If you haven't had the chance to check-out the Natchitoches Christmas Festival, I highly recommend it.  The years festival is underway now, here's more info. 

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The Natchitoches Christmas Festival is ranked 3rd “Best Holiday Light Show” behind the Rockefeller Center and Disney World in the nation by Yahoo.com. There's a good reason for that, it's fabulous.  Thousands of people embark on the historic city to take in the sights, sounds and magic of the the festival which takes place every weekend, November 22nd - January 6th every year.

Me and my family go every year and every year there's something new to see, hear and do.  For starters, Natchitoches, La. is an interesting city in itself.   Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe.  It is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase, and it's sister city is NacogdochesTexas.

Of course it's a popular tourism area, with eleven national chain hotels, and twenty-seven bed-and-breakfast inns.  One of which is the Steel Magnolia House, the very home in the movie.  The city is known for it's creole food as well as the Natchitoches meat pie .  So when you go, make sure to stop off to one of their many restaurants.

Natchitoches has a mini "Walk of Fame" located in the Historical District, home to the Creole Heritage Center and several other museums, the  Kisatchie National Forest and much, much more.

The 88th Annual Natchitoches Christmas festival, will be complete with live entertainment, tons of food vendors, arts, crafts and plenty of stores to shop in.  The main reason to celebrate Christmas is in Louisiana’s oldest city is the huge parade and the biggest, longest fireworks display you've ever scene, all choreographed to holiday music over the Cane River Lake.

THINGS TO KNOW - It is truly a sight to see!  Whatever you do, bundle-up (big jacket, gloves, hats, scarves) because it's usually freezing out there and 99% of the event is outside.  Bring plenty of blankets, as you can map out a spot on the grass in front of the river, drink hot coca and eat funnel cake as you watch the fireworks.

Also, whatever weekend you go, GO EXTRA EARLY, unless you wanna walk a long distances to get to the festival on Front Street and the downtown riverbank.  If you have small children, a stroller or wagon will work well.  However, you wont be able to navigate to good with either one inside some of the shops, because of stairs or the incredible amount of people.

Finally, their is an admission fee: $8 Ages 12 & Over, $5 Children 6-11, Free Under 5.  The following schedule is for Saturday December 6th.

7:45 a.m. – Natchitoches “City of Lights” 5K

1:00 p.m. – Festival of Lights Parade

2:30-6p.m – Musical Entertainment on the Downtown Riverbank

6p.m. – Fireworks over Cane River Lake

For more details and the entire Christmas Festival schedule, click here.