Frequently Asked Questions
Natchitoches Christmas Season November 21st – January 6th
Christmas Festival is Saturday, December 5th, 2015
Update June 28th, 2015, as planning progresses for our Season updates will be posted
*For more information the public can call 800-259-1714 or 318-652-7078.
*For inquiries regarding Vendor participation, Entertainment, Parade or Fireworks email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- How much are armbands for the Christmas Festival?Armbands purchased by 5pm Friday, December 4, 2015 from participating vendors are:
$6 - Adults - 12 yrs of age and over
$4 - Children ages 6 through 11
Free – Children under 5 years old
Armbands purchased on Saturday, December 5, 2015 on Christmas Festival Day are:
(MUST BE PAID WITH CASH ONLY) ATM Machines are available
$8 - Adults
$5 - Children ages 6 through 11
Free – Children under 5 years old
Gates open at 6:30am, except Church Street and Bridge/Williams Ave, which open at 5:30am
- Where can I purchase armbands in advance? CLICK HERE to order advance armbands to be mailed, last day to order online is 12Noon November 30th. If you are in Natchitoches all bank branches of Bank of Montgomery (available at Montgomery and Derry branches), City Bank and Trust Company (available at Many at Campti branches), Exchange Bank, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, La Capitol Federal Credit Union (also available at Alexandria and Pineville branches), MidSouth Bank, Sabine State Bank. Local businesses: Brookshire’s Food, Causey’s Pharmacy, Econo Lodge, Hampton Inn & Suites, Super 8, McDonald's and Neebo Bookstore. Armbands will be on sale by November 1st, 2015.
**Armbands for Festival Day ARE NOT accepted on subsequent weekends. Each weekend has a different armband.
3. Do you charge on other weekends after Christmas Festival Day? YES. Admission to Downtown
Riverbank only begins at 2 PM on December 12 and 19.. Cost of $5 for ages 12 and over. Armbands
for these weekends may be purchased in advance online CLICK HERE for our online store or by
calling the festival office at 318-652-7078.
*There is NO admission fee on Saturday, December 26th.
TARPS ON RIVERBANK
- What time can I put down a tarp on the riverbank?
On the South Side (right side looking across the river from Front Street) of the bridge, you can reserve a 6x8 or an 8x10 tarp for $60 by contacting Regina with City of Natchitoches Parks and Recreation at 318-357-3892.You will receive 6 to 8 armbands respectively that gives you access to the tarp area ONLY; NOT THE FESTIVAL GATED AREA.Festival Armbands are SOLD SEPARATELY CLICK HERE to access our online store for armbands to the Festival Gated Area.Tarp sales began July 1st.
On the North Side (left side-stage side) of the bridge, there is NO CHARGE to place a tarp in this area; however, tarps CANNOT be placed until 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2015.Spots are on a first-come, first –serve basis.You must provide your own tarp or blanket. Two gates will open at 5:30am—the Church Street and the Church Street Bridge gate
(Williams Avenue side) to walking traffic only.
- Is there reserved seating? Refer to answer above – bleachers are available, first-come basis, across from the stage.
FIREWORKS & LIGHTS
- What time are the fireworks? Are the lights on?
-Turn on the Holidays is November 21, 2015. the Light are turned on followed immediately by Fireworks at 7:00 PM sharp.
- Lights come on at dusk daily starting November 22, 2015 through January 6, 2016.
-FESTIVAL DAY, December 5, 2015, Fireworks are at 6 p.m. – Lights come on immediately following.
-All other Saturdays (November 28, December 12 and December 19, December 27 and December 31st) Fireworks are at 7 PM
2. When are the lights turned on for the first time during the season?
- See above
PARADE & GRAND MARSHAL –(There will NOT be a barge parade)
What time does the parade start? The Parade will begins at 1PM from the corner of Jefferson and University Parkway.
- Is it too late to enter the parade? If you are interested in participating in our 2015 parade Click here, fillout the form letting us know you intent to enter.
- Can I ride or walk with my child’s group? No, only those with a walker’s permit will be allowed to accompany the groups.
- Can you tell me where our float will be? Directions to your designated lineup will be emailed in November to the group leader. Contact your group leader.
- Can you help us find a driver for the parade? No, you are responsible for your own driver.
- Can you help us secure a vehicle for the parade? No, you are responsible for your own vehicle.
- Who is the Grand Marshal? TBA
- For other inquiries, please call 318-652-7078 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. M-F
STREET & BRIDGE CLOSERS – 2014 - Updates for 2015 will be posted in November
- Which streets will be closed on Christmas Festival Day?
- Barricades in the downtown area go up at 5:00 a.m., including the Church Street Bridge. At 5:30 a.m., the gate entrances at Church Street and Williams Avenue will be open and armbands can be purchased at this location. At 6:30 a.m., all other gates will be open for access downtown and armbands will be on sale.
- Jefferson Street from Amulet Street to Touline will CLOSE to vehicle traffic at 6:00 a.m.
- Washington Street from Texas Street to Lafayette Street will CLOSE to vehicle traffic at 6:00 a.m.
- University Parkway from Jefferson Street to Second Street will CLOSE for parade line up at 10:30 a.m.
- At 12:00 p.m. (noon), the Pine Street/Keyser Avenue Bridge will close to vehicular traffic and all parade route barricades from University Parkway north to Lafayette Street will go up for the parade which begins at 1:00 p.m.
- At 12:00 p.m. (noon), eastbound traffic on University Parkway will be stopped at Boyd Street and westbound traffic on Mill Street will be stopped at Airport Road.
- After the parade has ended and foot traffic allows, Jefferson Street and Second Street will open from Amulet Street south to University Parkway.
- At 4:30 p.m., the Church Street Bridge will CLOSE to foot traffic for firework preparations.
- At 5:00 p.m., barricades on Williams Avenue north of Henry Avenue to St. Maurice Lane and the intersections of East Second Street with Stephens Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, Whitfield Drive, Sirod Street, and Adelaide Street will go in place. No public parking is allowed on the streets mentioned above beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Festival Day.
- What time does the bridge close on Christmas Festival Day?
Church Street Bridge closes at 5:00 a.m. to vehicle traffic and at 4:30 p.m. to foot traffic. Pine Street/Keyser Avenue Bridge closes at 12:00 p.m. (noon) for vehicle traffic, but will reopen after the parade which starts at 1:00 p.m.
Subsequent weekends – Church Street Bridge closes at 6:30 p.m. to vehicle and foot traffic for all other weekends and will reopen about an hour after the fireworks show.
- Is Front Street closed during other weekends after Christmas Festival Day?
Front Street is subject to close between 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, November 21 through December 26, 2015.
- What streets will be one-way on Festival Day?
Third Street – From Texas Street southbound to Church Street.
Church Street – From Third Street westbound to Fifth Street.
Fourth Street – From Amulet Street northbound to Texas Street.
Fairgrounds Road – From Rapides Drive westbound to Hwy 1 Bypass.
RV, BUS and Auto PARKING
- Where can I park my car, RV, mobile homes or Bus? CLICK HERE for the list of reserve parking lots or look under the Accommodations tab dropdown for “Parking RV, Bus and Auto” .
All vehicles must obey posted parking signs. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., no public parking is allowed in the first block of Williams Avenue to East Second Street including the following streets: St. Maurice, Adelaide Street, Sirod Street, Whitfield Drive, St. Clair Avenue, Stephens Avenue and Henry Avenue. No chairs may be set up in this area as well.
No cars are allowed on the riverbank during the fireworks.
- Is there any handicap parking? Most parking lots are on level ground and sidewalks are handicap accessible. Handicap parking is located on Touline Street behind the Natchitoches Parish Library.
- Is there a shuttle? No
ATV’s & Golf Carts
- Can I use a golf cart or ATV? No, golf carts and ATVs are not allowed. Children may ride in strollers and small wagons. For safety reasons, children scooters, roller blades or skate boards will NOT be allowed downtown on Festival Day.
VENDORS & BOOTHS
- Are food vendors open during the week on the riverbank? Food vendors are open on the riverbank daily starting the Saturday before Thanksgiving through January 6th.
- What methods of payments do the food and merchandise vendors accept? All festival vendors inside the gated area will require tickets to purchase food and/or merchandise. Tickets may be purchased from all ticket booth locations as well as at automated ticket machines on festival day. Tickets may be purchased in advance at any pre-sale armband locations.
- Is it too late to be a food vendor? Anyone interested in becoming a vendor for the 2015 Christmas Festival please email Festival organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org after February 1st, 2015.
- Can I set up on Second Street and sell items? No, only Festival-approved vendors can set up for Festival Day.
- Who can I contact about setting up a booth? For food booths email Festival organizers at email@example.com after February 1st, 2015. For Craft booths call the Women’s Resource Center – 318-357-8888.
- Can I bring my pet with me to the Festival? NO. No Pets of any kind (cats, dogs, reptiles, farm animals) are allowed downtown on Festival day. Anyone caught with a pet on the riverbank or downtown during the festival will be asked to leave. *Only service or assistant dogs for those with special needs ARE allowed. Owner must present appropriate credentials upon entering downtown riverbank.
- Can we bring coolers on Christmas Festival day? No.
- Can we bring lawn chairs or folding chairs? Yes. However, chairs cannot block sidewalks or public right of ways. No areas may be roped off for chairs at any time. Any unattended chairs will be removed. Chairs may not be placed in the Fireworks Safety Zone as defined previously.
- Can I pass out flyers promoting my business? NO. There is a City ordinance against debris.
- Will there be a mass at Immaculate Conception Church? Please contact your church administrator for alternate church services at 318-352-3422.
- Where will there be information about cancelation or rescheduling, should the weather get bad.
Rain, shine, sleet, ice or snow, the Christmas Festival will go on. We will notify the local media of any major cancellations or changes, follow us on Facebook at Natchitoches Christmas, or CLICK HERE for press releases. any such announcements will be made from the stage on the riverbank for those already in the downtown area.
HOLIDAY KIDS FEST EVENTS - Friday and Saturday starting November 28th through Saturday December 19th includes inflatables, laser tag, bull ride, and spider jump.
SANTA HOUSE – Santa Claus will be at the Santa House nightly from 6:00-8:30 p.m. from Sunday, December 6th thru December 23rd. No admission charge.
Who is the entertainment and what are the times band’s play? TBA
- Where are can I purchase a T-shirt? Georgia's Gift Shop, Gift's Galore, The Hall Tree, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile, Louisiana Purchase, in Natchitoches.
- How much are T-shirts? Please contact the vendors above for prices.
- What are the sizes of the T-shirts? Adult-S, M, LG, XL, XXL, XXXL. Youth XS, S, M, L
- Where can I purchase the Christmas Festival poster? Posters are on sale for $35 each and miniature versions of the poster are sold for $3 each. They can be purchased at Cane River Gallery and Georgia’s Gifts downtown on Front Street, or at the Office of Community Development. For more information call the Office of Community Development at (318) 357-3838.
FRONT STREET BUSINESSES
- Are the shops on Front Street open? Most shops on Front Street are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the month of December.
- Are there other events on the riverbank during the week other than the lights? YES, CLICK HERE dates and times.
-Les Amis Christmas Treasures Arts & Craft Show - November 21st, 9:00AM-4:00PM, Natchitoches Event Center
-Fleur de Lis Arts & Craft Show - Saturday November 28th, 9:00AM-4:30PM, Natchitoches Event Center
-Entertainment - TBA
-Natchitoches Historic Foundation Christmas Tour of Homes
Tour 1: Wednesday, December 9 & 16 (5:00 – 8:00pm) Home TBA for 2015
Tour 2: Friday, December 11 & 18 (5:00 – 8:00 pm) Home TBA for 2015
Tour 3: Saturday, December 12 & 19 (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Home TBA for 2015
Complimentary Admission for Saturday Tour Ticket Holders
LOUISIANA SPORTS HALL OF FAME & NORTHWEST LOUISIANA HISTORY MUSEUM-800 rue Front. The 27,500-square-foot museum complex provides a permanent home showcasing and celebrating the achievements of more than 300 Louisiana athletes, coaches and other sports figures. Located on the second floor, the Northwest Louisiana History Museum explores the evolution of unique cultural traditions of the area from early native-American civilizations to the present.
Call 1-800-259-1714 to order tickets.
-Wednesday, December 2, 2015 & Thursday, December 3, 2015 -* 7 p.m. Natchitoches/Northwestern Christmas Gala, AA Fredericks Auditorium NSU campus. $ CLICK HERE to order tickets
5K RUN December 6th
For information and registration forms CLICK HERE.
HOTELS & BED & BREAKFAST
- Do you have a list of places to stay in Natchitoches? YES, for a list of accommodations, go to the accommodation tab dropdown for a list of bed and breakfast, hotels and campground/RV parking. Also, visit www.natchitoches.com for a complete list of accommodations in the immediate area.
- Are all of the hotels are booked, where do I call? Call local numbers for best results only. Check with the Tourism Office at 1-800-259-1714; they keep an up-to-date list of openings.
- Is there transportation from the hotels? No, you will need to drive closer to downtown and look for parking or reserved parking in advance at one of the available lots.
- Do you have pet friendly hotels? You will need to contact hotels and ask their policy on pets. Call local numbers best results only.