Turn on the Holidays, the official start to 45 nights of Christmas lights, is an entire day of free family entertainment in downtown Natchitoches. The event will kick-off the Natchitoches Christmas season as the city prepares for the 87th Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival taking place on December 7, 2013. Each weekend during the Natchitoches Christmas season will feature spectacular fireworks displays and entertainment as part of the Festival of Lights.
Events for Turn on the Holidays begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 23, 2013 with the final Cane River Green Market of the fall season. The Cane River Green Market will feature local vendors of fresh produce and handcrafted items. Enjoy a free Zumba class by Kimmy’s Zumba at 8:30 a.m. and line dance with Avila at 10:00 a.m. Other activities at the market include Bodacious Balloon Art by David G. Wonders and free face painting by Face Art by Jill Huber & Friends.
Children’s activities continue into the afternoon with free face painting, balloon art, letters to Santa with Miss Merry Christmas and the Christmas Belles, and a magic show by Master Magician David G. Wonders at 2:00 p.m. David G. Wonders is a feature of fairs and festivals all over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. He entertained troops with comedy and magic for 18 months in Kandahar, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and received two awards in recognition of his service.
The Historic District Business Association will host a Holiday Open House from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors will have an opportunity to preview the latest holiday merchandise and trends at shops along Front Street.
Evening entertainment begins at 5:30 p.m. with a live performance by the Windstorm Band from Shreveport. The Windstorm Band, one of the best-known groups in the southern region, plays a wide range of genres from the soulful and melodic sounds of blues and R&B to the pulse heightening, feel good music of pop, hip-hop and old-school funk. Windstorm has opened for such acts as the Isley Brothers, Cameo, Gerald Levert, Luther Vandross, Lakeside, and the Commodores to name a few.
The highlight of the evening will be the official turning on of hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights that will illuminate the Natchitoches Historic District throughout the Natchitoches Christmas season. A lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. with an introduction to the Natchitoches Tri-Centennial Celebration, followed by a fireworks show over Cane River Lake at 7:00 p.m.
The downtown riverbank will be closed to all traffic beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 23. The Church Street Bridge and Williams Avenue from Whitfield Drive to Henry Avenue will close at 6:30 p.m. in preparation for the fireworks show.
All events are free and open to the public.
Turn on the Holidays is sponsored by grants from the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the Natchitoches Tri-Centennial Steering Committee, and the Office of the Lt. Governor, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Turn on the Holidays is a Louisiana Main-to-Main event. Louisiana Main-to-Main: A Cultural Road Show is designed to showcase the Louisiana Main Street Program and foster economic development for the Louisiana Main Street communities. Throughout the month of November, Main Street communities across the state will host various events and activities that promote cultural tourism. Louisiana Main to Main is a program of Louisiana Main Street and is sponsored by a grant from the Office of the Lt. Governor, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. For more information on Main to Main events, visit www.louisianamaintomain.org.
For more information about Turn on the Holidays, please call the Natchitoches Main Street office at (318) 352-2746 or visit www.downtownnatchitoches.com. For more information on the Natchitoches Christmas Festival and Season, visit www.NatchitochesChristmas.com.