The Oldest Christmas Celebration in Southern Louisiana

Christmas on the Cane

Panoramic view of Festival of Lights

My latest adventure goes back to 90 years ago. Natchitoches, LA has been known for their Festival of Lights since before I was born. In 1927, Max Burgdof thought it would be exciting to find a new way to celebrate Christmas. Mr. Burgdof was the superintendent of utilities at the time. He provided a 10 watt Christmas tree bulb to post along Front Street, which is in the downtown area of Natchitoches. Every year since then, Natchitoches adds a new piece to light up the Cane River. This year Natchitoches celebrated their 91st Festival of Lights. They decided to name it Christmas on the Cane. It was such an amazing experience to be a part of. Around 1 PM on Saturday, December 2, there was a parade prior to the concert at 4 PM-6 PM. There were several different artists, vendors, and people from different parts of Louisiana. This day full of activities was set up to welcome December and to celebrate the city's history. Unfortunately I missed the parade, but I was able to hear some awesome music from some of the artists they allowed to perform. Heads up, make sure while preparing to participate in the festivities that you try to make it there early; it helps the process of finding seating downtown and parking. The climate was hot, starting off in the middle of the day, but the darker it got I could feel more of a breeze, so a blanket would be nice to bring, and also a lawn chair. Many people including myself had to sit on the ground due to not bringing a lawn chair. OK! So upon arrival I had to park within the downtown neighborhood so that I would be walking distance to the downtown area where the light show would take place. The admission of the downtown area is $10 per person 12+ years of age and under 64 years old. In order to buy food from the vendors you must purchase food vendor tickets at the entrance of the downtown areas where you purchase your wristbands from. While I was enjoying the festivities I did remember how famous Natchitoches is for their meat pies, so I made sure that I purchased a meat pie from one of the food vendors that was located downtown, but I would honestly suggest for future reference visiting Lasyone's Meat Pies and Maggio's for a daiquiri. These two places are within the city but not downtown. The meat pies from the food vendors downtown were overpriced and the meat pie was fairly hard. However, the actual light show was AMAZING. When I was younger I came to see the lights, but I could barely remember anything. Visiting as an adult literally has left a mark on me in a tremendous way. While Louisiana is full of great places to see holiday lights, Natchitoches is known around the country for its festivities. The fireworks were paired to holiday music, which made the show that much more exciting. Right after the show, the city turns on all 91 lights that are showcased, and seeing the Cane River lit up made me feel like a kid again. I was more excited than I'm sure I was as a child. This year's theme was "Christmas on the Cane." I participated in the kickoff day which was December 2, the first Saturday of December. The Festival of Lights will display their show every Saturday until the last Saturday in December. Each Saturday they will have different live entertainment, art, food, and vendors. If you're looking for something exciting and fun to experience before Christmas this is the ideal event to attend. For more info you can visit their website here.

Krystal Norris
Krystal Norris

I'm a passionate young lady from Louisiana where food, music, and fun have always been a part of my culture. I'm an inspiring blogger enthusiastic about sharing my life experiences with my readers. Join me on my journey. 

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The Oldest Christmas Celebration in Southern Louisiana