FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tarah Holland, Public Relations/Social Media Manager
Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau
(318) 429-0653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
October 20, 2009
Trail Offers 40 Nights of Holiday Lights
Annual Holiday Trail of Lights offers the season’s best
free or affordable events for those seeking memorable experiences
There’s nothing like being home for the holidays. So why not experience the best that the season has to offer by creating fun, festive memories at free or affordable, family-friendly holiday events right in your own backyard.
For years, the annual Holiday Trail of Lights has been a one-of-a-kind, regional partnership between two states – Louisiana and Texas – and six cities – Shreveport, Bossier City, Natchitoches, Marshall, Jefferson and Kilgore to promote holiday festivities along I-20 and I-49.
Shreveport-Bossier’s annual Lighting Ceremony will kickoff the season’s 40 nights of wondrous nights of lights on Nov. 20. Other nightly, self-guided tours of lights and other events will follow through Jan. 1, 2010.
The partnership held a kickoff event Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Klima Center at the Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport.
"Given the financial strains on families in our current economy, we understand that it can be difficult to plan holiday leisure travel," said Iris Harper, president of the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "But affordability is what makes the Holiday Trail of Lights so unique. For a spectacular 40 nights of holiday lights, this year’s trail offers so many free or affordable options within driving distance for families in a 100-mile radius of the six cities."
This year’s trail will feature an abundance of free holiday events for families, couples and individuals alike including the Lighting Ceremony at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City on Nov. 20; Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival north of Shreveport on Dec. 5; the Wonderland of Lights Festival in Marshall on Nov. 25; the Turn on the Holidays Festival in the Natchitoches Historic District on Nov. 21; a walk through the Enchanted Forest amid a sparkling wonderland of beautifully decorated Christmas trees in Jefferson, Nov. 27-Dec.31; and a slide down the Mt. Kilgore Snow Hill in Kilgore, Dec. 11-12.
Holiday Trail of Lights is the only marketing coalition of its kind that is not limited by state boundaries. In addition, the trail is an example of economic growth that is bred from successful regional partnerships. Similar initiatives have been lauded as models for building economic development, while expanding limited resources.
Not only does the trail offer visitors an abundance of things to see and do, it also offers a boost to the economies of each city through holiday tourism dollars spent at retail shops, restaurants and hotels.
"We encourage visitors to take a day drive or plan a weekend stay along the Holiday Trail of Lights to create lasting holiday at spirited events, while holiday shopping, browsing the arts or any of the other activities in each of the six cities," said Mike Coston, president of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.
Shreveport, Bossier City and Natchitoches, Louisiana, and Jefferson, Kilgore and Marshall, Texas each have classic and also new and exciting events along this year’s trail. For a complete list of holiday events, please visit www.holidaytrailoflights.com, and while there, sign up to receive our e-newsletter and monthly updates.
Oil City (north of Shreveport) – The Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival will be 3:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Dec. 5, at Earl Williamson Park, 11425 LA Hwy 1 in Oil City. The annual event features family-oriented fireworks display with booths, concessions, entertainment, Santa, thousands of lights and a multitude of light sculptures. Fireworks will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Bossier City – The annual Lighting Ceremony will take place at 6 p.m., Nov. 20, at the Louisiana Boardwalk. This year's event will feature a 40-foot Christmas tree, 5,000 twinkling lights, performances by musical guest John Frazier and local dance groups, a snow blizzard and Santa's first area appearance.
Natchitoches – Downtown Natchitoches will kick off the holiday season during "Turn on the Holidays" on Nov. 21. The event is full of free family entertainment and the highlight is the official turning on of thousands of Christmas lights that illuminate the Natchitoches Historic District. Events begin at 11 a.m. with a holiday concert featuring the Northwestern State University "Spirit of Northwestern" Marching Band. That evening, Josh Hyde and the Hitchhikers will perform blues, jazz and zydeco hits from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Marshall – The city’s Wonderland of Lights, Nov. 25, rivals any lighting scene in the country, with more than 10 million lights throughout the community. The Historical Harrison County Courthouse, located in the center of the Downtown Square, is the festival’s jewel with more than 125,000 tiny white lights.
Jefferson – Take a spectacular walk through the city’s Enchanted Forest, Nov. 27-Dec. 31, to see the sparkling wonderland of beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The trail starts at 6 p.m. at Lions Park, 600 East Jefferson St.
Kilgore – A snow hill in Texas? Travel to Kilgore to take a slide down the Mt. Kilgore Snow Hill, Dec. 11-12. While you're there, enjoy activities for the whole family including cut your own family Christmas tree and holiday shopping in downtown Kilgore. Don't miss the "City of Stars" spectacular display of stars atop over 70 oil derricks throughout the town, starting Nov.19.