It's Christmas time in the City of Natchitoches and that means tourists, and lots of them. For Dickens and Company Accessories Shop it's the most wonderful time of the year. "Our fourth quarter is very good because of the number of people that come to town," Sandra Dickens says.
Iris Harper, Executive Director for the Natchitoches Parish Tourism Commission says the economic impact from the six week Christmas Festival doesn't stop on Front Street. "We're expecting a half a million people and I'm thinking it's probably 50-million dollar impact, and I don't think I'm even close," Harper says.
Harper says when the tourists come to town they'll stop at one of the vendors, they'll stop at the restaurants, they'll always stop and maybe get gas or a soda or something, it's all those little dollars added up.
Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey says it's one of those gifts that keeps on giving throughout the year. "Christmas Festival day is so busy with so many people, people can't shop and take a lot of stuff to their cars, so they come back on these other weekends and the merchants tell us those are the best days that they have," Posey says.
Making the whole year bright for the City of Lights.