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Celebrate the joy of the Christmas season with a visit to Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.  Natchitoches was named the 2018 Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 "Festival of the Year", 2018 "Top Festival in the State" by New Orleans Magazine and winner of the Louisiana Travel Association "Holiday Trail of Lights" Festival of the Year in 2018.

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, fireworks each Saturday, a parade, 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 93rd year and is Louisiana's premier holiday Event. Visitors are captivated by more than 300,000 lights illuminating downtown Natchitoches and over 100 lighted set pieces along Cane River creating a magical backdrop for spectacular fireworks and entertainment. Enjoy gator on a stick, hot gumbo and of course Natchitoches meat pies from many of the food vendors.

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.  Book a room at one of our hotels or one of our many Bed and Breakfasts by visiting our website at or click here for the list of Holiday events.

Merry Christmas!

E.g., 11/20/2019
E.g., 11/20/2019
11/22/2019 | 11/23/2019 | 11/29/2019 | 11/30/2019 | 12/01/2019 | 12/04/2019 | 12/05/2019 | 12/06/2019 | 12/07/2019 | 12/08/2019 | 12/11/2019 | 12/12/2019 | 12/13/2019 | 12/14/2019 | 12/15/2019 | 12/18/2019 | 12/19/2019 | 12/20/2019 | 12/21/2019 | 12/22/2019 | 12/23/2019 | 12/24/2019 | 12/25/2019

Step into a magical winter wonderland as Dark Woods transforms for Christmas In The Park, Natchitoches’ newest holiday attraction. Gates open Friday, November 22, 2019 to kick off the Christmas season.

Experience over 8 acres of enchanting, lighted walkways with over 250,000 LED lights and displays that bring the woods to life! Our 128 foot lighted footbridge, along with snowflakes and a canopy of twinkling ice lights, will let you explore the beauty of nature like you’ve never seen it.

Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and indulge in our signature “melt in your mouth” miniature donuts.

Meet and get your picture with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, The Frozen Princess and her reindeer at our Kringle Outpost.

Gates are open 6-9pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 6-10pm on Friday-Sunday nights during November and December.

For more information please call 318-332-8546. Embrace the magic of the woods and spirit of the holidays with “Christmas In The Park“ in Natchitoches, La!

Christmas in the Park at Dark Woods
4242 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

FREE admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank
10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. “Turn on the Holidays!” Join us for the official start to the Natchitoches Christmas season as we turn on the Christmas lights for the first time. This all day event features live musical entertainment, children’s activities, and fireworks!
10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Cookies with Santa - Downtown Riverbank - Purchase tickets HERE
4:00-7:00 p.m. Holiday Open House – Historic District Business Association Shops & Attractions Open Late
4:30-7:00 p.m. Entertainment – Cane River Soul - Downtown Riverbank
7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake
7:20-9:30 p.m. Entertainment – Louisiana Red – Downtown Riverbank 

Front Street & Natchitoches Riverbank
780 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Turn on the Holidays in Natchitoches

Admission to Downtown Riverbank after 1:00 p.m., $6 ages 12 and over.
9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fleur de Lis Arts & Crafts Show at Natchitoches Event Center, 750 Second Street. FREE.
10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank, $ (costs associated)
4:30-7:00 p.m. Entertainment – LaCour Trio – Downtown Riverbank
7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake
7:20-9:30 p.m. Entertainment – Amanda Shaw – Downtown Riverbank

Front Street & Downtown Riverbank
780 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
12/04/2019 | 12/05/2019 | 12/06/2019

The Natchitoches/Northwestern Christmas Gala showcases more than 300 Northwestern State students, faculty and staff in the NSULA Creative & Performing Arts Department. The show is based on the long-running Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

Wednesday, December 4th 7p.m.
Thursday, December 5th 7 p.m.
Friday, December 6th 7 p.m. & 9 p.m.

Natchitoches Events Center, 700 Second Street, Natchitoches, LA.

For additional information, ticket prices and to order advance tickets contact Teresa at (318) 357-4522 or Ladell at (318) 357-5773.

Natchitoches Events Center
750 Second Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457

93rd Annual Christmas Festival, Louisiana’s Premiere Holiday Event. Enjoy our daylong festival filled with live music, arts, crafts and food vendors, a parade and a magnificent fireworks show choreographed to holiday music over the riverbank of Cane River Lake. 

Admission armbands are required for entry to Front Street & Downtown Riverbank - $10 for ages 12 & up – $8 for advanced armbands, available for purchase November 1st.
10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Christmas on the Cane at Fort St. Jean Baptiste SHS, Celebrate Christmas 18th century style with historians, re-enactors and period merchants – $ 4 ages 12-62.
10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. LA Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, $6 adults; $5 seniors, students and active military; children 6 and under admitted free. 
1:00 p.m. Festival of Lights Parade - Grand Marshall Rick Rowe, television personality
3:00-6:00 p.m. Entertainment – Mike McKenzie Band – Downtown Riverbank
6:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake

Front Street & Downtown Riverbank
780 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457

7:30 p.m. Lessons and Carols with NSU Chamber Choir at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church, FREE.

Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
145 Church Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
12/12/2019 | 12/13/2019 | 12/14/2019 | 12/19/2019 | 12/20/2019 | 12/21/2019

The Christmas Tour of Homes is a holiday tour of uniquely decorated homes in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The event, will feature docent led commentaries on the history of each property as well as the unique holiday decorations. This unique tour consists of homes located in the Natchitoches Historic District.

The Christmas Tour of Homes is a walking tour. Thursday and Friday night tours are sponsored by Maglieaux's and will feature a complimentary glass of wine at the end of the tour.

We invite you to experience the charm of historic Natchitoches during this annual holiday event. Proceeds from the Tour benefit restoration of properties in the Natchitoches Parish area.

A list of participating tour stop and ticket purchasing information can be found HERE.


550 2nd Tour
Natchitoches, LA 71457

This night-time race will be entirely lit with the famous Natchitoches Christmas lights! Route starts in front of the riverbank stage, runs south past Santa Clause Lane, turns west on Amulet, north on 2nd Street, and east on Lafayette which will run back down to the riverbank. 1 of these laps will be the end of the Fun Run. 3 laps will complete the 5k.

You are encouraged and incentivized to run in your Christmas best! That might be a Christmas costume; it might be an ugly sweater… get creative and have FUN! Prizes will be awarded for Best Christmas Spirit! Team themes will be considered.

Save time at registration, and pick up your race packet Thursday, December 12th from 5:00-7:00pm at Maglieaux's Riverfront Restaurant.

No one is leaving empty handed! All runners leave with stuffed swag bags, courtesy of Lang Orthodontics. Swag bags include: race t-shirt, glow necklace. More details coming soon.

Loosen your limbs with a light warm-up led by a local trainer beginning at 5:30. This is also the time to pick up your race packet if you were unable to make the pick-up party.

Stick around for awards for each age bracket and Best Christmas Spirit, plus food booths, a DJ and kid zone on the banks of the beautiful Cane River, where 100+ Christmas light set pieces reflect on the water.

The Light the Way 5k & Fun Run is organized by the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from this event benefit the A+ Coalition, a Chamber initiative to advance education in Natchitoches Parish. Click here to learn more or to join the movement:

102 rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Admission to the Downtown Riverbank beginning at 1 p.m. – $6 Ages 12 & up. Advanced armband sales will be available for purchase November 1.
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Christmas for Children – Prud’homme-Roquier House hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation, FREE
10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank, $ (costs associated)
10 a.m.-6:00 p.m. – Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum
4:30-7:00 p.m. Entertainment – Smackwater Band- Downtown Riverbank
7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River
7:20-9:30 p.m. Entertainment – Jaryd Lane & The Parish- Downtown Riverbank  

102 rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Admission to Downtown Riverbank beginning at 1 p.m. – $6 Ages 12 & up. Advanced armband sales will be available for purchase November 1.
10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank, $ (costs associated)
10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. – Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum open
4:30-7:00 p.m. Entertainment – Paul & Pete Band – Downtown Riverbank
7:00 p.m. Fireworks Cane River Lake
7:20-9:30 p.m. Entertainment – Rockin’ Doopsie – Downtown Riverbank 

102 rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA 71457