Events in Natchitoches | Tour Louisiana

Events in Natchitoches

Home to friendly folks, great food, good music, mild weather, and a scenic riverfront, Natchitoches has all the ingredients to make it one of the Gulf South’s most popular small-town destinations. From food festivals and arts events to a nationally known Christmas celebration, Natchitoches is full of memory-making events the whole family will love.

January
American Cemetery Tour (Monthly)
Discover the stories of notable Natchitoches residents and their role in the area’s history through an American Cemetery Walking Tour, organized by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum. Tours take place on the first Friday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tours include tales of the planters, businessmen, politicians, and educators who shaped Natchitoches. Free and open to the public.
American Cemetery, 2nd Street Entrance
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-2492


February

Mardi Gras in Natchitoches
Louisiana’s favorite holiday, Mardi Gras comes alive in Natchitoches with a carnival season complete with same-day parades for people and pups! Dress Fido in his best purple, green, and gold for the daytime Krewe of Wag-uns Pet Parade, followed that evening by the Krewe of Dionysos and its many intricately decorated floats. It’s the perfect day to yell, “Throw me something, mister!”
700 2nd Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 353-2772


March

Bloomin’ on the Bricks & Art Along the Bricks
Experience the beauty of Natchitoches in the springtime with Bloomin’ on the Bricks, a celebration of the thousands of blooming tulips throughout the city’s downtown historic district. Purchase plants and gardening supplies as you experience the explosion of springtime color. The Art Along the Bricks event happening simultaneously is a gathering of regional artists and makers showcasing their latest works.
701 4th Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-3822

St. Patrick’s Pub Crawl

A charitable event hosted by the Natchitoches Young Professionals, the St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl & Poker Run features plenty of chances to enjoy food and drink along Front Street downtown. Pub crawlers, all dressed in green, walk from spot to spot, drawing a poker card at each destination in the hopes of gaining a winning poker hand.
103 Rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 352-6894

Cane River Film Festival
Celebrate the unique culture of the Cane River Creole region through films made by local students and independent filmmakers. Films are screened throughout the day for free, followed by a ticketed opening night celebration party with cocktails, food, and live music.
1011 Keyser Avenue
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 505-0466


April

Natchitoches Farmers Market
This month, catch the return of the Natchitoches Farmers Market, open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the riverfront. Pick up locally grown fruits and vegetables bursting with springtime flavor. This collegial gathering is a great place to meet friendly folks.
Downtown Riverfront
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 238-4211

Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival
The Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival gathers artists and craftspeople from throughout the region for an open-air arts bazaar. Stroll along the booths to see the work of regional painters, ceramicists, jewelry makers, and more. It’s only fitting that Melrose hosts an arts festival. In the early 20th Century, the plantation became an artists’ colony and was the home of American folk artist Clementine Hunter.
3533 Hwy 119
Melrose, LA 71452
(318) 379-0055


May

Natchitoches Farmers Market
Yum! Spring and summer fruits and veggies never tasted so good! Why? Because they’re locally grown. Pick up tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and more, along with preserves and other prepared foods at the Natchitoches Farmers Market, open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays on the riverfront.
Downtown Riverfront
Natchitoches, LA 71757
(318) 238-4211

Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival
Experience two days of jazz, R&B, country, rock, zydeco, soul, funk and more at the popular Natchez Jazz and R&B Festival on the downtown riverfront. Three simultaneous stages of music, plus food and more give fans plenty to enjoy. The event celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022.
700 2nd Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 352-2772

Sale on the Trail
Two states, six cities, and more than 100 miles make up this show-stopping weekend of shopping fun along the historic road, El Camino Real. Start in Natchitoches and meander along Highway 6 west into Texas. Make your way to the town of Nacogdoches as you find great bargains at both retailers and yard sales along the way.
Travel along Hwy 6 to Hwy 21
Natchitoches, LA to Nacogdoches, TX
(800) 358-7802


June

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Be a witness to living sports history as the latest heroes on the field, and off, are inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. Past greats include Archie Manning, Willis Reed, Shaquille O’Neal, Chanda Rubin, and Audrey “Mickey” Patterson, the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal. They’re just a few of the individuals from Louisiana representing physical feats and impressive persistence.
800 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71452
(318) 357-2492

Natchitoches Farmers Market
Enjoy summer produce bursting with flavor this month at the Natchitoches Farmers Market including sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, blueberries, peaches, and much more. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays on the riverfront.
Downtown Riverfront
Natchitoches, LA 71757
(318) 238-4211

Natchez Heritage Festival

Enjoy a community parade followed by great food and family-friendly fun at the annual Natchez Heritage Festival in the Village of Natchez’s Pecan Park. Kids will love the waterslide, bouncy house, cakewalk, face painting, and much more.
181 Main Street
Natchez, LA 71456
(318) 352-6266


July

Celebration on the Cane
Natchitoches pulls out all the stops for a spectacular Independence Day celebration on the Cane River Lake riverfront. The beloved community event includes food, live music, and kid’s activities, followed by an exciting display of fireworks over the river after dark.
103 Rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(800) 259-1714

Natchitoches Farmers Market
Explore scores of booths and vendors at the lively Natchitoches Farmers Market to find just-picked fresh summer produce like okra, eggplant, tomatoes, and watermelon, along with nursery plants, preserves, baked goods, and much more. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays on the riverfront.
Downtown Riverfront
Natchitoches, LA 71757
(318) 238-4211

Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival
Celebrate the vibrant culture of the Cane River region at this annual folk festival at Northwestern State University, a lively event featuring traditional crafts, music, and dancing. Take a Cajun dance lesson, watch a fiddle competition, listen to three stages of folk music, and purchase unique crafts. There’s mouthwatering Cajun and Creole food too!
Northwestern State University
175 Sam Sibley Drive
Natchitoches, LA 71497
(318) 357-4332


September

Cane River Zydeco Festival & Poker Run
Stomp your boots and swing your hips for the annual Cane River Zydeco Festival & Poker Run, held every Labor Day weekend on the banks of the scenic Cane River Lake. As numerous zydeco bands play their signature accordions and washboards, take part in the friendly dance competition, or just sit back and watch the experts “wow!” the crowd.
780 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(800) 259-1714

Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival
Natchitoches takes its role as the Meat Pie Capital of Louisiana seriously, celebrating its flavorful signature food with an annual Meat Pie Festival every September. The event kicks off on Friday night with live bands and the Brew Fest, specialty beer sampling for those 21 and older. On Saturday, a series of bands will keep your toes tapping as you sample all sorts of Cajun and Creole fare while witnessing the meat pie eating contest! This favorite community gathering also includes a hot air balloon event and live fireworks.
100 Rue Beauport Riverfront
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 652-0578

Marthaville Good Ole Days Festival
Since 1992, the town of Marthaville has celebrated old-fashioned fun with its downtown Good Ole Days Festival. Hear live gospel music, witness an ATV and motorcycle parade, enjoy delectable food, and pick up homemade crafts at this family-friendly gathering that will bring a smile to your face.
233 S. Main Street
Marthaville, LA 71450
(318) 332-9181


October

Natchitoches Classic Car Show
The first weekend in October in downtown Natchitoches brings hundreds of classic cars to the brick-lined streets of the Landmark Historic District. The two-day gathering includes a poker run, fish fry, live music, and an opportunity to view classic cars in all their splendor.
373 Second Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 352-6894

St. Augustine Catholic Church Creole Festival
Celebrate the unique culture of the Isle Brevelle region, originally established by Free People of Color, at the annual St. Augustine Catholic Church Creole Festival. A variety of events take place in and around the historic, picturesque Catholic church, including a fish fry, live music, kids’ activities, and lots of authentic Creole cuisine.
2262 LA 484
Natchez, LA 71456
(318) 379-2521

Tapped-Tober
Turn your October into Tapped-Tober with this popular downtown Natchitoches music festival and beer tasting. Big name and regional acts play live music on a large stage overlooking the riverfront, while food trucks and kids’ inflatables provide additional entertainment. The event is a fundraiser for the Natchez Regional Medical Center Foundation.
15 Rue Beauport
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 238-5107

American Cemetery Tour 
Discover the stories of notable Natchitoches residents and their role in the area’s history through an American Cemetery Walking Tour, organized by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum. Tours take place on the first Friday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and include tales of the planters, businessmen, politicians, and educators who shaped Natchitoches. Free and open to the public.
American Cemetery, 2nd Street Entrance
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-2492

Dark Woods Haunted Attraction  
It’s all about spooky scares at this annual creepy haunted house and grounds, open from the end of September through October. Meander, if you dare, through indoor and outdoor experiences irresistibly loaded with the stuff of nightmares.
4343 University Place
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 228-1725

Melrose Fall Festival
Enjoy beautiful fall weather as you stroll through more than 50 artists’ booths at one of Louisiana’s most fascinating former plantations, Melrose, which was converted briefly to an artists’ colony in the early 20th Century. With original art, culinary items, and eclectic crafts for sale, it’s a great place to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping.
3533 Hwy 19
Melrose, LA 71452
(318) 379-0055


November

Turn on the Holidays
Natchitoches takes Christmas seriously, with a nationally known holiday festival that begins each year with the Festival of Lights. Watch in wonder as 300,000 tiny lights come to life in more than 100 charming holiday set pieces along Cane River Lake, followed by fireworks, music and food.
781 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-3822

Festival of Lights Christmas Season
A wide variety of holiday events takes place throughout the season in Natchitoches, which celebrates Christmas like no other small town in America. The merriment kicks off in mid-November with the official Turn on the Holidays lighting, complete with fireworks! The celebration continues until the end of the season with something fun to do every week. Run in the Light the Way 5K, attend the Northwestern State University Christmas Gala, enjoy the Festival of Lights Parade, and much, much more.  
781 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-3822

Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Mall  
It’s like having 100 different little stores in one convenient place! Spend the day shopping at the annual Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Mall, where makers, retailers and artists sell original handmade items. The event is held at the Natchitoches Events Center. Admission is free.
750 2nd Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-3822

Dark Woods Christmas in the Park
You’ll think you’re in the North Pole with all the festivities happening at Dark Woods Adventure Park’s Christmas in the Park, where 250,000 twinkling light displays illuminate seven woodsy acres. Snap a picture with Santa, roast marshmallows for s’mores, visit beloved Christmas characters, and enjoy holiday music. Get ready for a holly jolly good time.
4343 University Place
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 228-1725


December

Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights
Ho! Ho! Ho! One of the oldest community holiday celebrations in the country is the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights, which has been spreading cheer and drawing scores of fans since 1927. The festival kicks off in mid-November with a Turn on the Holidays event in which 300,000 lights in more than 100 set pieces are illuminated along the riverfront.

A series of jolly activities take place until the Epiphany on January 6, and include live music, fireworks, kids’ activities, lavish downtown decorations, merchant open houses, a 5K run, a parade, the Holiday Tour of Homes, and the Natchitoches-NSU Christmas Gala.
781 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-3822

Holiday Tour of Homes
Soak up the historic charm of Natchitoches—combined with impossibly beautiful Christmas decorations—at the Holiday Tour of Homes. Visit a variety of downtown properties throughout the month in this self-guided walking tour, which includes docent-led commentaries at each stop.
781 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-3822

Dark Woods’ Christmas in the Park
Stroll through seven acres of Christmas fun at Dark Woods Adventure Park’s Christmas in the Park, where 250,000 twinkling lights will light the way. Santa and Mrs. Claus are ready to hear your Christmas list, and they’ll smile for the camera, too. Grab a Dole whip or a meat pie in the Black Cat Café, or roast marshmallows for s’mores around a campfire.
4343 University Place
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 228-1725

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