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Visiting Central Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana’s oldest permanent community sits along the Red River, north of the Kisatchie National Forest and Interstate 49. Filled with history and culture Natchitoches has a full calendar of seasonal events. Labor Day weekend brings the Cane River Zydeco Festival & Poker Run. Hosted by the Magnolia State Peace Officers Association, events include a Poker Run through Nachitoches' Parish, along with plenty of live entertainment and fun. The central Louisiana cities of Alexandria and Pineville, on opposite sides of the Red River in the heart of the Bayou State. Travel and discover the heart and soul of Louisiana.

The Natchitoches 2012 Meat Pie Festival is held mid-September, the 9th year for the festival. Join the celebration at Riverbank Stage in downtown Natchitoches, September 14th and 15th for “lotta, hotta, meat pies, music and more.” The Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival is the beginning of a wonderful fall season.

Alexandria, an hour southeast of Natchitoches on Interstate 49, is the heart of central Louisiana. Fall 2012 brings the inaugural Le Tour de Bayou at the Kent Plantation House. Events include cycling rides from 25-miles to 100-miles, along with a 2-mile family ride and 5k run. Join the challenge September 15th, all rides and events begin and end at Kent Plantation House.

Natchitoches lights up for the 2012 holidays at the Festival of Lights from November 17th through the end of December. Have some family fun on November 24th, at Snow Fest featuring Frosty’s Avalanche Slide. One of Louisiana’s premier holiday events, the 86th Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival is December 1st.

Alexandria’s Kent Plantation House also hosts the Sugar Day Festival the second Saturday in November. Enjoy the culture of central Louisiana with traditional crafts, food, and entertainment. During the day, the open-kettle sugar making process of historic Louisiana, is demonstrated with volunteers minding the fire and stirring the syrup.

Louisiana’s Toledo Bend Reservoir State Park is a prime bass fishing and water recreation destination. The towns of Leesville and Deridder are gateways to Toledo Bend country. Home of the Beauregard Parish Fair, Deridder hosts events at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds the first week in October. The 2012 Fair runs October 2nd through the 6th. With a parade, carnival, entertainment and exhibits, visit historic Deridder for one of Louisiana’s oldest agricultural fairs.

October also brings the West Louisiana Forestry Festival to Leesville. Located in the heart of Vernon Parish, the Forestry Festival brings together the best of western Louisiana livestock and agriculture for judging and exhibition. Join the fun and festivities at the West LA Fair Grounds and enjoy the crowning of the festival Queen, Woodsman Skills competition and the Leesville Lions Club Rodeo, along with plenty of good old-fashioned fair fun.

Best Western Rewards

6 Best Western Hotels
in Central Louisiana

  • Best Western of Alexandria Inn & Suites & Conference Center

  • Best Western Plus DeRidder Inn & Suites


  • Best Western Natchitoches Inn


  • Best Western Oakdale Inn


  • Best Western St. Francisville Hotel

    Saint Francisville

  • Best Western Ville Platte

    Ville Platte

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