Frequently Asked Questions
Natchitoches Christmas Season November 22nd – January 6th
Christmas Festival is Saturday, December 6th, 2014
Updated March 26th, 2014
*For more information the public can call 800-259-1714 or visit www.natchitocheschristmas.com
*For inquiries on regards to Vendors, Entertainment, Parade or Booths email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
- How much are armbands for the Christmas Festival?Armbands purchased by 5pm Friday, December 6, 2014 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 6, 2014 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? 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, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Neebo Bookstore. Armbands will be on sale by November 1st, 2014.
**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 13 and 20.. Cost of $5 for ages 12 and over. Armbands
for these weekends may be purchased in advance on www.natchitocheschristmas.com visit the Store tabe above or by
calling the festival office at 318-652-7078.
*There is NO admission fee on Saturday, December 27th.
TARPS ON RIVERBANK
- What time can I put down a tarp on the riverbank?
On the South Side (right side) of the bridge, you can reserve a 6x8 or an 8x10 tarp for $60by contacting Regina at 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.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 6, 2014.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 22, 2014. the Light are turned on followed immediately by Fireworks are at 7:00 PM sharp.
- Lights come on at dusk daily starting November 23, 2014 through January 6, 2015.
-FESTIVAL DAY, December 6, 2014, Fireworks are at 6 p.m. – Lights come on immediately following.
-All other Saturday (November 29, December 13 and December 20 and December 27) 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 12Noon from the corner of Jefferson and University Parkway.
- Is it too late to enter the 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 are mailed or emailed the week of the parades 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 - 2013 closures below/2014 TBA
- 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 for armband 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.
- At 9:00 a.m., Amulet Street will be blocked at 2nd Street, 5th Street, and at 4th Street, and 2nd Street will be closed from Amulet Street to University Parkway. At 10:00 a.m., Amulet Street between Jefferson and 2nd Street will CLOSE to allow the Junior Parade to line up at Amulet Street.
- At 12:00 p.m. (Noon), the Pine Street 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 is at 1:00 p.m.
- Second Street from Lafayette to Amulet will be closed at 10:00 a.m. to allow the Mrs. Claus parade to come through. Second Street will remain closed from Lafayette Street to University Parkway until after the main parade. After the Santa Claus parade, Second Street from Amulet Street to University Parkway.
- University Parkway will remain open to east/west traffic until 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 at 12:00 p.m. (Noon).
- After the parade has ended and foot traffic allows, Jefferson Street, as well as 2nd Street will open from Amulet south to University.
- 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, St. Clair, Whitfield, 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. Keyser Bridge closes at 12:00 p.m. (Noon) for vehicle traffic but will reopen after parade, which starts at 1 p.m.
Subsequent weekends-Church Street Bridge closes at 6:30 p.m. every other firework show and reopens about an hour after the show.
- Is Front Street closed during other weekends after Christmas Festival Day? Front Street is subject to close between 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, November 22 through December 29, 2013.
- 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
CAR, RV & BUS PARKING
- Where can I park my car, RV, mobile homes or Bus? There is a reserved parking list on www.natchitocheschristmas.com . Look under the “RV & Bus Parking” tab.
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.
- Is it too late to be a food vendor? Anyone interested in becoming a vendor for the 2014 Christmas Festival please email Festival organizers at email@example.com
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . For Craft booths call Immaculate Conception Church or 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. Also, any such announcements will be made from the stage area downtown. Also, visit us online at NatchitochesChristmas.com for updates, and follow us on Facebook Natchitoches Christmas for such announcements.
SNOW FEST-CHILDREN EVENTS - TBA
SANTA HOUSE – Santa Claus will be at the Santa House nightly from 6:00-8:30 p.m. from Sunday, December 7th 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, and Mimi's Hallmark in Natchitoches. You may also buy them online at this website under the Store tab. There will not be a vendor on the riverbank selling T-shirts this year.
- 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. Complete list of Shops and Restaurants under
- Are there other events on the riverbank during the week other than the lights? See attached brochure. YES, check ChristmasFestival.com or our facebook page.
-Fleur de Lis Arts & Craft Show - TBA
-Les Amis Christmas Treasures Arts & Craft Show - TBA
-Entertainment - TBA
-Christmas Tour of Homes - TBA
-NSU Christmas Gala - TBA
CITY OF LIGHS 5K RUN
- Where can I get more information on the City of Lights 5k run event? Information and registration forms can be found online at www.natchitocheschristmas.com under Information tab, dropdown to City of Lights 5K or Contact Leon Johnson at (318)663-5709.
- When is the City of Lights 5K Run/1 Mile Fun Walk? December 6, 2014 - 8:00 a.m. 5K and 1 Mile, Corner of Williams Avenue and St. Clair Avenue
- Is there a new route this year? Starting line at Church St. and Williams Ave, right on Salter, right on East 5th, right on Short, right on Loren, left on Bird, left on Nettie, left on St. Maurice, right on East 5th St., right on St. Clair, finish at Williams. COURSE CLOSES AT 9:00 A.M. SHARP!!!!! PARTICIPANTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARK ON EAST SECOND STREET. ALL VEHICLES PARKED IN NO-PARKING AREAS WILL BE TOWED.
3. What is the registration fee? 2014 entry fees TBA. Make checks payable to: Natchitoches Christmas.
4. What are the age groups? 5K Age Groups: 12 & under, 13-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59,
60 & over.
5. Do I need an armband to get on the riverbank for the City of Lights 5k event? No, the race does
not enter the gated area. If coming from the west side of town, use Keyser Bridge.
HOTELS & BED & BREAKFAST
- Do you have a list of places to stay in Natchitoches? YES, for a list of accommodations, visit www.natchitocheschristmas.com, under the accommodation tab dropdown for a list of bed and breakfast, hotels and campground/RV parking.
- 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.