Natchitoches Folk Festival shows off Louisiana's rich heritage

NATCHITOCHES, La. For 38 years now the Natchitoches Folk Festival has found a way to keep Louisiana's traditions alive, both old and new.

As soon as you walk through the doors, you are consumed by Louisiana's rich culture.

Unique goods like pine needle baskets, cigar box guitars and handmade dolls filled 55 craft tables.

Every year festival goers stop by John Oswald Colson's file' table to make their gumbo extra special.

Colson's daughter Tracey Antee says her father has been making file' for 60 years now. It was a tradition that was passed down by his parents.

"It's not just that he's selling file', but he sells such a great story with it," Antee said. "They know that there is a lot of love that goes into all the work he does to create it."

All day long, traditional folk music from many different cultures filled Prather Coliseum.

Folk festival director Dr. Shane Rasmussen said the festival is truly one of a kind.

"When people get here, they encounter things they didn't expect to encounter," Rasmussen said. "Whether its Zydeco line dancing or a handmade doll you can see that light in their eyes as they go, 'Wow this is neat'."

To keep the bellies of festival goers full, 12 different food vendors were present, selling popular southern dishes.

The Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University puts on the festival. The center is a nonprofit organization and all proceeds go to keeping the festival doors open every year.

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