Gear up and get out; Festival season has arrived


Juanice Gray
Festivals and events are having great turnout this fall. Whether the reason is the fabulous weather, the urge to be outdoors, the need for social gathering, the variety of the occasions or just the interest in, and quality of, the festivals/events is yet to be decided. In any case, people are getting out and having a good time all around the parish.
The inaugural NSU Bass Fishing Tournament had a good showing with more than 80 boats entered.
Main Street Director Jill Leo said there were 18 participants in the Crows on the Cane scarecrow contest. Witch Way to Main Street and Farmers Market are teaming up for a joint event on the Riverbank Saturday, Oct. 29, for a morning of live entertainment, children and pet costume contests, vendors, trick or treating and more. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult and will be allowed to trick or treat from 10 a.m.-noon on the Downtown Riverbank.
Cane River Waterway Commission (CRWC) spokesperson Jim Rhodes announced there will be a new dock coming to the Washington Street boat launch.
He and Leo jointly announced the CRWC donated $25,000 to offset the rising costs of fireworks this Christmas season. Rhodes also said the CRWC is talking with the City about a new fountain for Cane River.
According to Sandra Dickens with the Historic District Business Association, the car show had 440 entries and “lots of new people.” She told the Historic District Development Commission (HDDC) at their October meeting the fireworks were “a great added attraction.”

Good news also came from Barbara Justice with the National Park Service. She said outside exhibits along trails were set to be installed in mid-November. The Cane River Creole park will host their Fall Bike Ride Nov. 5 beginning at 9 a.m. Participants will make the 12-mile round trip from Magnolia Plantation to the Badin-Roque House and St Augustine Catholic Church. Bikes and helmets are available. All ages welcome. Reservations are required. Due to the closure of a section of Highway 119, Magnolia Plantation can only be reached from Hwy 1. Justice also announced the park service is hiring. Call 318-352-0383 to make a reservation or for more information.
Cane River National Heritage Area (CRNHA) representative Rebecca Blankenbaker told the HDDC there were over 30 participants at the cemetery preservation workshop Oct. 7. A second workshop will be Oct. 28.
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, the poinsettia, Louisiana Iris, zinnia, tulip and magnolia. The project costs will be shared by the CRNHA and HDDC. 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 and will be dedicated to the late Sadie Dark on the Riverbank near the Santa House Nov. 17.
Tickets are on sale for the Natchitoches Historic Foundation Christmas Tour of Homes. Tickets are $25, children 12 and under are free. Tours will be Dec. 8-10 and 15-17. For details on the tours or to purchase tickets, visit
The Melrose Fall Fest boasted 50 vendors according to Gayle Howell. She said they had a large crowd at the festival that featured not only folk art, but a variety of art. Howell said there will be Trunk-or-Treating at the Moonlight Over Melrose event as well as face painting, games, a dance party and performances by the Indigeaux Witches. Everyone is encouraged to dress in a family-friendly Halloween costume. The event is from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 28. Food may be purchased from Girline’s Food Truck and Natchitoches Picnic Co.
Chamber President Laura Lyles said the last cohort of Leadership Natchitoches was successful and applications are being accepted for the new cohort until Nov. 30. She noted the Thrive Gala will be Dec. 9 while the Light the Way 5k will be Sunday, Nov. 20.
The KTBS Community Caravan will be in Natchitoches Nov. 14.