Traffic closures announced for Christmas Festival Day
NATCHITOCHES – Those who plan to attend the 2011 Natchitoches Christmas Festival on Saturday, Dec. 3 should be aware of a number of road and bridge closures as well as safety tips to ensure a successful festival.
– The riverbank will be closed to all vehicles, beginning at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2 through Festival weekend.
– beginning at 6 a.m. on Festival Day, Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Texas Street to Amulet Street.
In addition, the Church Street Bridge, Church Street at Second Street and Church Street at Williams Avenue will all be closed to traffic at 6 a.m.
– beginning at 9 a.m. on Festival Day, Second Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Bossier Street to Amulet Street. At 10 a.m., Second Street will close from Amulet Street to Texas Street.
Church Street Bridge
– The bridge will be closed to all vehicular traffic, beginning at 6 a.m. Those needing to walk across the Church Street Bridge or those wishing to view the fireworks show should make plans to be in place by 4:15 p.m. The bridge will close to all pedestrians at 4:15 p.m. to prepare for the 6 p.m. fireworks show.
The bridge will remain closed to pedestrians for approximately one hour after the completion of the fireworks to ensure that all have been discharged.
Keyser Avenue Bridge
– The bridge will be closed to all vehicular traffic, beginning at 1 p.m. on Dec. 4. Jefferson Street from Poete to University Parkway will also close at this time. This particular portion of Jefferson as well as the Keyser Avenue Bridge will reopen to traffic after the Festival’s main parade has ended.
– The roadway from Jefferson Street to Caspari will be closed to all motorists at 1 p.m. and will reopen after the end of the main parade.
Any remaining traffic on these streets will be towed at the owner’s expense.
The public should be aware of the times and routes of the two parades that take place on Festival Day:
Junior Parade – The Festival’s Junior Parade will take place on Festival Day at 11 a.m. The parade begins at the corner of Amulet Street and Second Street and will travel down Second Street to Texas Street, turning right onto Front Street. Line up for the Junior Parade will take place on Second Street between Amulet and Bossier Street.
Main Parade – The Festival’s Main Parade begins at 2 p.m., leaving the Northwestern State University campus onto Jefferson Street. The parade then travels down Front Street, turning left onto Texas Street and then onto Second Street. The parade then ends at NSU’s main gate. Grand marshal for this year’s parade is Retired Lt. General Russel L. Honore’ of the United States Army.
Meet and Greet – A special meet and greet will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 featuring Troy and Jacob Landry of the television show “Swamp People.” The meet and greet will be held at the Natchitoches Events Center, located at 750 Second St. Admission will be charged.
Third Street will be a one-way street with traffic flowing southbound from Texas to Church Street. Church Street will be a one-way street with traffic flowing westbound from Third to Fifth Streets. Washington Street from Lafayette Street will be a one-way street with traffic flowing northbound to Texas Street. Fourth Street will be a one-way street with traffic flowing northbound from Amulet to Texas Street.
Williams Avenue will be closed from Henry Avenue to St. Maurice Lane from approximately 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The following streets will be barricaded at East Second Street from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Whitfield, Stephens Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, Sirod Street and Adelaide Street.
Motorists are asked to use extreme caution and patience when traveling in Natchitoches during the Christmas Festival. For more information on traffic closures, please call the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101.
Those planning on attending the Christmas Festival should be aware of rules and regulations regarding the event:
Admission will be charged to enter the designated festival area. Admission on Festival Day is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Pre-sale wristbands are available at discounted rates. Admission to the festival will be charged from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
No tarps are allowed on the downtown riverbank until 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Any tarps placed on the riverbank before that time will be removed. Those placing a tarp on the riverbank on Festival Day must have a wristband to gain access to the festival area.
On Festival Day, law enforcement will establish a command center in the parking lot of the Natchitoches Events Center, located at 750 Second St. Those who have lost children or some type of emergency should report to the command center.
No ice chests are allowed in the festival area.
No alcoholic beverages are permitted in the festival area on public property. Law enforcement has the right to search through backpacks or other belongings for alcoholic beverages and seize or dispose of such items. Those attending private parties or consuming alcoholic beverages at a restaurant must empty their drinks before stepping onto public property.
No pets are allowed in the festival area.
Those who have secured a pre-paid parking spot for the Christmas Festival should pay close attention to street closures to ensure access to your designated parking area.
Handicapped parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Natchitoches Parish Library parking lot, located at Second Street.
For a complete schedule of Festival activities, please visit www.christmasfestival.com