Frequently Asked Questions

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Armbands

How much are armbands for the Christmas Festival?


$10. Children 6 and under are free. Admission is only charged on select Saturdays throughout the Season: November 20th & 27th and December 4th, 11th & 18th. There is no admission to enter the Riverbank area Sunday through Friday.




Where can I purchase armbands in advance?


CLICK HERE to purchase armbands online.





General

When is the Natchitoches Christmas Festival?


The Natchitoches Christmas Season is November 20, 2021 through January 6, 2022. Christmas Festival Day is Saturday, December 4, 2021.





Tarps on Riverbank

What time can I put down a tarp on the Riverbank on Festival Day?


NO RESERVED TARPS WILL BE SOLD! On the North & South side of the bridge, there is NO CHARGE to place a tarp in this area. However, tarps CANNOT be placed until 5:30am on Saturday, December 4, 2021. 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?


No. Refer to answer above for information on tarp placememnt Festival Day.




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 20, 2021. The Lights are turned on followed immediately by Fireworks at 7:00pm sharp. Lights come on at dusk daily starting November 20, 2021 through January 6, 2022. FESTIVAL DAY, December 4, 2021, fireworks are at 6pm. All other weekends (November 27th, December 11th, December 18th, December 24th) fireworks are at 7:00pm. We will have fireworks on Friday, December 31st at 8:00pm.




When are the Lights turned on for the first time during the Season?


November 20, 2021 during the “Turn on the Holidays” event at 7:00pm.





Parade & Grand Marshal

What time does the Parade start?


The Parade will start at 1:00pm on December 4th from the corner of Jefferson and University Parkway.




Is it too late to enter the Parade?


Parade application infomation will be released in late August.




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





Street & Bridge Closures

Which streets will be closed on Christmas Festival Day?


At 5:00am, barricades in the downtown area go up, including the Church Street Bridge. At 5:30am, the gate entrances at Church Street and Williams Avenue will be open and armbands can be purchased at this location. At 6:00am, Jefferson Street from Amulet Street to Touline will CLOSE to vehicle traffic. At 6:00am, Washington Street from Texas Street to Lafayette Street will CLOSE to vehicle traffic. At 6:30am, all other gates will be open for access to downtown and armbands will be on sale. At 11:00am, Second Street from University Parkway to Lafayette Street will CLOSE to vehicular traffic.
At 11:00am, University Parkway from Jefferson Street to Second Street will CLOSE for parade line up. At 11:00am, 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 1:00pm. At 11:00am, eastbound traffic on University Parkway will be stopped at Boyd Street and westbound traffic on Mill Street will be stopped at Airport Road beginning at 11:00am. At 5:00pm, the Church Street Bridge will CLOSE to foot traffic for firework preparations. At 5:00pm, 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 10:00am 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 5:00am to vehicle traffic and at 4:30pm to foot traffic.

Pine Street/Keyser Avenue Bridge closes at 12:00pm (noon) for vehicle traffic, but will reopen after the Parade which starts at 1:00pm.

Subsequent weekends – Church Street Bridge closes at 6:30pm to vehicle and foot traffic for all other weekends and will reopen about an hour after the Fireworks Show.




Is Front Street closed other weekends during the Christmas Season?


Yes. Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic on Saturdays during the Season.




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, & Auto Parking

Where can I park my car, RV, mobile homes or bus on Christmas Festival weekend?


CLICK HERE for the list of reserved parking lots. All vehicles must obey posted parking signs. On December 4th, 2021 beginning at 10:00am, 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.





Handicap/Special Needs

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. Attendant will be on site.





ATVs & 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 Saturday, November 20, 2021 through January 6, 2022.




What methods of payments do the food and merchandise vendors accept?


All Festival vendors inside the gated area will require green tickets to purchase food and/or merchandise.

Green tickets may be purchased from all ticket booth locations as well as at automated ticket machines on Festival day.

Green ticket machines take $1’s, $5’s, $10’s or $20’s.

An ATM is located on the Riverbank underneath the Church Street Bridge.




Is it too late to be a food vendor?


Anyone interested in becoming a vendor for the 2021 Christmas Festival please email Festival organizers at festival@natchitocheschristmas.com after February 1st, 2021.

For craft booth information, please call the Women’s Resource Center – 318-357-8888.




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 festival@natchitocheschristmas.com after February 1st, 2021.

For craft booths call the Women’s Resource Center – 318-357-8888.





Pets/Animals

Can I bring my pet with me to the Festival?


No pets of any kind (cats, dogs, reptiles, farm animals) are allowed downtown on Saturdays during Festival Season. Anyone 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.





Miscellaneous

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.




Can I pass out flyers promoting my business?


No.




Will there be a mass at Immaculate Conception Church?


Please contact the church administrator for alternate church services at 318-352-3422.





Cancellations/Bad Weather

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 (3:00pm-10:00pm) and Saturday (10:00am-10:00pm) starting Saturday, November 20th through Friday, December 24th. Includes inflatables, laser tag, bull ride, and spider jump, with the exception of December 3th and December 4th. (NO KIDS FEST ON FESTIVAL WEEKEND).





Santa House

When is the Santa House open?


Santa Claus will be at the Santa House nightly from 6:00pm-8:30pm from Sunday, December 5th through Sunday, December 23rd. No admission charge.





Entertainment

Who is the Entertainment and what are the times bands play?


Please refer to our schedule for infomation on scheduled entertainment.





T-Shirts

Where can I purchase a T-Shirt?


Georgia’s Gift Shop, Gift’s Galore, The Hall Tree, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile, Louisiana Purchase and Posey’s Sports 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





Festival Poster

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 10:00am-6:00pm during the month of December.





Other Events

Are there other events on the Riverbank during the week other than the Lights?


YES, CLICK HERE for a complete Christmas Season Schedule.





Hotels & Bed and Breakfast

Do you have a list of places to stay in Natchitoches?


YES. Go to the Information Tab for a list of Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels/Motels 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.

Check with the Tourism Office at 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.




Do you have pet friendly hotels?


You will need to contact hotels and ask their policy on pets. Call local numbers for best results.