Natchitoches is a city in northwestern Louisiana which serves as the seat of government of Natchitoches Parish. The 2010 census placed the population at 18,323, a 2.6 percent increase over the 2000 tabulation of 17,865. Natchitoches is majority African American.
Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, four years older than New Orleans. It was incorporated on February 5, 1819. The city is named for the Natchitoches Indian tribe. Its sister city is Nacogdoches, Texas.
Natchitoches is the home of Northwestern State University, founded in 1884 as Louisiana Normal Institute. The city is particularly known statewide for its annual Christmas Lights Festival on the Cane River, the former course of the Red River. The city is within the Cane River National Heritage Area. Considerable new and refurbished buildings comprise the downtown section.
Natchitoches is represented in the United States House of Representatives by the Republican James Michael MIke Johnson of Benton in Bossier Parish. The former state representative from Natchitoches is the Republican Rick Nowlin, subsequently the parish president. The state senator is Repubican Gerald Long, a member of the Long dynasty.
- 2010 Census. quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved on April 27, 2012.