Alexandria Zoological Park. It's a gift that can be enjoyed all year long. Support the Zoo, enjoy educational exhibits, ride the train and explore the wildlife habitats of the zoo.

To become a Friend of the Alexandria Zoo (FOTAZ) click here and fill out and mail the form along with your payment to the zoo. It's that simple.

There are memberships ranging in price from $30.00 for an individual, $50.00 for a family up to $1,000 for a "Platinum Friend". Each membership level has benefits including free admission to the zoo on certain days. Some events are excluded.

Give a membership to the zoo and make some memories throughout the year while supporting Central Louisiana's Zoo. It's a great place for family fun, entertainment and education.

For more information about the Alexandria Zoological Park and the programs and events offered, click here.

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Looking for a unique way to celebrate Christmas this year, travel to the Alexandria Zoological Park

Enjoy the Christmas Season with a trip to the Alexandria Zoological Park in Alexandria, Louisiana and enjoy the lights and animals during the Holiday Light Safari, December 19th-23rd from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children ages 3-12, $2.50 for Seniors aged 65 and older, Friends of the Alexandria Zoo Members are free with card and ID. Train rides cost $1.50 for ages 1 and up. Group rates are available, contact the zoo for more information.

www.thealexandriazoo.com/events/index.html

Source: Alexandria Zoological Park website
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December 17, 2008

Union Parish: New Businesses Open

On November 18th, Fabulous Foods and Fancy Flea, located at 302 East Boundary in Farmerville, opened for business. Fabulous Foods offers catering, party dishes, desserts and pre-made casseroles. For those looking for unique gifts, jewelry, glassware, gift baskets or jewelry then visit Fancy Flea.

The grand opening of Holliday's Thunder in Farmerville took place on December 8th. Holliday's Thunder has go-carts, ATVs, motorcycles and mopeds. The new business is located at 1105 Marion Highway in Farmerville, Louisiana. Come out and support this new local Louisiana business.
Bren's Silks, Weddings and Balloons also opened and is located on the premises of Holliday's Thunder and ready to serve the area.

Source: Union Parish Chamber Newsletter

December 08, 2008

Christmas by Candlelight Tour of Homes, presented by the Natchitoches Historic Foundation

Since its beginning in 1927, the Festival of Lights has grown into Louisiana’s premier community based Yule time celebration and is one of the oldest celebrations in the United States.

During the holiday season Natchitoches has much more to offer than 300,000 Christmas lights and over 100 displays. In addition, the Natchitoches Historic Foundation will present its annual Christmas by Candlelight Holiday Tour of Homes during the 2nd and 3rd weeks in December.

Homes featured on the tour this Festival season include Samuel Guy, Rusca House, Violet Hill, Nakatosh Condos, Cypress Place, Poete Street Condos, Two Goose, Green Gables, Tante Huppe and Secret Garden.

The schedule for the homes is as listed:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 5 – 8 p.m.:
Samuel Guy, Violet Hill and Two Goose

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 from 5 – 8 p.m.:
Rusca House, Violet Hill and Two Goose

Friday, December 12 and 19, 2008 from 5 – 8 p.m.:
Nakatosh Condos, Cypress Place and Poete Street Condos

Saturday, December 13 and 20, 2008 from 1 - 4 p.m.:
Green Gables, Tante Huppe and Secret Garden


Built in 1850 by Samuel Eldridge Guy, the Samuel Guy House, 309 Pine Street, was the centerpiece of a working plantation. The house remained in the Guy family for 150 years prior to being moved by its current owners from Mansfield to Natchitoches in 2002. The house is two stories and is of Greek Revival architecture. It contains such features as an ornate, oversized front entrance, Greek temple dormers and a symmetrical floor plan featuring a central hallway flanked by two rooms on both sides. The house operates as a bed and breakfast.

Violet Hill located at 917 Washington Street was built between 1880 and 1890 and owned by Genoe heirs. Violet Hill, also known to locals as the Lawton/Poleman/Gibson home, has served as home to Natchitoches Ice Company, Ltd., and the Cottage Sanitarium. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was recently renovated and operates as a bed and breakfast. The property can be viewed on the web at www.violethillbandb.com.

Inspired by a house that was featured in the February 1949 issue of House and Garden Magazine, Two Goose was constructed for Alvin and Annette DeBlieux. Due to the length of time to construct this charming house on Cane River, local residents commented that it took so long for the house to be built, that the geese had flown over it twice, thus providing the house’s name. The DeBlieux family resided there until 1971 and the house was rented for a decade. The house is located at 416 Williams Avenue, and was purchased by the present owners in 1981 who lovingly restored it.

The Rusca House is a California Bungalow style home which was built in 1920 by Joseph "J.D." Rusca and Pearl Kyle Rusca. The Rusca's raised their four children in the home and resided in the home until J.D. Rusca's death in 1968. The Rusca House was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Sylvian LeVasseur, Sr. in the 1970s and was purchased from the LeVasseur family by its present owners in 1999. The Rusca House has been totally refurbished to its original beauty. The property is located at 124 rue Poete and operates as a bed and breakfast. Visit www.ruschahouse.com.

The Nakatosh Condos are located on the corner of Church and Front Street was once the site for the LeCompte Creole Townhouse, the largest and most opulent townhouse in Natchitoches. It was built in 1822 by Ambrose LeCompte, who also owned Magnolia Plantation on lower Cane River. The townhouse was demolished circa 1888 in order to build the Nakatosh Hotel, which thrived until the 1950s. The hotel remained closed for over thirty years until it was recently converted into condominiums, which overlook downtown and Cane River.

Built in 1908, Cypress Place is a two-story Victorian home that features a raised porch, high ceilings and Victorian furnishings. The front parlor is original and includes wood walls and a patched wood ceiling. The parlor contains French and English antiques. Located at 146 rue Cypress.

Built in 1890’s by Estelle Ducourneau Plôchè as a wedding gift for her niece, Green Gables is a one-story Victorian house that includes a wraparound front gallery, ornate fireplaces and stained glass windows. The décor includes original art and eclectic antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. This house, located at 201 rue Pine, operates as a bed and breakfast. Visit www.virtualcities.com/la/greengables.htm

Miss Julie Prudhomme opened the doors of her home, later named Tante Huppe, to visitors participating in the first tour of homes in 1955. This historic townhouse was built between 1827 and 1853. The old slave quarters at the rear of the house have an unusual winding staircase associated with European Creole families. This house operates as a bed and breakfast and is located at 424 Jefferson Street. Visit www.tantehuppe.com.

As the last surviving hand crafted Dutch Colonial residence in northwest Louisiana, this 1924 cottage has been restored by local artisans. Over 10,000 square feet, it features hidden rooms, secret spaces and beautiful stairways. Family antique furnishings from area plantations and original art found during the seven-year restoration make for a memorable holiday experience. Open to the public for the first time in 84 years, each room contains a Christmas tree and decorations that feature different themes. This property is located at 330 Williams Avenue.

Over 500,000 visitors flock to this charming historic town during the holiday season.

For more information on the Holiday Tour of Homes or for a complete schedule of homes, visit the Natchitoches Historic Foundation online at www.historicfoundation.org. For more information on the weekend’s events, contact the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or online at www.natchitoches.net.

Source: Latisha McDaniel, Media & Public Relations, Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

December 05, 2008

Products made in Richland Parish

Eat Louisiana Sweet Potatoes.

Dawson Farms in Delhi, Louisiana carries the Original Beauregard Sweet Potato and their new Sweet Potato Seasoning.

Sweet potatos are nutritious, fat-free, and are a great source for vitamins A & C.

Dawson Farms, 2305 Highway 17, Delhi, Louisiana 71232. For more information call: 318 878-5806 or 318 878-0068 or visit www.dawsonfarms.com. Try these Sweet Potato Recipes from Dawson Farms.

Purchase produce from the USA grown right here in North Louisiana.

Source: Dawson Farms Website
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Stuff those stockings with peppermints, candy sticks and peanut patties from Louisiana

The Dumas Candy Company which began in the 1930s by the Jeffries family was known as the El Dorado Candy Company. The name was changed to the Dumas Candy Company in 1949 when H.E. Dumas bought the company. In 1987, Dave Johnson purchased the Dumas Candy Company and moved it to Delhi, Louisiana. Even though the company changed hands, the same recipes which are over 50 years old are still used today.

What a great stocking stuffer, Sunday school or teacher gift, for birthday goodie bags, Valentine's Day, bridal shower, any special occasion or any time.

Dumas Candy Company carries natural peanut patties, peanut patties, fruit bites, peppermint bites, pure sugar soft cut minis, pure sugar sticks, giant peppermint sticks, old fashioned sticks and a gift box of assorted candies.

All of the candy is manufactured in Louisiana. Purchase candy that you know is made in the USA!

To purchase products or or more information contact the Dumas Candy Company, 153 Superior Drive, Delhi, LA 71232, call 1-800-256-9973 or 1-318-878-2294 or visit www.dumascandy.com.

Source: Dumas Candy Company website
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December 04, 2008

Christmas in Caldwell Parish

The Caldwell Country Christmas Parade is held the first Saturday in December at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Columbia. Enjoy fireworks after the parade. For more information contact the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce at 318-649-0726.
Union Parish Chamber of Commerce
Retail Merchants Council
invites you to the annual
Holiday Shop - UP


Christmas Open House Celebrations at area merchants on Sunday, December 7th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Shop for holiday merchandise and sale items! Enjoy refreshments and drawings for prizes!

Advanced Communications, AT&T, 767 Sterlington Highway, Farmerville
Blue Skies Boutique, 1103 Sterlington Highway, Farmerville
Caboose Depot, Bayou Wireless, & Pack-n-Mail, 1104 Sterlington Highway, Farmerville
Cole's Antiques, 102 S. Main Street, Farmerville
Dean of Flowers, 115 N. Washington, Farmerville
Fabulous Foods & the Fancy Flea, 302 E. Boundary Street, Farmerville
Factory Connection, 1016 Sterlington Highway, Farmerville
Fantastic Finds Flea Market, 09 Marion Highway, Farmerville
The Fashion Frog, 508 Miller Street, Farmerville
Frame Fashions, 740 N. Main Street, Farmerville
Frame It to a T, 508 Miller Street, Farmerville
Generations Flea Market, 209 N. Lafayette, Farmerville
Generations of Bernice Florist, 3003 Roberson Street, Bernice
Gingerbread House Gifts (Arbor Rose), 243 Sistrunk Road, Farmerville
H & R Block, 1010 Sterlington Highway, Farmerville
Holliday's Thunder Motorcycles & Accessories, 1105 Marion Highway, Farmerville
Matte's Pharmacy & Gifts, 314 Main Street, Marion
Merle Norman Cosmetics, Gifts, & Flowers 1030 Ward Chapel Road, Farmerville
Office Plus, 105 Miller Street, Farmerville
Revelations Books & Gifts, 1110 Sterlington Highway, Farmerville
Rio Rose Antiques & 50's Diner, 4973 Highway 2, East of Farmerville

Come shop, dine, and enjoy our hospitality!

Source: Union Parish Chamber of Commerce

December 02, 2008

Natchitoches Students Named Junior Parade Grand Marshals

The Natchitoches Christmas Festival Committee has announced Crit T. Williams and Lesley V. Tucker to be the Grand Marshals of the Christmas Festival Junior Parade on Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 10 a.m.

Crit Williams is the son of Mardy Williams and Mark Williams of Natchitoches. As a 6th grader at NSU Elementary Lab School, Crit Williams was vice-president of K-Kids and 4-H Club and bank day president for NSU Bank Day. He is the current winner of Natchitoches Parish Junior High Student of the Year award.

Crit shows his love of sports through his baseball, soccer, karate and basketball involvement. Along with the various awards received through excellence in sports, Crit played on the Top 6 team in the 2008 World Series. Crit is also an active member of First Baptist Church.

Lesley Tucker is the daughter of Wesley and Ellen Tucker of Natchitoches where she attends Natchitoches Magnet School. She is co-leader of the Magnet Mustang Pep Squad, current vice-president of the Junior High 4-H Club, and Quiz Bowl team member. While being an active member of the First United Methodist Church youth group, Lesley sings in the Angel Chorus and was a past member of the “Sneakered Seekers” group.

Lesley’s past awards include the 6th grade Natchitoches Christmas Angel winner and parish and state winner in the American Legion Auxiliary’s Americanism Essay Contest.

Along with her accomplishments, Lesley enjoys scrap booking, playing the violin, painting, drawing and acting.

According to junior parade committee member Eliza Behrendsen, “Tucker and Williams were chosen for their humanitarian endeavors, academic efforts and foremost due to their peer leadership.”

The 82nd Annual Christmas Festival will be held on Saturday, December 6 with arts, crafts, food, and entertainment throughout the day. Other festivities include a Santa Shuffle/ 5K run, main parade, entertainment and an evening fireworks show.

For a detailed schedule of the Festival of Lights call (800) 259-1714 or visit www.christmasfestival.com. For more information on events in Natchitoches Parish, contact the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or visit www.natchitoches.net.

Source: Latisha McDaniel, Media & Public Relations, Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

November 25, 2008

Christmas in Morehouse Parish

Saturday, December 6th from 6:00pm - 7:30pm, Annual Christmas Parade
The annual Christmas parade rolls through Bastrop beginning at 6:00 p.m. This year's theme is . . . and a Partridge in the Pear Tree. Call the chamber office at 318-281-3794 for more information.

Sunday, December 21st, Sip 'N See from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Shop local merchants, and enjoy a carriage ride around the courthouse square. Free with a qualifying receipt. Call the chamber for more information at 318-281-3794.

Source: Bastrop-Morehouse Chamber of Commerce

Christmas in Union Parish

Black Friday, November 28th, Cut Loose at the Caboose
Sign your kids up for special Day-After-Thanksgiving event! Enjoy the busiest shopping day of the year while the kids Enjoy supervised activities, time in the play gym and all new arcade games. * Age Restrictions apply; please call for details/prices. Registration is on a first come first serve basis. Deadline to register is NOON ON NOVEMBER 25TH.

Saturday, December 6, Farmerville Christmas Parade at 6:00 p.m. on Main Street in Farmerville, Louisiana. The annual town Christmas Parade is fun for the whole family, including throwing of candy and trinkets. For more information call 318-368-0044.

Saturday, December 6th, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00 p.m. in front of Farmerville Town Hall.

Saturday, December 6th, Jaycees Christmas Parade beginning at 6:00 p.m. Line up begins at FHS at 5:30 .m.

Sunday, December 7th, Holiday Shop-UP from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Shop Union Parish with Christmas Open House at the following businesses:
AT&T Advanced Communications, Blue Skies Boutique, Caboose Depot/Alltel, Cole's Antiques, Dean of Flowers, Fantastic Finds, Fabulous Foods & the Fancy Flea, Factory Connection, The Fashion Frog, Frame Fashions, Frame It To A 'T", Generations Flea Market, Generations of Bernice, H&R Block,Holliday's Thunder, Matte's Pharmacy, Merle Norman Cosmetics/Gifts/Florist, Office Plus, Rio Rose Antique Mall & 50's Diner, and The Gingerbread House Gift Shop at Arbor Rose.

Saturday, December 13th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Santa Clause is Coming to Town at the Union Parish Library, Santa will read a short story each hour on the hour, then children will have personal time to visit Santa. Photos will be sold for $5 with Santa to benefit Friends of the Library.

Tuesday, December 16th, Christmas Festival of Music from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. presented by the Union Arts Council at the First Baptist Church, Farmerville. Admission is free.

Thursday, December 18th, Christmas Festival of Music from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. presented by the Union Arts Council at the First Methodist Church in Bernice. Admission is free.

Sources: Union Parish Chamber of Commerce
Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau

Christmas in Ouachita Parish

December 1-31, Christmas at the Biedenharn
Come enjoy “The Songs of Christmas” inside the Biedenharn home. This year, the Monroe Garden Study League is decorating each room of the house to depict their favorite Christmas song. Families may take holiday snapshots at a special location in the Fountain Room.
Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.
Biedenharn Museum & Gardens Monroe. For more information call 318-387-5281 or visit www.bmuseum.org

December 4-6, Biedenharn Christmas Open House
Come celebrate the first Christmas in the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum. Santa Claus will visit and be available for pictures. Enjoy live holiday performances, festive décor, and lighting displays in the Biedenharn home and ELSong Gardens from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call 318-387-5281 or visit www.bmuseum.org

December 4-7, Christmas on the Ouachita
Downtown Monroe & West Monroe offers multiple holiday festivities this weekend. The Downtown Art Crawl, Masur Museum Exhibition, Santa’s Christmas Village, Biedenharn Open House, and Christmas on the Alley are only a few of the holiday events going on. See the online schedule for a complete listing of events. For more information call 318-387-5691 or visit 800-843-1872 or www.monroe-westmonroe.org

December 5, “Twelve Days of Christmas” Fundraiser
Kick off the opening of Santa’s Christmas Village at this one of a kind fundraiser. Specialty drinks, eats, live music, and more! There will also be a live auction of unique packages.
Time: Patron’s Party 7:00 p.m.; Event 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $50; Sponsorships Available
Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum. For more information call 318-361-9611.

December 5-7, Christmas on the Alley Festival
Come see beautiful Antique Alley as it is adorned with lights and filled with the holiday spirit. Friday will feature a block party with entertainment, food, and boutique shopping. Visit on Saturday for shopping, all-day entertainment, and the ceremonial lighting of the lights. Also stop by Christmas on the Alley to watch the Cottonland Christmas Parade and Jaycees Christmas Fireworks. This event begins at 10:00 a.m. until and is free. Antique Alley is located on Trenton Street in West Monroe. For more information call 318-387-5691 or 800-843-1872 or visit www.monroe-westmonroe.org

December 6, 2nd Annual Bawcomville Redneck Christmas Parade
Come see a parade of tractors, 4 wheelers, floats, cars, trucks, walkers, horses, goats, and more. Entry fee to be a part of the parade is $10 or a new toy to benefit the children of Bawcomville.
Parade line up is at 10:30 a.m. The parade is in the Bawcomville suburb of West Monroe. For more information call 318-388-5858 or 318-651-8311

December 6, Masur Museum: Drop-By Children’s Activity
Visit the John Scott Retrospective exhibition as kids participate in a drop-by art activity from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tours with the curator will be available until 4:00 p.m. For more information call 318-329-2237 or visit www.masurmuseum.org.

December 6, Cooley House Open House
Visit the newly renovated Cooley House with guided tours every hour beginning at 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Last tour begins at 4:00 p.m.) Admission is free. The Cooley House is located at 1011 South Grand Street in Monroe. For more information call 318-329-2237.

December 6, Cottonland Christmas Parade at 3:00 p.m.
The annual community-wide Christmas parade brings holiday fun for all ages! For more information call 318-381-4203

December 6, Christmas Lighting Ceremony at 6:00 p.m.
Watch as the City of Monroe lights the Civic Center lights at the Monroe Civic Center. For more information call 318-329-2227

December 6-21, Santa’s Christmas Village
Visit with Santa, read with Mrs. Claus, decorate a cookie, write letters to Santa, and play in the “snow!” Santa’s Village offers tons of family fun! Bring your camera!
Visit the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum on Tuesdays-Fridays 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Cost is $5.00. For more information call 318-361-9611.

December 7 & 14, Sunday at the Grand, Biedenharn Museum & Gardens
Enjoy holiday sights and sounds in the beautiful Biedenharn home on Sunday afternoons. Performances will take place in the music room where Emy-Lou Biedenharn’s 1930s Steinway & Sons grand piano is displayed. Sunday at the Grand is free to the public and open from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. For more information call 318-387-5281 or visit www.bmuseum.org.

December 13, Christmas on the Alley: “Old-Fashioned Christmas”, Antique Alley
Step back into time as store owners dress in classic outfits and carolers fill the streets. Take a buggy ride through the lights and experience the magical Christmas season. There will be all-day entertainment and shops offer extended shopping hours. Open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Antique Alley is located on Trenton Street in West Monroe. Call for more 318-387-5691 or 800-843-1872 or visit www.monroe-westmonroe.org

December 21, Christmas on the Alley: “Last Blast for Shopping”, Antique Alley
Shop, shop, shop as the holiday quickly approaches! Discover all-day entertainment and sales galore as you find those last minute gifts and treasures. Check out all of the lighting displays as you take a buggy ride through the streets. Open from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Antique Alley is located on Trenton Street in West Monroe. Call for more 318-387-5691 or 800-843-1872 or visit www.monroe-westmonroe.org


Source: Monroe-West Monroe Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau
http://www.monroe-westmonroe.org/web/index.php?page=calendar

Christmas in Lincoln Parish

Saturday, December 6th celebrate the DRABO Christmas Festival, “Christmas in Dubach” in downtown Dubach. The town is decorated with hundreds of lights, including a Trail of Lights from Dubach to Hico on Scenic Hwy 151. For more information call 318-777-1964.

November 23, 2008

Christmas in the Pines, Jonesboro, Louisiana

What began in 1990 as a community Christmas celebration has grown into an area wide tourist attraction with the celebration of Christmas in the Pines in Jonesboro, Louisiana. This Christmas celebration features spectacular lights, parade, fireworks, a visit from Santa Claus and Cindrella carriage rides.

The Miss Merry Christmas Parade begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 29th. Fireworks and the official turning on the lights follow the parade at 6:00 p.m.

The Christmas lights will be on through January 2nd. Be sure to visit with Santa in Tony Rome Park from November 24th through the Saturday before Christmas. From November 24th through January 2nd, enjoy Cinderella carriage rides in Tony Rome Park.

Source: Christmas in the Pines website

November 22, 2008

Christmas in Sabine Parish

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way....It's time to make your plans to attend the Many Christmas Parade, on December 13, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. in Many, Louisiana. This parade has been sponsored by the Town of Many since 1989.

The parade travels on San Antonio Avenue, the main street in downtown Many. This is a fun-filled event which heralds the arrival of Santa Claus for the holiday season and is exciting for children and the young at heart.

There are over 100 participants in the parade. The parade stops in front of City Hall where entrants can perform for the judges. The parade is caught on tape in front of the local radio station.

Immediately following the parade, trophies are awarded to the winners at the Sabine Parish Fairgrounds. There is music and entertainment before and after the trophy presentation. Children can enjoy entertainment as well. Food booths with treats will be available for those hungry attendees.

The crowning event begins at 6:00 p.m. with a wonderful fireworks show. All are welcome, come and enjoy and afternoon of fun!

November 20, 2008

Christmas in Avoyelles Parish

December 13th, and 14th, 2008, Christmas Parade and Fireworks on the Bayou Festival, Town of Cottonport, Hwy. 107, Cottonport, LA.
Fireworks, December 13th at 6:00 p.m.
Parade, December 14th at 1:30 p.m.
Please contact City Hall at 318-876-3485 for more information.

Christmas in Bossier Parish

32nd Annual Bossier Chamber Christmas Parade Set for November 25

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for this year’s Christmas Parade to be hosted at a new location, the Louisiana Boardwalk. The 32nd annual Bossier Chamber Christmas Parade will be held Tuesday, November 25th, starting at 6:00 p.m. The theme for this year is "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

The parade will begin at Bass Pro Shop, follow the trolley rail, and end at the construction site of the new Courtyard Marriott. The Family Fun Area will be located under the Texas Street Bridge and will be open from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. This area will be sure to entertain the children with moon jumps, face painting and visits with Santa Claus.

The Bossier Chamber is excited about the new location and their partnership with the Boardwalk.

"We look forward to having the Bossier Chamber Christmas Parade at the Boardwalk this year,” said Ashley Roe, marketing manager at the Louisiana Boardwalk. “What a wonderful way to help our community, our customers and our retailers kick-off the holiday season.”

For more information call 318-746-0252.
Source: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau

OTHER CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS IN BOSSIER PARISH
Open house in Plain Dealing, Louisiana on November 29, 2008

Christmas in Roseland presents 25th Annual Lights Festival

"Sleigh bells ring, are ya listening, in the lanes snow is glistening, it's a beautiful sight we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland."

Start a new family tradition, visit the Gardens of the American Rose Center for Christmas in Roseland, November 28th through December 26th at the American Rose Center on Jefferson-Paige Road in Greenwood, Louisiana. Spend time walking through the magical gardens of the American Rose Center. The gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland and offer great fun for all ages. This is a great family outing!
This is the 25th year of Christmas in Roseland and there are many special events to celebrate this anniversary. including a Christmas in Roseland Sneak-Peak Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd.

Can’t wait until Christmas? Catch some early holiday spirit as the American Rose Center opens Christmas in Roseland this Friday and Saturday, November 21st and 22md, for a sneak peak weekend. Dozens of scenes and twinkling lights are already in place, and Santa Claus will be on hand to hear early wish lists as holiday tunes from the Windsounds Carillon fill the gardens. Gates open each evening at 5:30 p.m., with the last car admitted at 9:30 p.m.

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More than a million “blooming” lights will adorn the rosebushes of the American Rose Center as this popular attraction prepares for its 25th Annual Christmas in Roseland celebration. This year’s event will run Tuesdays through Sundays, November 28th - December 24th, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. with the last car admitted at 8:30 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesdays through Thursdays and at 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Each holiday season thousands of local residents and tourists visit this whimsical, sparkling wonderland. Centerstage again this year is the 18-foot tall, white, Victorian “Santa’s Cottage” where the jolly old elf will be accepting guests each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and the week prior to Christmas.

The wonder begins Friday, November 28th, as Christmas in Roseland officially kicks off its 25th anniversary season. The Summerfield Estates Silver Bells Choir will lead off the opening ceremonies at 6:00 p.m., followed by Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover’s proclamation of Christmas in Roseland Day in the city. The Shriner’s Clown Patrol will escort Santa onto the premises followed by a civic presentation of “The Nutcracker” by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet.

Other holiday delights include:
  • dozens of lighted displays, animated scenes and illuminated walkways interspersed amid twinkling trees, shrubs and rose beds;
  • more than 50 giant “Christmas Cards to the Community” created by local elementary, middle school and high school students;
  • a model train display in the Administration Building;
  • a holiday quilt display by the Red River Quilters;
  • a photography exhibit by the Alexandria Photography Guild;
  • nightly entertainment at Windsounds Carillon Tower and Hardtner Chapel;
  • Santa's Candy Shop;
  • the Roseland Express;
  • the American Rose Center Gift Shop filled with an array of holiday and gift selections;
  • full-service concession stand on grounds.


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Christmas in Roseland joins with
Movies & Moonbeams to show
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas"


What could be better than watching a holiday classic at a holiday classic? Christmas in Roseland is joining with the Robinson Film Center’s Movies and Moonbeams to show “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 7:00 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on Friday, December 12th.

The movie will be part of the evening’s activities at Christmas in Roseland and will be free with paid admission. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and bring blankets for the outdoor presentation.

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"Nutcracker" Civic Performance

The enchantment of “The Nutcracker” will fill the Gardens of the American Rose Center as the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet presents an excerpt of the holiday classic Friday, November 28th, on the opening night of Christmas in Roseland 2008. The performance is set for 7:00 p.m. at Windsounds Carillon Tower

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Holiday Quilt Display

Christmas in Roseland is joining with the Red River Quilters in celebrating their joint 25th anniversaries with a holiday quilt showing featured throughout the holiday festival. Approximately a dozen holiday and traditional quilts will be part of the show on display in the Administration Building of the American Rose Center, Tuesdays through Sundays, Nov. 28 – Dec. 24.

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Photography show "An Exhibit of Roses"

Doctor, lawyer, forester, teacher, military man, highwayman, professionals and hobbyists – all members of the Photographers’ Guild of Alexandria were challenged to photograph roses in any form. The goal was the hanging of an exhibit at the Gardens of the American Rose Center.

The challenge was met. “An Exhibit of Roses,” on display at Klima Rose Hall through Dec. 24, includes more than 40 photographs varying in subject from bud to bloom and roses in the garden to roses in the hand.

The exhibit is open to the public during normal Christmas in Roseland, Tuesdays – Sundays, November 28th – December 24th.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Special Discount Nights

Tuesday, December 2nd, every 25th car admitted free of charge
Wednesday December 3rd, 25% discount on all gift shop purchases
Sunday, December 7th, $2.50 single admission night
Thursday, December 11th, any with a 25th birthday in 2008 admitted free (i.d. required)
Tuesday, December 16th, KRMD Radio $1.01 admission night.

Located 8877 Jefferson Paige Road, just off I-20, Exit 5, in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Gardens of the American Rose Center is easily accessible for local residents and tourists. Admission for this family-oriented celebration is just $5 per person or $15 per carload, whichever is less. Mini-bus and charter bus rates are also available, making Christmas in Roseland a convenient and affordable holiday outing. For more information on this event or Christmas in Roseland, call 318-938-5534 or see www.ars.org/Coming_Events/garden-center.html.
Source and photo credit: The Gardens of the American Rose Center

November 18, 2008

Christmas in Caddo Parish - Rockets Over the Red


Rockets Over the Red
, Saturday, November 29th, 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Riverview Park in Shreveport. A night of fun, fireworks, food and live entertainment. The fireworks are shot from the Red River and Texas Street Bridge beginning at 8:15 p.m. The live entertainment includes Rockhouse performing at 4:00 p.m. and the Benjy Davis Project performing at 6:00 p.m. There is a free shuttle from Shreve City or public parking in the Regions Bank Garage. Call 222-7403 for more information.
Source: http://www.downtownshreveport.com/rockets_over_the_red.htm

November 13, 2008

Vernon Parish Christmas

The Holiday Express Train will make it's annual appearance at the Museum of West Louisiana in historic downtown Leesville on Sunday, November 30th @ 4:00 p.m. Young and Old it's a don't miss!!

Celebrate Christmas in Leesville, Louisiana on Saturday, December 13th @ 5:30 p.m. with the Leesville Christmas Parade. This annual event is always the second Saturday in December.

November 12, 2008

Trekking Across the Line: Arkansas


There are times that Louisiana Trekker crosses the line into our neighboring states. I realize that the focus of this blog is to promote Louisiana and our great food and products but we also want to share other exciting and great places that you may want to experience in your travels.

One of those places is Burge's Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams located on Highway 29 North in Lewisville, Arkansas.

Burge's offers whole smoked turkeys, smoked turkey breast, spiral sliced smoked hams, smoked chickens, smoked pekin duck, smoked bacon and other breakfast items, smoked pork ribs and sauces, summer sausage, smoked sausage, several gift assortments and gift certificates.

2008 Holiday Delivery
Thanksgiving orders must be confirmed by Friday, November 14, 2008.
Christmas orders must be confirmed by Friday, December 12, 2008.
Otherwise additional shipping charges may apply.

Burge's Hickory Smoked Turkeys & Hams, P.O. Box 759, Lewisville, AR 71845, 1-800-921-4292


Order free catalog


In addition to the mail order business, Burge's has two restaurant locations, one in Lewisville, Arkansas and the other in Little Rock. The restaurant offers smoked meat sandwiches, Burge's melts, Burge's New Orleans style poboys, hickory smoked bbq on bun, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, corn dogs, chili dogs, catfish, chicken fired steak and much more.

The Lewisville Restaurant is located at 526 Spruce, phone 870-921-4292. The Little Rock Restaurant is located at 5260 "R" Street, phone 501-666-1660.

Forget about cooking this holiday, let Burge's Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams do the work for you.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from Louisiana Trekker!

Christmas in Red River Parish


Christmas Festival, Coushatta, LA., December 11th-13th

On Thursday, December 11th, Parade and Fireworks, Parade begins @ 5:00 p.m., followed by fireworks display. Viewing area for fireworks display will be at the boat launch area under the Red River bridge. (right on Abney St. off Carroll St., which is Hwy 84).

On Friday, December 12th, Business Open House and Scavenger Hunt visit local business to obtain clues for the hunt.

On Saturday, December 13th, 11 a.m. til 3 p.m. Festival site is the old downtown area on Front Street, which will be blocked off. Santa Claus will be in his workshop for the kids. Drawing for the Scavenger Hunt will be at noon. Find your favorite foods, arts and crafts at vendor booths.

Visit a Louisiana Tree Farm this year



EDITOR'S NOTE: This was originally posted in NOVEMBER 2008. It has been updated as of 11-10-2010. If there is an error with the information in this post, please email the publisher at LouisianaTrekker (at) gmail (dot) com.


Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
Time to think about Christmas trees. Start a new family tradition by going to one of these LOUISIANA Christmas Tree Farms and picking out a tree. Make some memories, enjoy a day of fresh farm air.



Bossier Parish
Cool Breeze Farm, 15860 Hwy. 157, Benton, Louisiana 71006, 318-326-4980

Peterson Drive Christmas Tree Farm, 318-355-7937, 126 Peterson Drive, Benton. Open Friday afternoons; all day Saturdays; Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sell Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress trees.


Caddo Parish

Adams Tree Farm, 318-686-4770, 6391 Buncombe Road, .7 miles off Pines Road. Open 9 a.m. to dark, Monday through Saturday; 1 p.m. to dark Sunday. Virginia pine and Leland cypress trees which are grown on the farm; Noble fir and Grand fir shipped to the farm.

Christmas Wood Tree Farm, 318-683-0592, 3223 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, Shreveport, 1/5 miles west of Mansfield Road between Walker and Dean Roads. Hours 10 a.m. until dark Saturdays; and weekdays by appointment. Leyland cypress trees.

Shaw Christmas Tree Farm, 318-284-3584, Hwy. 71, 1 mile north of Ida

Weaver's Christmas Tree Farm
Mark and Lisa Weaver, 2995 Jolly Napier Rd, Shreveport, LA 71119, 318-636-6101
Choose from Leyland cypress, Carolina sapphire, Blue Ice, Cut Fraser fir. Also have a gift shop and sell tree stands.


Claiborne Parish/Union Parish
CLP Christmas Tree Farm, CLP Christmas Tree Farm, www.clptrees.com,  e-mail clptrees@clptrees.com The farm address and sales site is 223 Flatwoods Road, Bernice, LA. 71222.. The phone numbers are 318-789-0491. The farm has Leyland Cypress, Notabilis, or Virginia Pine ranging from six to fourteen feet. 

Concordia Parish
Marie's Trees
Marie Potts, 1010 Doty Road, Ferriday, LA 71334, 318-757-4911, 318-715-4910
Choose from Leyland,  novensii, virginia pine, blue ice, blue nalor, frasier fir (sizes 5-6 ft up to 8-9 ft) from North Carolina to arrive 2 days before Thanksgiving.
Items available to purchase tree stands, trees netted, wreaths, ornaments, decorated cypress knees, pecans shelled. And enjoy a kiddie train ride. North on LA 15, turn west on Kentucky Ave. (Hwy 903). Go 2 miles to farm on left.

Fletcher Christmas Tree Farm, 3725 Highway 921, Clayton, LA 71326, 318-389-5894. Directions: FM 921, 3 miles south on Hwy. 15, between Clayton & Sicily Island.

DeSoto Parish
Santa's Woods, 732 Stonewall Frierson Road, Frierson, Louisiana 71027, 318-797-4749. Open day after Thanksgiving and every Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until sold out. www.santaswoods.net

Lincoln Parish
Beavers Christmas Tree Farm
Lewis and Elaine Beavers, 2237 Hwy. 563, Simsboro, LA 71275, 318-247-8238
Choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Carolina Sapphire, Red Cedar. Also sell tree stands. Farm located at 2237 LA Hwy. 563, get off of I-20 at the Industry Exit #78, this exit is between the Grambling and Simsboro exits, go north on Hwy. 563 approximately 5 miles and the farm will be located on the right.

Evergreen Farm
John E. Maxfield, 209 East Louisiana Ave., Ruston, Louisiana 71270, 318-251-2669
Choose & Cut: Red Cedar, Virginia Pine, Lelands, Pines, and Cedars. Some cathedral-ceiling trees. Find Evergreen farm on Route 80 between Ruston and Grambling. From Ruston, 1/2 mile west of Barnett Springs Road. Billboard "Evergreen Farm". Take next driveway on right. Open November 28th - December 21st. Hours of operation: on Fridays from 3 p.m. - Dark; Saturdays from 9 a.m. - dark; Sundays from 1 p.m. - dark (Closed Monday - Thursday)


Ouachita Parish
CLP Christmas Tree Farm, www.clptrees.com, The farm address and sales site is 223 Flatwoods Road, Bernice, LA. 71222. Correspondence may be addressed to 6275 Hwy 2, Farmerville, LA 71241. The phone numbers are 318-789-0491. The farm has Leyland Cypress, Notabilis, or Virginia Pine ranging from six to fourteen feet.

Pepper Christmas Tree Farm
Joe and Grace Pepper, 2181 Hwy 557, West Monroe, LA 71292, 318-387-5172
Choose from Leyland cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice. Also sell tree stands, snow flocking. From West Monroe; go S on Hwy 34, 7 mi.; past paper mill take left on Hwy 557, go 2.5 miles to farm on left

Precious Memories Christmas Tree Farm, LLC
455 Glen Acres Road, Calhoun, LA 71225, 318-396-5113
"Full Service Christmas Tree Farm" Opening the Saturday before Thanksgiving November 22, 2008 thru Sunday before Christmas. Daily Monday thru Friday 10:00 until dark, Saturday and Sunday 8:00 until dark. Trees available are Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, Notabilis, Blue Ice, Carolina Sapphire, Red Cedar and North Carolina Fraser Fir (fresh pre-cut Fraser Firs from North Carolina available Thanksgiving weekend.)
Other fun on the farm: sleigh rides for the kids and kid at heart, Candy Christmas mints, Christmas tree pin stands for sale (takes the hassle out of straightening your tree) and fresh wreaths made daily. From I-20 Exit 108 (Cheniere Drew), go north on LA 546/LA15 for 2 miles to the intersection at Drew School. Take a left onto LA15 and continue for 2 miles (Look for our big sign on the right). Turn right onto Glen Acres Road and stay straight for .5 mile. Tree farm is on the left (Look for our sign). http://www.preciousmemorieschristmastreefarm.com

Puckett Tree Farm
318.343.1545, Bernice, Louisiana

Rapides Parish
A & N Christmas Forest, 318-563-4011 or 318-563-4785, Directions: from Alexandria, Hwy. 1 south 18 miles to Echo, turn right at Cheneyville Echo Road or Sandy Lane Road, ½ mile to stop sign, turn left, 2nd house on right

Miltons' Christmas Tree Farm
Monroe and Melinda Milton, 1605 Hwy. 457, Lecompte, LA 71346, 318-442-0565. Choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Red Cedar.

Peachy Pines, 100 Locker Road, Deville, Louisiana 71328, 318-449-1142

Richland Parish
Curry's Christmas Tree Farm
Bentley and Sandy Curry, 548 Robinson Drive, Rayville, LA 71269, 318-728-6203
Choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Carolina Sapphire, Red Cedar, Blue Ice. Also, sell tree stands, offer hay rides, snow flocking, maze, field tours. I-20 east from Monroe to exit 132 then follow signs.

Sabine Parish
L & L Christmas Trees, 318-645-6988, 157 S. Main Street.

Tensas Parish
Barfield Tree Farm, 318-467-5532, Hwy. 4, 3.5 miles west of Hwy. 65.


Vernon Parish
Sanders Christmas Tree Farm, 294 Westbrooks Rd., Hornbeck, Louisiana 71439, 318-565-3152

Webster Parish
Hollis Tree Farm, 318-371-0530, Directions: from Minden, 2 miles on U.S. Hwy. 79, left Miller Road, go 3 miles. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress.

Old Beck House Christmas Tree Farm & Gift Shop,
318-377-0310, 112 Beck Curve Road, U.S. Highway 80, Minden. Open 1 p.m. until dark each day. Douglas fir, Leyland cypress and Virginia pine; other items include: wreaths, gift baskets and stockings.

Allen Parish
Grant Christmas Tree Farm & Syrup Mill
Gray & Mollie Anderson, 800-987-noel; 318-634-3408, Farm Address: 716 Whitaker Rd., Grant, LA 70644. Leyland Cypress, Virginia Pine, Fraser Fir trees, fresh wreaths and garland.
Fall festival the three Saturdays following Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. ‘til 6 p.m. The festival includes watching an old time cane press, making syrup, homemade biscuits, syrup, sausage and milk gravy, or chip beef barbeque sandwich, listen to blue grass and gospel music or take the children to the petting zoo. There's also arts & crafts and a hayride. For more details
visit: http://www.grantchristmastreefarm.com

If you have a Christmas Tree Farm that you would like listed here, please email louisianatrekker@gmail.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Leyland Cypress from The National Christmas Tree Association

Sources: Southern Christmas Tree Association
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
www.garden.com
Louisiana Forestry Association

Other links about caring for real trees and finding tree farms from the LSU AgCenter and the National Christmas Tree Association.

Selecting a live Christmas tree from the LSU AgCenter

Real Tree Safety Tips, Not Scare Tactics

Selecting and Caring for a Real Tree


If you don't see the tree farm you are looking for then try this link to The National Christmas Tree Association or the Louisiana Forestry Association 

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: My apologies to anyone who is listed incorrectly. The original post was written in November 2008. If the information is incorrect, please email me an I will update it.

November 06, 2008

Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival

Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival

Revel in the captivating Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival on the banks of Caddo Lake in Oil City’s Earl Williamson Park on Saturday, December 6th.

The festival will kickoff at 3:30 p.m., followed by the fireworks display by Zambelli at 6:30 p.m.

The annual festival will feature the best in local entertainment, in addition to delicious food, comical clowns, creative arts and crafts, and much more!

Children will be amazed by the clowns, games, lights, and of course Santa Claus. He will make his way to the festival, bearing a gift for each child at the event. Children may also have their picture taken with Jolly Old St. Nicholas.

“This event gives the people of north Caddo Parish something to enjoy with their families and friends,” said Festival Organizer Mary Dunn. “The event is free to all and the fireworks and decorations will be wonderful.”

Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival, Inc. was formed 14 years ago as a partnership between the Vivian Chamber of Commerce and the Oil City Rotary Club.

The organizations invited all 10 towns in northwest Caddo Parish to join together to plan the free event with fireworks, food, entertainment, Santa Claus and activities for children with a goal of serving the people of North Caddo and the surrounding area.

Those towns are Belcher, Blanchard, Gilliam, Hosston, Mira, Ida, Mooringsport, Oil City, Rodessa and Vivian.

Take I-20 to I-220, exit Highway 1 and 71 North. Take Highway 1 North toward Oil City. The event is in Earl Williamson Park on Caddo Lake at Oil City, LA. Locals can head north up Highway 1 to Oil City.

For more information, please call 318-631-0182.
Source: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau

NATCHITOCHES CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL GRAND MARSHAL ANNOUNCED







The Natchitoches Christmas Festival Committee has announced Meadowlark Lemon to be the Grand Marshal of the 2008 Natchitoches Christmas Festival Parade to be held Saturday, December 6 at 1 p.m. in downtown Natchitoches.

Lemon joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1955 at the age of 23. He is best known by his nickname, “The Clown Prince of Basketball”. In 1979, Lemon left the Globetrotters to explore the film industry. He stared in the movies “Modern Romance” and “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” and the television series “Hello Larry”. He also has made guest appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “Scooby Doo”. He currently hosts “The Meadowlark Lemon Show” aired by Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The 82nd Annual Christmas Festival will be held on Saturday, December 6 with arts, crafts, food, and entertainment throughout the day. Other festivities include a Santa Shuffle/ 5K run, a junior parade, and an evening fireworks show.

During the Christmas season, Natchitoches is alive with arts and crafts, children activities, entertainment, food, carriage tours and fireworks every Saturday and New Year’s Eve.

The Festival of Lights kicks off on November 22 with “Turn on the Holidays”. This day long event features children’s activities, entertainment, open houses and food demonstrations. The highlight of the event will be the official grand lighting ceremony where more than 300,000 lights and 70 lighted set pieces illuminate Cane River Lake. A fireworks display will follow. The lights will remain on until January 6, 2009.

The Holiday Tour of Homes, a tour of the historic homes in Natchitoches, will be held the second and third weeks in December. Visit www.historicfoundation.org for more details.

Advance admission for the Christmas Festival is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Children five and under are free. Advance armbands go on sale November 1 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 562 Second Street. Credit card purchases may be made by calling the Chamber at (318) 352-6894. Service charge applied.

For a detailed schedule of the Festival of Lights call (800) 259-1714 or visit www.christmasfestival.com.

For more information on events in Natchitoches Parish, contact the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or visit www.natchitoches.net.

Natchitoches to “Turn on the Holidays” this Saturday

Official kick-off to the Festival of Lights season

Downtown Natchitoches will kick off the holiday season during “Turn on the Holidays”, Saturday, November 22nd.

“Turn on the Holidays” is an entire day of free family entertainment in downtown Natchitoches that will serve as the official start of the Festival of Lights season for the City of Natchitoches. The highlight of the event will be the official turning on of thousands of Christmas lights that illuminate the Natchitoches Historic District through the first week of January.

This year’s schedule of events includes:
  • Noon to 4:00 p.m.-Live Music by The Back Porch Band who plays traditional ballads, folk and Celtic music.
  • Noon to 4:00 p.m. Face painting and balloon art by Jelly and CeCe the clown with magic shows at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

  • Noon to 4:00 p.m.-Creole doll making with the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, children’s ornament painting with the Natchitoches Art Guild and Gallery, and the Natchitoches Parish Library Bookmobile.

  • Noon to 4:00 p.m. Inflatable jumper and slide, monster mural coloring and a rock climbing wall.

  • Noon to 4:00 p.m. Living History by Fort Jesup State Historic Site.

  • Noon to 1:00 p.m. Doucet’s Cajun Meat Company demonstration on deboning and stuffing chickens with samples provided.

  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. WesMar Farms demonstrations and free samples using goat milk including homemade pizza and sausage.

  • 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Holiday Open House sponsored by downtown merchants.

  • 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Entertainment by Betty Lewis and the Executives.

  • 6:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony on the downtown riverbank stage followed by a fireworks show over Cane River Lake.
These events are free to the public and will take place on the downtown riverbank. Sponsorship for these events was made possible by grants from the Office of the Lt. Governor, Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism and the National Park Service Preserve America.

“Turn on the Holidays” is part of Louisiana Main to Main: A Cultural Road Show, which is designed to showcase the Louisiana Main Street Program and foster economic development for Louisiana Main Street communities. Throughout November, Main Street communities across the state will host various events and activities that promote cultural tourism. Louisiana Main to Main showcases the interconnectivity of unique and diverse, cultural and historical, natural and creative Louisiana resources across the state.

“Turn on the Holidays” will kick off Natchitoches’ holiday season as the City prepares for the 82nd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival on Saturday, December 6. The festival will feature an assortment of family-filled activities including a children’s parade, general parade, crafts shows, children’s activities, music, food and a spectacular fireworks show.

For more information about “Turn on the Holidays”, call the Main Street Office at 318-352-2746. For more information about the Natchitoches Christmas Festival, visit www.christmasfestival.com.

For more information about Main to Main, please visit www.louisianamaintomain.org.

Photo Credit: Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau
Source: Latisha McDaniel, Media & Public Relations, Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

November 04, 2008

2009 BASSMASTER CLASSIC TOURNAMENT

UPDATE: 02.21.2009 THE CLASSIC IS IN FULL GEAR. Check out the ESPN blog for updates.

Louisiana is known as the "Sportsman's Paradise". From hunting and fishing to hiking and birding, there's something in Louisiana for everyone. There are many lakes and rivers that make this area a great place to explore the outdoors.

The 2009 BASSMASTER Classic Tournament is coming to North Louisiana February 20-22nd, 2009.

The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo Street, Shreveport, LA. Expo Hours: Friday: 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Weigh-In at CenturyTel Center, 2000 CenturyTel Center Drive, Bossier City, LA. Doors open daily at 3:3 p.m.

Boats launch daily at 7:15 a.m. from Red River South Marina & Resort, Highway 171 South, Bossier City, LA.

For more information call 877-BASS USA.

Bayou Blends Seasoning

Red River Parish

Blended and manufactured right here in Louisiana, Bayou Blends Seasoning has been spicing up dishes with Louisiana flavor since 1999. Bayou Blends is a Certified Louisiana product as well as Certified Cajun product.

Bayou Blends is 100% ALL Natural with many varieties: Beef Rub, Chicken Rub, Pork Rub, Seafood Rub, Hot Rub, Seafood Boil, Venison Rub, Duck and Dove Rub and Quail Rub.

Locally Bayou Blends can be purchased at Bayou Walk Kroger on Youree Drive and Maxwell's Market on Line Avenue in Shreveport, Brookshire's in Natchitoches, and Rivertown in Coushatta. Shop online at www.bayoublends.com.

Bayou Blends Seasonings make great gifts for hunters, bridal showers, housewarming, Christmas, or any other occasion.

Bayou Blends Recipes

Buy Local products, support Louisiana Businesses!

Support Louisiana businesses, products and restaurants. When you get the chance, choose Louisiana products over others it benefits all of us.

Christmas in Arcadia, Louisiana

Celebrate Christmas in Arcadia on Saturday, December 16th beginning at 8 a.m. with a Christmas Parade at 11 a.m.

Enjoy a day of shopping at local antique shops from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The antique car, tractor and motorcycle show will be held at Arcadia City Hall. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; the awards ceremony will be at 3 p.m.

There will be plenty of arts & crafts, food, and musical entertainment for the whole family.

Stay for a bluegrass jam at 5 p.m. with musical entertainment by Grassfire, Avery Michael and Dennene Stringfellow.

For more information contact City Hall at 318-263-8456.

Merry Christmas Bienville Parish and Arcadia from Louisiana Trekker!

Christmas in Claiborne Parish

November 3rd-8th Claiborne Parish merchants want folks to shop local first. A Holiday Open House in Homer and Haynesville featuring great sales and a $250 shopping spree giveaway will be held Saturday, November 8th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the open house, folks can get "A Taste of Homer" all you can eat for $10.00.

Claiborne Christmas Festival, Saturday, November 29th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Homer Square. Parade begins at 1 p.m. Enjoy games for kids, over 40 food and craft vendors, Christmas music, and a day of fun for the entire family.

The 3rd Annual "Hills of Homer" Christmas Run will be on November 29th with 10K and 5K Runs beginning at 8 a.m. in downtown Homer. Entry fee is $15 ($20 after November 16th). There will also be a 1 Mile Fun Walk/Run. Contact Wayne Hatfield at 318-927-2961 for more information.

If you have any questions about the Claiborne Christmas Festival or would like to participate in the Parade or as a vendor, contact City Hall at 318-927-1312.

Claiborne Parish Christmas Festival Cookbooks are available at several local merchants for $13.00 each. To reserve your copy, call 318-927-9009.

Merry Christmas Claiborne Parish from Louisiana Trekker!

November 03, 2008

Pecan Harvest Time! Get 'em before they're gone!


It's pecan time in Louisiana. From what I've been reading it is going to be a short season. According to reports, pecan crops are down from the record number in 2007.

I'm not sure if that is true or not but with the holidays coming up, who wants to take that chance. Why buy pecans from other countries when you can have homegrown pecans from right here in Louisiana.

Pecans make a great gift for any occasion: for friends and family, bridal shower gift along with recipes using pecans, corporate gifts, gifts to friends who enjoy cooking, and as Christmas gifts.

Many of these Louisiana pecan growers also have gift items, cookbooks and more. Give them a call, visit their websites, travel to their orchards and buy their products. Support our locally grown crops. Support Louisiana agriculture. Buy local, shop local.

There are several Louisiana pecan growers. The following is a listing of businesses that sell pecans:

Natchitoches Pecans, Inc., 439 Little Eva Rd., Cloutierville, LA 71416 . Natchitoches Pecans is a family run business that has been operating since 1986. When owners Julie and Mark Swanson began tending to the pecan orchard they initially knew nothing about pecans. But according to Julie since that time they have "learned a lot". Natchitoches Pecans is a 365 acre portion of Little Eva Plantation. This area is great for history lovers as the famous Clementine Hunter was born at Little Eva Plantation. It is the area that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote about in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

In addition to selling pecans, Natchitoches Pecans has a great store where all types of pecans and gift items can be purchased. Pecans can be purchased in-shell, cracked, shelled, chocolate covered, cinnamon, honey as well as in famous candies such as old fashioned creamy pralines, pecan brittles and pecan logs. Natchitoches Pecan also carries flavored coffees: Southern Pecan and Little Eva Blend.

Cookbooks: Pecan Favorites by Rita Nichols which features over 200 recipes with pecans, Serving Louisiana, Marshes to Mansions by the Junior League of Lake Charles, Mardi Gras to Mistletoe by the Junior League of Shreveport/Bossier. There are soy candles, gift items, Fleur de Lis flags and other gift items, Mardi Gras, LSU gift items and more.

Other items in the gift shop include Clementine Hunter Ornaments by Lurline Lemieux and paintings by James Hunter, grandson of Clementine Hunter.

From October 15th through December 23rd from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Beginning in November also open on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. and January - October 22nd, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To order or for more information call 318-379-0272 or 800-572-5925
Pecans, gift boxes, gift tins, corporate gifts and flavored pecans. Recipes from Natchitoches Pecans. Visit on the web at http://www.natchitochespecans.com.


Rosalie Pecans
is a family owned and operated company located on Roasalie Plantation, just south of Alexandria on the old Baton Rouge Highway. The retail pecan business began in 1999. Rosalie Pecans sells shelled pecan halves and pieces year-round; they also offer gift packs. In the fall in-shell pecans are available for purchase. Sampler boxes and tins contain halves that are prepared four ways: chocolate covered, sugared, toasted/seasoned and plain. Rosalie Pecans can take care of your entire Christmas gift list and ship gift boxes or tins for customers. Rosalie Pecans also carries several gift items including pecan-shaped massage soap, pecan crusher, and two books about pecans. A children's book, Christmas Turtles and a cookbook, In Praise of Pecans by June Jackson which contains recipes and recollections from the author.

Fall store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. Other times of the year hours are by appointment.

Visit www.rosaliepecan.com or shop their online store www.shop.rosaliepecans.com for available products. Orders can be called, emailed, faxed, mailed or placed online.
Recipes from Rosalie Pecans.

Rosalie Pecans is located at 63 Rosalie Road in Alexandria for more information call 318-448-3139.

Baskin Louisiana located in Franklin Parish is home to Company Farm Pecans. Products available include cracked and in shell pecans, holiday gift tins, gourmet gift boxes, fancy shelled pecans and fresh pecans. Harvesting begins in October and runs through January. Company Farm Pecans, located at 563 Company Farm Road, is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information or to place an order call 318-248-3400 or 866-325-1891. Pecans can be shipped anytime of year. Visit http://www.companyfarmpecans.com/ for more information.

Louisiana Pecans, 208 Little Eva Plantation, Cloutierville, LA 71416, 800-737-3226
Louisiana Pecans offers gift tins, pecan halves and pieces, gourmet flavored pecans and whole and cracked pecans. Custom gift baskets can be made for Christmas, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, and Easter. Also available is a cookbook written by June Jackson entitled "In Praise of Pecans" that would make an excellent Christmas gift for anyone who loves pecans.

Pecans are shipped year round. The Pecan Depot is open during October, November and December. Orders for new crop whole and cracked pecans can be placed beginning the third week in October through January 15th.
Hours: October - Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Last weekend in October through Christmas - Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. http://www.louisianapecans.com

Honey Bayou Farm is located in Coushatta, Louisiana. Contact 318-932-8912 for more infomation.

Littlepage Farms, 12219 Highway 8 South, Colfax, LA 71417, 318-627-3715 or 318-481-5449, sells in shell Pecans


Minsky Pecan Market, Inc.
, 1214 Sparrow St., Lake Providence, LA 71254, 318-559-1614 or 1-800-646-7597. Visit on the web at www.minskywearenuts.com. Pecans, other nuts, and Louisiana products.

Ybar Farms, 250 Yantis Lane, Bunkie, LA 71322, 318-346-6495
Pecans, praline pecans, sugar pecans, salted pecans, Creole seasoned pecans, white chocolate pecans, shelled pecan halves, shelled pieces, muscadines, muscadine jelly, and Angus cattle.

Pecan Oil
Kinloch Plantation Products, L.L.C., 1304 Cornell Street, P.O. Box 1346, Winnsboro, LA 71295, 318-435-1455, www.pecanoil.com. Pecan oil

More Pecan growers may be found at this link .

Recipes from the National Pecan Shellers Association

Source: Louisiana Departement of Agriculture and Forestry, websites of pecan growers, interviews and research.

Small photo courtesy of National Pecan Shellers Association.

November 01, 2008


Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish is home to Panola Pepper Corporation.


Louisiana cooking is full of flavor and some of that flavor comes in the form of heat. Louisiana people love their food spicy and full of flavor. Spicy food is good for the body.

There are many different types of pepper sauce on the market. Some are very well known and others not so well known. I was introduced to Panola Pepper sauce by my husband. If you read my blog much you will notice that my husband has introduced me to many new flavors and foods over the years. I must have led a very sheltered life before he came into it! I know that just about everything he has introduced me to has been good. See, my husband was born and raised in Louisiana. He loves this state. He loves his heritage and culture; the outdoors and the people. One thing that he taught me was to buy Louisiana products. When we first got married and started shopping together, he would read the labels and see where the product was from. He looked first for products from Louisiana. Then if not available, he'd look for products from Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Then anything from the south. He likes to keep his money in local businesses and products. Over time, I have adopted this habit. It has introduced me to some great products including Panola Pepper Sauce.

We love to eat and we love to eat spicy food. We make red beans and rice quite a bit. I make them where they have flavor but not much heat as I have two young-uns at the house and they can't handle much heat yet. So Panola Pepper Sauce is the choice in our house for heat and flavor. We can add as much as we want and enjoy a bit of spice.

Louisiana Trekker was born with the idea of sharing products that we love with others. We have been doing research for years. I knew once I started this blog that I had to write about Panola Pepper Sauce. It sat on my computer table as a daily reminder that I must write about it.

Here's what is interesting about Panola Pepper Sauce, it turns out that there are many, many different varieties of pepper sauces. I was only exposed to one or two flavors. Before researching Panola Pepper Sauce, I thought there were only one or two kinds. Boy was I ever wrong. There's a catalog full of products from Panola Pepper Corporation. I feel cheated! I feel like Charlie Brown when he opened the mailbox and there wasn't a Valentine inside for him. Look what I am missing!

Alright, I'll simmer down now. Let me start with the pepper sauce that my husband calls his favorite--Panola Gourmet Pepper Sauce. Now, my husband likes this pepper sauce so much that one time at the store he bought 15 bottles. No kidding. I thought that was way too much pepper sauce. The man loves it! He eats it in everything. The other brand that is in our home is the Panola Cajun Hot Sauce. Both are excellent pepper sauces.

Okay, here's where I'm liable to get all wound up again...here are the products that the Panola Pepper Corporation carries that I was not informed of (probably because my grocery stores don't carry every product but they should).

Panola Pepper Corporation offers many different pepper sauces such as cayenne blend in their Cajun Hot Sauce and Cajun Jalapeno; there are extra hot varieties made from habinero and tabasco peppers, in their Extra Hot Hot Sauce. They offer two sauces that sound ghoulish: The Bat's Brew Hot Sauce, a blend of Habanero and Jalapeno peppers and Vampfire, a blend of habanero, tabasco and cayenne peppers. Don't those sound HOT! See, I'm missing out on flavor!

In addition to the hot sauces there are barbecue sauces, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, hot wing sauce and seafood boils. Also, there is a new line of hot sauces with a Latin flair: Chipolte Salsa Hot Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, and Habanero Salsa.

Another thing I was unaware of was the fact that Panola Pepper Corporation sold peppers whole, sliced or diced. I love making nachos at home with chips, cheese and jalapenos. Pop them in the oven or microwave and you have a great snack. I could have been eating Louisiana grown Panola peppers all these years...I was cheated!

Other products include: Garlic Stuffed Olives, Pickled Garlic, Jalapeno Stuffed Olives and Spicy Sweet Jalapeno Peppers; ready-mix rice dishes; three different types of mustard: Chipotle, Habanero and Jalapeno; and seasonings: Lemon Pepper, Worcestershire Seasoning, Louisiana Cajun Poultry Seasoning, Louisiana Blakened Fish Seasoning, and Meat Seasoning.

Add some spice to that next party, shower, family gathering, picnic or other celebration with Olive Martini Juice or Panola Bloody Mary Mix. Dress up your coffee with some of their new coffee syrup flavors. Get a boost of energy with the vitamin-enhanced energy drink. And top it all off with as the Panola Pepper Corporation calls it "...A Rainbow of Tastes!" with Panola's premium cocktail mixers which come in Lemon Drop, Appletini, Blue Raspberry, Cosmopolitan, Strawberry Margarita and Mint Mojito.

Now you see why I'm upset. Here I thought it was just about the pepper sauce. Yes, the pepper sauce is EXCELLENT! Yes it does add flavor and I'm so glad that my darling husband introduced me to it. But now, now I've got to get to the store and try these other products, because I know they are going to make my taste buds happy!

Panola Pepper Corporation

1414 Holland Delta Road
Lake Providence, LA 71254
318-559-1774 (Phone)
800-256-3013 (Toll-Free)
Order online at www.panolapepper.com

Be sure if you order from them you tell them you saw it on Louisiana Trekker!


Art Credit: Panola Pepper Corporation website

Celebrate Pecans in Colfax, Louisiana


Pecans enjoy them roasted, toasted, raw, in a pie or praline; sprinkled with cinnamon, covered in chocolate. If you like pecans then there's a place for you in the Town of Colfax, located in Grant Parish in Louisiana.

There are over 600 festivals in Louisiana. There's a party somewhere in Louisiana all the time. Celebrate, eat, drink, shop, and above all have fun, that's what makes life worth living. In Louisiana it's about sharing traditions, culture, history and heritage with each other.

On November 7th, 8th, and 9th in Colfax, Louisiana the festival is all about the Pecan. The 40th annual Louisiana Pecan Festival will bring over 60,000 people to the town of Colfax for a celebration like no other. Each festival is different but they all share common threads such as food, entertainment, arts and crafts, parades, pageants, and fun. There's something for everyone to enjoy at this year's Louisiana Pecan Festival.

On Friday, November 7th the festivities begin at 8:00 a.m. with the Blessing of the Crops on the Coca Cola Stage. The vendors open at 8:30 a.m. on Front Street. Friday is a busy day, the cooking contest begins, children's day begins, the Country Store opens, the Pecan House opens, the Carnival starts, the Antique Tractor Show Opens, and there is entertainment by Southern Heart, Pecanettes, and the Bernie Alan Band. Friday night at 8:00 p.m. is the Queen's Ball.

The Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 8th, followed by the presentation of the Queen and her Court. Entertainment provided by Pecanettes, Cole Bruce and Amy Patience and Avery Michaels. The pie eating contest is at 4:30 p.m. Don't miss the fireworks at 8:00 p.m.

On Sunday, November 9th, the festival winds down with perfomances by The Classics and Michael Hataway. The party ends at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 9th.

The Louisiana Pecan Festival celebrates a crop that is native to the area and that has been a part of Louisiana for a very long time. There are arts and crafts booths, cooking contest, carnival rides, musical entertainment, fireworks, games and more. The Country Store has homemade pecan pies and pralines, afghans and soaps, and jams and jellies.

Directions:
From I-49, take the 99 exit 10 miles into Colfax via Hwy. 8; from U.S. Hwy. 71, exit at LA. 158 or Hwy. 8 and follow the signs. Colfax is approximately 30 miles from Alexandria/Pineville, and 45 miles from Natchitoches.

Source and artwork: Louisiana Pecan Festival Website

2008 Pecan Festival Poster designed by: KJA Communications group of Alexandria, LA.