Natchitoches Christmas received the Top 20 Festival of the Year Award from the 12-state Southeast Tourism Society (STS) at the association’s inaugural Connections conference in Myrtle Beach.
Arlene Gould, Executive Director of the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, members of Southeast Tourism Society and Jill Leo, Natchitoches Christmas Festival Coordinator accepted the award. Natchitoches was one of 14 winners of Shining Example Awards that recognize excellence in tourism. Louisiana, with four winners, and West Virginia, with three winners, were the most acknowledged states.
Gould stated upon accepting the award, “Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud and honored to receive this award, along with the City of Natchitoches and the Natchitoches Historic District Business Association (NHDBA) and the sponsors and volunteers who work year round planning and putting on this six-week annual festival.”
Gould also recognized the city workers at the City of Natchitoches utility department men and women that decorate the historic downtown with the lights and set pieces. “This is how the festival started over 90 years ago, a city worker made the first set piece and the rest is history.”
Leo also thanked Southeast Tourism Society on behalf of Natchitoches Historic District Business Association and thanked the Louisiana Office of Tourism and Natchitoches CVB for their assistance in promoting the Natchitoches Christmas Festival.
Here is a recap of local winners:
STS Top 20 Festival of the Year: Natchitoches Christmas (Louisiana)
Governmental Tourism Leadership Award: Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser