November 06, 2008


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 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

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

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

For more information about Main to Main, please visit

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