Make December your Louisiana exploration month! Holiday events in neighboring parishes are sure to delight the whole family.
St. Charles, St. James & St. John the Baptist Parishes
The River Parishes Tourist Commission invites you to explore any attraction in St. Charles, St. James or St. John the Baptist Parish until Dec. 24 and receive a free ticket to its hospitality tent during the Christmas Eve Bonfires Along the Levee. The tent will be located in Lutcher at 1960 Jefferson Hwy. (River Road). For New Orleanians who may not have transportation, the Commission is offering a package that includes Gray Line guided tour service from New Orleans, a tour of Destrehan Plantation and early dinner for Dec. 24 that includes free entry
to the bonfire tent that night (including heaters, food and hot chocolate). For the transportation and tour package, call (504) 569-1401 or (800) 535-7786, or visit
www.graylineneworleans.com or www.takemetotheriver.com.
Bayou Gauche Island
Come out to see the unique Christmas on the Bayou Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 23, featuring maritime merriment
for all. Call (985) 209.7098, or visit www.takemetotheriver.com.
Lutcher, Gramercy & Paulina
Enjoy Christmas on the river, Cajun style, at the Festival of the Bonfires, Friday, Dec. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 10 in Lutcher Recreation Park. Enjoy food, live entertainment and more. Nightly bonfire lighting around 6 p.m. Visit www.festivalofthebonfires.org or www.takemetotheriver.com
for schedule. Then witness the splendor of Christmas Eve Bonfires along the Levee, constructed on the levee in Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina along Hwy. 44. Call (225) 869-1717, or visit www.festivalofthebonfires.org, www.stjamesla.com or www.takemetotheriver.com.
Oak Alley Plantation kicks off the holiday season with its Annual Christmas Bonfire Party, including a bonfire, elegant Cajun/Creole buffet, open bar and live entertainment. This event is held outdoors, so dress appropriately. Reservations only; $100 per person. Call 800-44ALLEY or (225) 265-2151 or visit www.oakalleyplantation.com, 3645 Highway 18
(Great River Road) or www.takemetotheriver.com.
ST. LANDRY PARISH
Get your treasures appraised on Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Arnaudville Art Works Society‚s Antique Roadsheaux & La Jonction Community Market (first item free; next two at $5 each) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (337) 322-1404. Be sure to support displaced New Orleans artists on Friday, Dec. 15 downtown at La Jonction for the second annual Le Feu et l’Eau (Fire and Water) Fest from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Food, fun art and music will help fund this growing artists’‚ community. Call (337) 754-9898.
Saturday nights are ripe for music with the Rendezvous des Cajuns Live Music Radio Show at the historic Liberty Theater in Eunice. Different musicians each week. Tickets on sale at 4 p.m. for 6 p.m. show. Le Vieux Village Need a dose of old-fashioned holiday cheer? Start with Le Vieux Village’s Christmas Lighting on Friday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at 828 East Landry Street. Call (337) 948-5227.
Get ready for Santa, Mrs. Claus, floats and music when the City of Opelousas Christmas Parade rolls through town at 6 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 7 (North Main Street to East Vine Street). Call (337) 948-2589. Kids will also love the real Disney Mickey Mouse on loan to The Opelousas Museum
and Interpretive Center. While you’re in town, check out the four major New Orleans contemporary artists on exhibit in New Orleans Rebirth – Significant Artists Return at The Opelousas Museum of Art, 106 North Union Street. Call (337) 942-4991.
Find unique shopping at Washington’s Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall, 210 Church Street. Pictures with Santa and holiday festivities abound Friday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (337) 826-3580.
Kick off the holidays on Saturday, Dec. 2 with Santa on the Bayou. At 10 a.m. Santa and his elves launch their floating sleigh at Chauvin near St. Joseph’s Church (Hwy. 56) and proceed down Petit Caillou Bayou to arrive at the end of Cocodrie at 12:30 pm. St. Nick’s krewe will throw fishing
tackle and candy to kids of all ages along bayou banks.
Terrebonne Fine Arts Guild will hold Christmas shows and sales Fridays throughout December from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 630 Belanger Street. Wares include Christmas ornaments and art work. Enjoy gift shop open houses at Southdown Plantation House at 1208 Museum Drive on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with extended shopping hours, refreshments, holiday merchandise, special discounts and door prizes. Then Papa Noel and Mrs. Claus arrive in a 20-float Christmas parade beginning at Terrebonne High School at 7 p.m. The parade will travel down Main Street to the courthouse for caroling and Christmas tree lighting. The Houma-Terrebonne Community Band presents a free Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the St. Bernadette Church gym. Southdown Plantation House offers a Taste of Christmas at Southdown on Thursday, Dec. 14, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 1208 Museum Drive.
The gorgeous Lumiere dan les Chenes sur le Bayou will again take place each night at dusk from Sunday, Dec. 3, when the large oak trees along Hwy. 55 are beautifully decorated and lit. On Saturday, Dec. 16, celebrate the Bayou Terrebonne Christmas boat parade at 5 p.m. on Hwy. 55.