Natchitoches, Louisiana is a town that seems to know how to do Christmas… a Louisiana Christmas anyways. For 91 years they have put on a display known as The City of Lights. Where Christmas light displays line the Cane River running through the downtown area and as many as 300,000 lights cover the old Creole buildings and create canopies over the downtown streets and bridges. These lights even cover the pylons holding up the bridge that crosses the placid Cane River.
A Louisiana Christmas Spirit
This Louisiana Christmas is complete with what is in my opinion way too much New Orleans Saint pride. They also have Santa and his reindeer, a color changing fountain in the middle of the river, and of course what every good Louisiana Christmas needs… a crawdad wakeboarding behind a gator.
Jennifer and I found this place by sheer luck. Last month after Thanksgiving we were along some back roads from New Orleans headed towards Shreveport and were looking for a place to boondock (free camping) for the night. Our AllStays app said that the only spot nearby was at the Walmart in Natchitoches so we headed that way.
As we entered into the downtown area we were caught off guard by the canopy of lights encompassing the road. We immediately pulled over and spent a few hours walking through the spirited town. I only wish we had had a few days to hang out and enjoy some of the towns seasonal festivities. The town does firework shows, concerts, festivals, and other Christmas related activities throughout the season. You can check out their schedule of events here.
Remembering the Child
Perhaps my favorite part of this small town experience was that while this town had been celebrating Christmas this way for 91 years they hadn’t lost the meaning of Christmas. The central focus of their riverbank displays was the elaborate manger scene complete with the star of Bethlehem, the wise men and their camels and of course spitballing angels… my wife thought the angels looked like they were blowing spitballs at the cross. 🙂
The lights blinked on the way towards the cross… I think it is supposed to look like trumpet sounds, hard to do that in lights. Anyways, I was proud to see a display like this put on by a U.S. city as usually, you get a Christmas tree and a Santa which is great, but the season is about the Christ child who came to save the world and there it is in lights, “For God so Loved the World.”
What a great way to put an entire town and those who visit in the Christmas spirit. If you are looking for a Christmas destination for 2018 perhaps put Natchitoches on your list… it is hard to beat this display plus you can get some Creole food… my favorite.