BATON ROUGE, La. – Natchitoches Main Street has been selected as one of five Main Street communities to be featured in the National Main Street Center’s success stories for fostering thriving and vibrant communities.
These communities consist of organizations, individuals, volunteers and local leaders who work to restore entire city blocks and cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurs that will help enhance the quality of life in areas that could otherwise cease to exist with the ever-changing landscape and technology. “Natchitoches and its Main Street program are gems in Louisiana that bring many visitors from around the world to our state,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “With an over 300-year history, Natchitoches provides never-ending opportunities to explore the Cane River National Heritage Area while being in the heart of a Colonial, Antebellum and Creole history no matter where you turn.”
The name Natchitoches comes from the Native American word “NACK-a-tish” that can mean many things from a tree, tribe or color of the soil depending on who you ask in town. The city was founded in 1714—before the city of New Orleans and is recognized as the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. The biggest event in Natchitoches each year is the Christmas Festival and celebration where hundreds of thousands of lights deck the streets in Christmas cheer as part of Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights.
“It was such an honor to be in Natchitoches this year to flip the switch and turn on lights for the annual Christmas Festival,” said Nungesser. “The area and the people truly are shining examples of the hospitality you can find all across our state. If you haven’t made plans to check out the Holiday Trail of Lights across north Louisiana, you should. It will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit.”
“In the last several years, Natchitoches has seen a resurgence of Front Street and the areas around it,” said Louisiana Main Street Program Director Ray Scriber. “Many towns in Louisiana can experience this same resurgence by implementing the Main Street Approach®. One of the benefits of being a designated Louisiana Main Street community is a building rehabilitation grant program.
The 2018 grants were just announced, but the application process for the 2019 grants will open late spring.”