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Celebrate the joy of the Christmas season with a visit to Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and USA Today’s and’s “Best Southern Small Town 2015.”

Thousands of twinkling lights illuminate the downtown district and Cane River Lake. During the six-week holiday season, experience Natchitoches traditions such as carriage tours through the National Historic Landmark District, firework extravaganzas, parades, the Northwestern State University Christmas Gala, and the Christmas Tour of Homes presented by the Natchitoches Historic Foundation.

The Natchitoches Christmas Festival - ranked 3rd “Best Holiday Light Show” behind Rockefeller Center and Disney Land by Yahoo! Travel – celebrates its 90th year and is the granddaddy of all Louisiana festivals. Named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Festival for 2016, visitors are awed by the more than 300,000 lights illuminating downtown Natchitoches and 100 lighted set pieces along Cane River creating a magical backdrop for the spectacular fireworks and entertainment. Enjoy gator on a stick, hot gumbo and of course Natchitoches meat pies from any of the dozen food vendors on hand.

Shops and restaurants stay open late during the holidays. Shopping, live entertainment, carolers, and food and craft vendors create a festive atmosphere for all to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

So plan your trip today. Use the itinerary builder to create a list of events you don’t want to miss and book a hotel room. Merry Christmas!

E.g., 10/23/2017
E.g., 10/23/2017

Natchitoches will be unveiling and dedicating the rue Beauport Riverfront area that has undergone a $4 Million restoration to include a new Festival Stage and Amphitheatre seating, handicap ramps, new restrooms and a brick promenade that runs along the Cane River.


rue Beauport Riverfront
100 rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA
11/18/2017 | 11/25/2017 | 12/02/2017 | 12/09/2017 | 12/16/2017 | 12/23/2017 | 12/30/2017

Fireworks every Saturday Night!


Natchitoches will be “Turning on the Holidays” with the official start of the Holiday Season by “Flipping the Switch” and “Turning the Lights on”. Over 300,000 lights and over 100 set pieces will be lit along with live entertainment and our famous fireworks.

Front Street
Natchitoches, LA

Find everything you will need this holiday season at the Fleur de Lis Arts & Crafts Show. The Fleur de Lis Arts & Crafts Show features a wide variety of unique, hand-made items from more than 100 artists indoors at the Natchitoches Events Center. 

Natchitoches Events Center
750 2nd Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
11/29/2017 | 11/30/2017 | 12/01/2017

For more than 25 years Northwestern State University has produced a world-class Christmas extravaganza to highlight the talents of the students in the Creative and Performing Arts program.  The Annual Christmas Gala delights audiences young and old with an evening of song, dance and performances including the ever popular marching toy soldiers, NSU Rockettes, NSU Percussion Ensemble, and the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra.  Santa Claus, his elves and a few other favorite Christmas characters have also been known to make an appearance or two. 

Northwestern State University’s A.A. Fredericks Auditorium
150 Central Ave
Natchitoches, LA 71457

December 2, the official “Christmas Festival Day” will take place and include the Christmas Parade that will feature the “610 Stompers” from New Orleans as the parade Grand Marshals, Live entertainment and Fireworks. Download the Christmas Brochure for a list of events. 

Front Street
Natchitoches, LA
12/02/2017 | 12/03/2017

Step back in time at Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historical Site as they host Christmas on the Cane formally known as Fe’te de Hiver. Christmas on the Cane will take visitors back to the 18th century time period to experience traditional 18th century Christmas celebrations. The celebrations will feature historical talks about the time period, re-enactors, and period merchants.

Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historical Site
155 Rue Jefferson
Natchitoches, LA 71457
12/07/2017 | 12/08/2017 | 12/09/2017 | 12/14/2017 | 12/15/2017 | 12/16/2017

Visitors to Natchitoches can tour our most famous historic homes beginning December 7, 2017 as part of the Holiday Tour of Homes. Homes on the tour include the Steel Magnolias House, which was featured in the film Steel Magnolias; the Prudhomme Rouquier House, built circa 1790 and the only known two and one-half story bousillage structure on the North American continent; and the Steamboat House, which was reportedly constructed from materials taken from two dismantled steamboats, and many more.  Tours are held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from December 7 to December 16.  Saturday tour ticket holders will receive complimentary admission to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.