Natchitoches Events/Attractions

Command Performance will be day of activities, performances: This year’s President’s Command Performance at Northwestern State University on March 27 will be a unique, extraordinary event that alumni and friends of the school and others in this community and across the region simply should not miss. Highlighting the program will be a wide variety of entertainment featuring musical ensembles, choirs, soloists, actors, dancers and other Creative and Performing Arts students at NSU. The event is similar to the popular Christmas Gala that is presented annually by the university. The first President’s Command Performance in 2014 was a rousing success not only because of the concert that dazzled the audience as the Christmas Gala has done for years but also because the event initiated the Creative and Performing Arts Hall of Fame. Three new inductees that have been giants in the Creative and Performing Arts program at Northwestern and in the cultural life of the community—Dr. Grady Harper, Dr. Jack Wann and Jim Bob Key—will be recognized at the March 27 event. Harper was an art professor at Northwestern for more than two decades, and his art work has been exhibited in galleries and private collections across the nation. Wann developed one of the most respected theatre programs in the South while serving as artistic director and professor of theatre from 1990 through 2003. Key, a Natchitoches businessman and NSU graduate who was a member of the band and orchestra, was instrumental in establishing the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. He is a past president of the symphony and has served on the organization’s board of directors for the past 49 years.
In addition to the concert and the induction of new CAPA Hall of Fame members, the President’s Command Performance will include a social hour and dinner in the Alumni Plaza, a silent auction and an exhibit of Dr. Harper’s artwork. It is also noteworthy that the Command Performance activities will follow day-long ceremonies celebrating the investiture of Dr. Jim Henderson as Northwestern’s 18th president. That expands the significance of the second President’s Command Performance. Alumni and friends of the university should plan to attend and support the President’s Command Performance which provides funding for scholarships and other programs and activities that enhance and strengthen the university. 

Fort St. Jean Baptiste will offer an Outdoor Classroom series on “Spring Time Leapers,” for ages 5-12 Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. - noon. There is a $5 fee for this program plus regular admission. For information call 318-357-3101.

Fort St. Jean Baptiste will offer a Colonial Workshop on “Plant to Cordage,” open to all ages Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a $6 fee for this program plus regular admission. For information call 318-357-3101.

Fort St. Jean Baptiste will offer a book review on “Spanish Texas 1519-1821,” Saturday,  March 28, from 10-11 a.m. For information call 318-357-3101. 
The search for Miss Louisiana continues: Applications are now being accepted for the titles of Miss Teen Louisiana and Miss Louisiana International 2015. The Miss Teen and Miss International Pageant will be held July 27- Aug. 2 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville. The women selected as Miss Teen Louisiana and Miss Louisiana International 2015 will serve as ambassadors for Louisiana and will receive an official crown and sash.
Teen and Miss Contestants compete in interview, fitness wear, evening gown, and “fun fashion” to show off their own style in an age-appropriate outfit of their choice. There is no talent or swimsuit competition, and previous pageant experience is not required. Winners of the Miss Teen International and Miss International will receive a three-year modeling contract along with cash and prizes. “Miss” applicants must be unmarried and between the ages of 19-30. “Teen” applicants must be unmarried and between the ages of 13-18 as of July 1, 2015. For information on applying contact Mary Richardson National Executive Director at (540) 989-5992 or email For information on the pageants visit,, or
KNWD announces DemonFest 2015 lineup:  KNWD, Northwestern State University’s student-run radio station, will host DemonFest 2015 March 7 on Iberville Green on the NSU campus. Bands will be coming to Northwestern from all over the southeastern region of the U.S. DemonFest will feature bands from Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, New Orleans and various areas around central Louisiana. This year KNWD made a strong effort to find bands that appeal to many different audiences,” according to KNWD Event Coordinator Taylor LeGrand. Genres vary from indie-rock to hip-hop. DemonFest headliner, Stop Light Observations, is a six-member band from Charleston. The transformational rock band played Bonnaroo Music Festival in the summer of 2013. Music director Apryl Jenkins suggested Stop Light Observations because she thought that their music would cater to a wide-variety of students. DemonFest sub-headliner, the Electric Sons, is a four-piece indie-alternative/electro-pop band out of Atlanta. The Electric Sons have played various venues all over the southern U.S. region, one of the most popular being Hangout Music Festival in May 2014. Other bands on this year’s lineup will feature local bands from Louisiana. Stoop Kids from New Orleans, will bring a bit of psychedelic, doo-wop hip-hop music to Northwestern’s campus. KNWD General Manager Daniel Thiels and staff are “super excited about this year’s DemonFest and hope that students come out and have a great time.”
DemonFest will take place March 7th on Iberville Green. The music festival will begin at 11 a.m. The headliner will begin around 9:45 p.m. All Northwestern State, Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, Stephen F. Austin University and Bossier Parish Community College students and faculty get in free with a valid identification. The cost will be $10 for any non-NSU, LSMSA, SFA, BPCC students or faculty. For more information about DemonFest, contact Katelon Ramos, KNWD Public Relations Director, at


















The fourth annual Kasey's Heart and Soul: Run, Walk and Roll will be  held on Saturday, March 14th. This year the 15K, 5k and 1 Mile events  will start and end at the Downtown  Riverbank area.  Register online at or pick up registration forms at  Basic Health, Warehouse Fitness, The WRAC or Styles Salon. T-shirts  and goodie bags are guaranteed if registered by March 1st. For more information call 318.357.0207. Runners, walkers and wheelchair rollers  are invited to participate on March 14th in Kasey's Heart and Soul: Run, Walk and Roll.

Fort St. Jean Baptiste will host Bocce Ball games, open to all ages Saturday, March 7, from 1-4:30 p.m. For information call 318-357-3101.

The Natchitoches Master Gardeners will host a Lunch and Learn Series Wednesday, March 11. The theme is “Home Vegetable Growing” with Dr. Kiki Fontenot, a state vegetable extension specialist and an associate professor at the LSU AgCenter, from noon -1 p.m. at the Natchitoches Arts Center. For information contact 318-357-2224.


Calcasieu Cut-Ups Quilt Guild is accepting entry forms for a quilt show, “Quilts for all Seasons,” April 17-18 at the West Cal Event Center in Sulphur. This is an show is open to non members and entries are unlimited. Our judges are Jodi Barrows from Square in a Square, Gayle Wallace well-known quilter and fashion designer and award-winner Dot Collins. Ribbons will be awarded. There will be vendors selling quilting, sewing, art and craft items. There will be informational booths. “The Supper Quilt” will be on display and Dr. Donald E. Locke will present his experiences while creating this massive quilt. Email for an entry form

Mark calendars for Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival: The 41st annual Melrose Plantation Arts and Crafts Festival has been scheduled for April 18 and 19, according to Harry Thompson, chairman for the event. The festival is sponsored by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) and annually attracts more than 2,000 visitors during the two-day event. The festival will open at 9 a.m. on the first day and will open at 10 a.m. on the second day. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12. Tickets for the guided tours are $5 and include both structures. Viewing of the other buildings and self-guided tours of the grounds, which feature centuries old live oak trees and various flower beds, are included with the entry fee. Additional information about Melrose Plantation and the Arts and Crafts Festival may be found at
Each year the festival features more the 100 vendors from several states. Among the items offered in past years were original works of art, photographs, stained glass windows, handmade jewelry, plants, gourmet pickles and jellies, clothing, toys, woodworking products, pottery, and other arts and crafts objects. Located in southern Natchitoches Parish on State Highway 119, Melrose Plantation has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The property features eight historic structures dating to the 1800’s. Guided tours will be available for two of the buildings: the big house and the African House. Probably the best-knows artist to live at Melrose was Clementine Hunter, an internationally renowned primitive artist who worked as a field hand, housekeeper, and finally as a cook at the plantation. She was a self-taught artist who began painting using paints and brushes that were discarded by an artist in residence. Many of Hunter’s works are on display in the plantation house at Melrose. Her most unique work, a series of murals depicting life in the Cane River area, were displayed in the African House for many years, but they were removed for restoration last year and will be displayed in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches later this year. Full-sized replicas of the murals are displayed in the African House at Melrose, and the original murals will be re-installed there once that structure has been renovated. The APHN is currently undertaking that major renovation project and is seeking grants and gifts to aid in the work.

The Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Fest will sell raffle tickets as a fundraiser for the festival. The drawing will take place Saturday, April 18 at the Can-Am stage during Jazz Fest. Tickets are $20 each and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win. Prizes include: 1st place - 2015 Pioneer 700 Model #SXS700M2, 2nd place - Yeti Tundra 45 9.4 gal, 3rd place –Gatorwders and 4th place - Midland Wearable Video Camera.Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Natchitoches Power Sports, Bank of Montgomery, Natchitoches Tans, Southern Quality Security, Nichols Department Store-Many and the C. Rodney Harrington Law Office.

4-H youth resident summer camp registration is open. The camp is June 1-5 at the LSU AgCenters Grant Walker 4-H educational center, an 80 acre campsite located near Pollock, on Hwy. 8 about 15 miles northeast of Alexandria. 4-H camp strives to develop a variety of life skills. Space is limited and registration packets are due April 1. For information contact Gwen Fontenot at 357-2224.

Park Ranger Frances Rivas will present an African American History Month Program at the park’s Magnolia Plantation Overseer’s house. The program, titled “From Africa to Cane River: The Evolution of American Music,” will take place Saturday’s in February at 2:30 p.m. Frances’ program will show how many modern American musical genres were influenced by African American culture. Magnolia Plantation is located at 5549 Hwy 119 Derry. For information call 356-8441.





































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