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Alex River Fête

Annual Festival of Lights Brightens Natchitoches for the Holidays

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Louisiana’s oldest city draws more than 100,000 visitors each holiday season when historic downtown Natchitoches transforms into a city of lights. The Christmas Festival of Lights is a six-week showcase of holiday cheer as the city, located south of Shreveport, becomes a winter wonderland.

The festival kicks off with a Christmas parade and a night of fireworks in the downtown historic district. Along the Cane River, a parade of illuminated barges drift past onlookers, and Natchitoches’ colonial district dresses up for the occasion. More than 300,000 lights and 100 holiday displays along the river glow each night from early December until after New Year’s Day.

The Festival of Lights began in early December 1927, and it continues to delight visitors from across the state and nation. Additional elements of the festival  include an arts and crafts show, riverfront food booths selling regional cuisine like Natchitoches’ famous meat pies, and live holiday music performed by groups from superstars to high school marching bands.

Photo Credit: Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau