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Photo of Santa waving to the crowd from a Christmas float
Santa waves to the crowd during the Natchitoches Christmas Festival

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Natchitoches Christmas Festival
A Local Legacy

Have you ever seen a fireworks display at Christmas time?

In Natchitoches, Louisiana, Christmas celebrations include fireworks, a parade, and the Festival of Lights. This festival started in the 1920s, when the city's new chief electrician got the idea that stringing Christmas lights along Front Street would be a nice Christmas present from the Power & Light Department to the citizens of the town. Local businesses donated money for the lights, and every year since then the light show has expanded with more lights and events to celebrate the Christmas season. In the late 1930s, the town started the fireworks displays and soon thereafter started to hold parades, including a parade of Christmas-decorated barges on the Cane River. The children's parade was started in the 1970s.

In addition to all the entertainment festival-goers can eat the highly popular Natchitoches meat pie. Food vendors also offer crawfish pies, funnel cakes, alligator, and other festival food. As one festival-goer put it, "If it swims, flies, hops, or crawls, you can find it there, deep-fried and on a stick."

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