I was a little stumped when trying to decide if this was a business, product or website. It does not really fit either of those categories. I finally decided that it is a business because, even though it only occurs once a year, it is a business for the City of Natchitoches and a big money-maker for the city. The Christmas Lights Festival is a one-day crafts and entertainment festival that is actually celebrated for two months. For those that don't know, Natchitoches is a small city/large town in northwest Louisiana that was the first French settlement in Louisiana. The downtown area subtly resembles a very scaled down, but clean, version of the New Orleans French Quarter. The festival is an annual event that always occurs on the first Saturday of December. The downtown area has Christmas lights strung all over it and is beautifully decorated. Starting in mid-November, the lights are lit are every night and the lighted scenes along Cane River Lake (yes, I said that right, but I don't have time to explain) are lit for everyone to enjoy. On the Friday before the festival, there is a flotilla parade along Cane River Lake. On the day of the festival, the lights are turned off and the downtown area becomes an area for craft vendors and entertainers. Good food is everywhere and you are guaranteed to gain a few pounds. Be sure to eat a few of the famous Natchitoches meatpies from Lasyone's Restaurant. A parade rolls and a good time is had by all. Once night falls, the festival is closed with a beautiful fireworks display after which all of the lights are relit and remain lit until New Years. There is usually live entertainment on for a little while after the fireworks and then the festival is over. The season is ended with the arrival of the new year.
People have been known to come from miles around and all over the country to see this festival. Natchitoches is the town in which the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed and this festival is the same Christmas Festival featured in that movie. I recommend that any of you who are in the area make plans to visit the festival.