Heart of Louisiana: Natchitoches Festival of Lights

If you're looking for a brief trip this to see some of the best holiday lights in the state, if you're from New Orleans, there is something very familiar about the central Louisiana town of Natchitoches.  It's the old building and iron-laced balconies, the brick street, and the culture of a city that was founded in 1714, four years before New Orleans.  Natchitoches is the site of the oldest European settlement in the entire Louisiana Purchase.


"We're getting ready to celebrate 300 years here, and we're known for our unique heritage here with the French, the Spanish, the English, the Native American population. We have a great city and very unique blend of cultures in our are," says Tony Davis with the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce.


There is also a tradition that dates back 84 years, a Christmas celebration of lights along the Natchitoches riverfront.


"It's the same age as the Macy's day parade. So we're one of the longest running activities and the traditions that we have here are very deep rooted," says Davis.


"The kids know that Santa Claus is just right around the corner when they see us start putting all these set pieces up," says electrical superintendent Charles Brossette.


Charles Brossette runs the city electrical department, and that puts him in charge of the annual light display.


"You're looking at a sign that's 24 by 20 almost," he says.


It's a year round effort, carefully arranging the lights and wires and replacing thousands of bulbs.