December 22, 2008

Webster Parish: January-April 2009 Events

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

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

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

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

Source: Webster Parish Convention and Visitor's Bureau

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

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

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.


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.

Source: Alexandria Zoological Park website

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

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

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

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

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 For more information on the weekend’s events, contact the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or online at

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 Try these Sweet Potato Recipes from Dawson Farms.

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

Source: Dawson Farms Website

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

Source: Dumas Candy Company website

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

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