Natchitoches Events/Attractions





Harris Wilson Jr., better known in Natchitoches and around Northwestern State University as Coach Black, will be honored with a reception to recognize his heroics in rescuing his niece from his burning home last month.  The devastating fire destroyed nearly everything in the family’s home, but there were no serious injuries.  Wilson made it outside, then realizing his mother and niece were not out of the house, went back in.  They made a narrow escape through a window at the back of the house. Sponsored by Modern Woodmen of America, the reception will take place from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29 in the Stroud Room of the NSU Field House. The public is invited to attend.   At the reception, Modern Woodmen’s Natchitoches chapter will award Coach Black with a $100 grant to present to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the charitable organization of his choice. Since the fire, the Natchitoches community poured out support for the family by contributing to a GoFundMe account managed by the Demons Unlimited Foundation.  Athletics administrators and coaches gathered clothing and other items for the family. Wilson has been a fixture with NSU Athletics for more than 20 years. He was given his nickname Coach Black by his father when he was a small child and for most of his adult life, he has played a role in inspiring coaches, administrators and student-athletes at Northwestern State. Contributions can still be made to the GoFundMe Account by clicking on the following link: For additional information, contact Dr. Haley Taitano, Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs/Senior Woman Administrator, at via email, or by telephone at (318) 357-4278.

Voter Education/Registration Banquet set for Aug. 25: The Natchitoches Parish Voters & Civic League announces Keith Ellison, Democratic Congressmen from Minnesota with Natchitoches Parish roots, will be the featured speaker at its voter education/voter registration banquet Friday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center. Ellison has been the voice for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District five terms. His policy agenda is based on four key priorities – peace, prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability and support for civil and human rights. Ellison was elected Vice-President of the Democratic National Committee and he is a frequent guest on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. His Natchitoches Parish/Louisiana connection is rooted in the Balthazar and Martinez families of the Melrose community. Former students of Natchitoches Parish Training School, Central High School and the Central Area Trade School will recall the educational and life mentorship by his grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank (Doris) Martinez. They were his mother’s, Clytia Cora “Pet” Martinez Ellison’s parents, who resided in the 400 block of what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Natchitoches.   His grandmother was for many years a second grade specialist and his grandfather was an industrial arts teacher prior to becoming the first Director of the Central Area Trade School. John E. Winston Sr., President of the League and the Banquet Steering Committee said tickets are $25 per person or corporate tables are offered $500 per table. Each corporate sponsor will be recognized at the event and will become a part of the commemorative souvenir booklet. State Rep. Karen Carter Peterson will be among the guests. For tickets or more information contact Winston at 228-5798 or Ed Ward at 352-4404.

Destination Downtown Natchitoches: In August. Activities will take place from 1-8:30pm each weekend unless noted otherwise.

August 26th – LaCour Bros Trio\Hank Staples & Thundercreek

Each weekend will feature inflatables for the kids (FREE of charge), face painting, games and more.

Don’t forget your lawn chair!

For more information check out our website or call the HDBA at 318-652-7078.




 Skywatchers interested in the solar eclipse that will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, Aug. 21 are invited to an observation party at Natchitoches Parish Library hosted by Northwestern State University Professor Dr. Chad Thibodeaux.  The event is from 1-2 p.m. when the sun should be the most covered. “I will have a couple of special telescopes out there for people to look through as well our solar telescope,” Thibodeaux said.  “Since we are not in the path of totality, the sun won’t be 100 percent covered by the moon. However, we still will see 70-80 percent coverage. It will be pretty amazing to see.” Although eclipses happen about every six months, the Aug. 21 event will be the first time in 40 years the moon’s shadow passed through the U.S. and the first time in roughly 99 years it crossed the entire North American continent, Thibodeaux said. Natchitoches Parish Library will be giving away special glasses for the event.  Skywatchers should never look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection.  Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause eye damage.  Viewers should use protective solar viewing glasses to protect their eyes. Sunglasses should not be used in place of solar viewing glasses.  Binoculars and cameras should also be fitted with solar filters.  Pointing an unprotected lens directly at the sun can damage the instrument.  Individuals should never look at the sun through binoculars or a camera lens without a solar filter as magnified light can damage eyes more quickly than looking at the sun unaided. The path of totality for the Aug. 21 eclipse is about 70 miles wide and will pass through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Outside the path, viewers will see a partial eclipse in which the moon appears to take a bite out of the sun’s disk. The next solar eclipse that will be visible in the U.S. will take place in 2024, according to scientists, when skies will darken above Mexico and Texas through the Midwest and northeastern U.S.

Dance All Night Long at the Cane River Zydeco Festival, September 1-2: Put on your dancing shoes and head to the Fair Grounds for the 18th Annual Cane River Zydeco Festival. This year, the festival will be held Labor Day weekend, September 1-2 at the Natchitoches Parish Fair Grounds. Friday events include Zydeco music, motorcycle games and Zydeco dance off. Saturday begins with a poker run through Natchitoches Parish. Entertainment begins at 4pm with Zydeco bands, food and fun. Friday night free, $7 Saturday event. There will be food and beverage vendors, bounce houses, live music and more!

Friday, Sept. 1
Poker Run Registration at 6 pm
Zydeco Dance Contest at 9:30 pm

Saturday, Sept. 2
Poker Run Registration at 9 am
Ride begins at 11:30 am
Gates open at 1 pm
Zydeco Dance Lessons by Naomi Bush (FREE)
Jeremy Fruge and Zydeco Hot Boys from 4-6 pm
Hardrick Rivers and the Rivers Revue from 6:30-8 pm
Marcus Ardoin and Da Zydeco Legends from 9-11:30 pm

For tickets and event information contact Melvin Holmes at 318-332-7455.































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