Frequently Asked Questions
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
When is Natchitoches Christmas Festival
- Natchitoches Christmas Season is November 18th – January 6th
- Christmas Festival Day is Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
How much are armbands for the Christmas Festival?
$8 pre-sale \$10 day of for ages 12 & up
Armbands may be purchased online November 1st for ALL Admission weekends.
Where can I purchase armbands in advance?
CLICK HERE (beginning Nov 1st) to order armbands online to be mailed. The last day to order online is Noon, November 26th for Festival Day December 2nd. If you are in Natchitoches, all bank branches of Bank of Montgomery (including Montgomery and Derry branches), City Bank and Trust Company (including Many and Campti branches), Exchange Bank, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, La Capitol Federal Credit Union (including Alexandria and Pineville branches), MidSouth Bank, Sabine State Bank will be selling armbands. The following local businesses will also have armbands for sale: Super 1 Foods (formerly Brookshire’s), College Inn, Econo Lodge, Hampton Inn & Suites, Super 8 & McDonald’s.
**Armbands for Festival Day ARE NOT accepted any other weekends. Each weekend has a different armband.
Do you charge on other weekends?
YES. November 25th, December 9th & 16th, 2017. Armbands for these weekends may be purchased in advance online starting November 1st or by calling the festival office at 318-652-7078. Armbands are only needed from 1pm through time for the fireworks if you go down on the Riverbank.
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 6×8 or an 8×10 tarp for $65 by contacting LaShonda with the 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. Tarp sales begin 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 2, 2017. 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.
Will seating be available in the amphitheatre?
Yes! Seating will be available in the amphitheater but no chairs will be allowed on the steps. Standing on the steps will also be prohibited.
FIREWORKS & LIGHTS
What time are the fireworks? Are the lights on?
Turn on the Holidays is November 18, 2017. The Lights are turned on followed immediately by Fireworks at 7:00p.m. sharp.
Lights come on at dusk daily starting November 19, 2017 through January 6, 2018.
FESTIVAL DAY, December 2, 2017, Fireworks are at 6p.m. – Lights come on immediately following.
All other Saturdays (November 25, December 9 and December 16, and December 30th) Fireworks are at 7p.m.
When are the lights turned on for the first time during the season?
November 18th, 2017 during the Turn on the Holidays event.
PARADE & GRAND MARSHAL
What time does the parade start?
The Parade will begins at 1p.m. from the corner of Jefferson and University Parkway.
Is it too late to enter the parade?
Parade applications are due by August 31st.. Click here to fill out our online form to be considered as a participant.
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?
610 Stompers from New Orleans
For other inquiries, please call 318-652-7078 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F
STREET & BRIDGE CLOSURES
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 12:00 p.m. (noon).
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.
At 5:00 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.
After the parade has ended and foot traffic allows, Jefferson Street and Second Street will open from Amulet Street south to University Parkway.
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 during the Christmas Season?
Front Street is subject to close between 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, November 18 through December 30, 2017.
What streets will be one-way on Festival Day?
Third Street – From Church Street northbound to Texas Street
Church Street – From Third Street westbound to Fifth Street.
Fourth Street – From Texas Street southbound to Church 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 on Christmas Festival weekend?
CLICK HERE for the list of reserve parking lots or look under the Accommodations/Parking.
All vehicles must obey posted parking signs. On December 2nd, 2017 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 on Saturdays due to fireworks and children’s activities.
Is there any handicap parking?
Most parking lots are on level ground and sidewalks are handicap accessible. For Festival Day only designated Handicap parking will be located in the City Hall Parking Lot at 700 Second Street. This lot must be entered from St. Denis Street. ONLY vehicles with a handicap mirror tag or license plate will be allowed to park in the lot. Attendent will be on site.
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 Saturdays during Festival Season.
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 Dickens & Co., Georgia’s Gift Shop and Kaffie-Frederick. Ticket machines take $1’s, $5’s, $10’s or $20’s. An ATM is available.
Is it too late to be a food vendor?
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor for the 20176 Christmas Festival please email Festival organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org after February 1st, 2017.
Can I set up on Second Street and sell items?
No, only Festival-approved vendors can set up to sell items and\or food.
Who can I contact about setting up a booth?
For food booths email Festival organizers at email@example.com after February 1st, 2017. 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 Saturdays during Festival Season. 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?
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.
Any such announcements will be made from the stage on the riverbank for those already in the downtown area.
HOLIDAY KIDS FEST EVENTS
What time are the Kids’ Events?
Friday (3pm-10pm) and Saturday (10am-10pm) starting November 18th through Saturday December 30th includes inflatables, laser tag, bull ride, and spider jump, with the exception of December 1st and December 2nd. (NO KIDS FEST ON FESTIVAL WEEKEND)
When is the Santa House Open
Santa Claus will be at the Santa House nightly from 6:00-8:30 p.m. from Sunday, December 3rd thru December 23rd. No admission charge.
Who is the entertainment and what are the times band’s play?
Please see our complete schedule HERE including entertainment and performance times for each weekend.
Where can I purchase a T-shirt?
Georgia’s Gift Shop, Gift’s Galore, The Hall Tree, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile, Louisiana Purchase, Dickens & Co. and Posey’s Sport Center in Natchitoches.
How much are T-shirts?
Please contact the above listed vendors for pricing.
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. CLICK HERE to view this year’s poster.
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? All dates and events listed below are for 2016 as update become available we will post them.
YES, CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE CHRISTMAS SEASON SCHEDULE.
HOTELS & BED & BREAKFAST
Do you have a list of places to stay in Natchitoches?
YES. Go to the accommodations tab 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.
If 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, we do not have shuttle services available for 2017.
Do you have pet friendly hotels?
You will need to contact hotels and ask their policy on pets. Call local numbers best results only.