Pencil me in: Calendars fill up as events return

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Juanice Gray | Editor
Mark your calendar…and just keep on marking. Weekend activities in Natchitoches Parish are coming fast and furious as festivals, events, contests, athletics, the arts and gatherings return, some after a two-year hiatus.
Dates of confirmed activities dominated the February Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) meeting. Notable are the Pub Craws set for March 19, Melrose Arts and Crafts show, already with 50 vendors confirmed, April 23-24, Jazzfest May 20-21 and the Zydeco Fest and Car Show in September.
One doesn’t have to wait for things to do, the Scholar’s College open house, high school literary rally, CAPA on the Cane and Flavor of Louisiana will keep everyone busy March 12. NSU will also host the Greek Centennial April 8.
Sandra Dickens with the Historic District Business Association said the Christmas Festival Committee met earlier this month and confirmed there were 72 entries in the parade. She said 51% of the armbands were sold as well as a record 9,500 tickets the second weekend in December. Dickens said this could be proof the ads placed on the Hallmark Channel worked. She confirmed the popular Cookies with Santa will return in 2022. Those present remarked on the fireworks show stating they were the best they’d ever seen, even comparing them to those at Disney.

This article published in the Feb. 24, 2022, print edition

Natchitoches Historic Foundation’s Terri Cunningham said Gather in the Garden will be March 12 at 9 a.m. A guest speaker will talk about roses, attendees will move around the city to several places, have brunch and afternoon snacks.
Guest Lyn Kay, Events Center Director, said the recent gun show did well and similar events are tentatively scheduled for May and September. She also said the taxidermy convention is slated for May 23-26.
Amy Lee with the Cane River National Heritage Area said a new event, Natchitoches in Bloom, a public art project, will design, sculpt and paint a series of metal sculptures featuring native flora that will be placed in public City parks. There will be five sculptures unveiled this year, the poinsettia, Louisiana Iris, zinnia, tulip and magnolia. The project costs will be shared by the CRNHA and NHDDC. These entities partnered with Corbin Covher and the NSU Dept. of Creative and Performing Arts for the designs.
The poinsettia will commemorate the 95th Christmas Festival. It will be placed on the Riverbank near the Santa House. Emily Dawson, an NSU student, will paint a design onto the sculpture featuring a gift from Santa wrapped in red with a green bow and brown packing paper on the outer edges. The sculpture is approximately 3 feet tall and will be placed on a pedestal.
This poinsettia is the first of five metal art sculptures to be placed in Natchitoches this year as part of the Natchitoches in Bloom project.

NHDDC funds support numerous events. From Nov. 1-Dec. 31, NHDDC contributed $1,500 to the City of Lights Tournament, $5,000 to the NSU Gala and $2,100 to Bynog’s Tree Service for maintenance of the trees in the historic district. They also assist with fees for lawn services.