December 5, 2018

Top 2018 Holiday Events in Louisiana

Top 2018 Holiday Events in Louisiana

Though Louisiana rarely gives its residents a white Christmas, there are still tons of fun holiday events for them to participate in.  Louisiana Travel recently put out a full list of Louisiana holiday events and we have compiled our Top 10 favorites below!

  1. Lake Charles knows how to get in the Christmas spirit. With parades, concerts, fireworks, food and Santa Claus, it is the place to be to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. The annual Cajun Christmas festival begins Nov. 15 – Dec. 31, 2018. Some of its featured events are The Holiday House where you can enjoy an evening of good food, great music and an amazing holiday market from 6:30-9: 30 pm; $35 per person for the preview party. The Holiday House features more than 35 different shops with Christmas decorations, gifts, ornaments and plenty more; A Magic Cirque Christmas, a holiday entertainment blockbuster set to dazzle audiences of all ages. Featuring the best talent from around the globe, jaw-dropping magic, breathtaking circus acts, and the most angelic voices singing your favorite Christmas carols with incredible live musicians on stage; Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, This beautiful story told through the wonder of classical dance and music is a Lake Charles tradition. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is originally choreographed by Artistic Director Emeritus and founder, Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway, the current production is directed by Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough, Artistic Director of LCCB. Children of all ages will delight as they experience Santa and his elves working furiously to finish all the toys for the trip around the world and the triumph of Rudolph as he saves Christmas! From dancing toys and reindeer to Santa and his elves, this performance has it all – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a classic from the LCCB repertoire!; AND MORE!
  2. Discover the 12 Days of Christmas in Sulphur that include holiday theatre and concert performances, carnival rides, a holiday market, live music, a balloon parade and the Spectacle of Lights. Have some Community Coffee and breakfast with Santa at the Christmas Under the Oaks of Sulphur Festival.
  3. Don’t miss the Light Up the Lake Christmas Celebration.  The excitement kicks off at 6:30 pm with a street parade through downtown Lake Charles. The event continues with the lighting ceremony at 7:30 pm on the Civic Center’s front lawn. Round out the evening with the spectacular Lighted Boat Parade at the seawall at 8:15 pm, topped off by fireworks over the lake at 8:45 pm.
  4. Discover even more Christmas events in Northern Louisiana on the Holiday Trail of Lights. Celebrate with eight cities across central and northern Louisiana.  The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights formed in 1992 to enhance the holiday experiences for locals, visitors and group tours. The trail runs along I-20 and I-49 in north Louisiana and incorporates Shreveport and Bossier, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches, and Alexandria/Pineville.  Festivities generally start in mid-November and run through the New Year. Some of the popular and recurring events include shopping/dining/entertaining at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Shreveport-Bossier, Fasching Fifth Season Celebration and Old World Christmas Lights Spectacular in Minden, shopping and dining in Antique Alley in Monroe-West Monroe, Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, and the Christmas parades and safari zoo tour in Alexandria/Pineville.  The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights can be experienced in one day or a week with each day totally unique and special. The cities are all within driving distance of one another, making the tour a convenient hour-long trip from any one city to its neighboring city. Visitors are encouraged to see the brilliant downtown and neighborhood lights, dine at local restaurants, dance at the festivals, and shop in all of the eight festive cities.
  5. Head to St. James Parish for the Festival of Bonfires, in Lutcher on Thursday, Dec. 14 – 16, 2018. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts, Santa’s Very Merry Forest and carnival rides throughout the weekend.  Each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting!  Come out and experience a prelude to the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires: A tradition unique to St. James Parish and all the world!!  This tradition dates back to the 1800s and was a carryover from French and German traditions of lighting bonfires around the holidays. The bonfires are constructed as four-sided wooden plank structures that easily burn bright. The festival is, of course, accompanied by live entertainment, food and even carnival rides.
  6. Lafayette rings of zydeco beats throughout the holiday season at their annual Cajun & Creole Christmas Celebrations from Nov. 18 – Dec. 31, 2018. The celebrations include everything from Christmas parades and tree lighting ceremonies, to symphony orchestras, carolling and shopping extravaganzas. Don’t miss the Noel Acadien au Village in Lafayette. LARC’s Acadian Village will host its 23 night Christmas festival fundraiser annually in December to benefit LARC, a local 501c(3) non-profit organization benefiting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Noel Acadien au Village features half-a-million lights, including the fully lit Chapel, new displays for our Acadian home porches, lighted holiday displays, live entertainment, carnival rides, local cuisine, photos with Santa, holiday shopping in the Christmas Store and much more! All proceeds directly benefit LARC’s Acadian Village and the residential, vocational, and community supports and services at LARC. Enjoy nightly entertainment, local cuisine and photos with Santa.
  7. Pineville, Louisiana, is jam-packed with Christmas-themed events, including the annual Christmas parade in early December. The time is upon us again!  The Parade will be on Friday, December 7, 2018, beginning at 7 PM.  The Parade this year will begin on Main Street at Hospital/Napoleon Blvd., in front of Huey P. Long.  The parade will continue up Main Street to Military Highway and end at the Trotter Center (Military Highway at Claiborne Street). The parade features homemade floats with Santa and Mrs.Claus along for the ride. Spend your days in this popular vacation destination touring historic homes decorated to the hilt for the holidays or viewing the annual Holiday Light Safari in nearby Alexandria. The Alexandria and Pineville areas are known for decking the halls of the cities during their 12 Nights of Christmas celebration, complete with visits from Santa.
  8. Start off your holiday season with a bang when opting for a vacation rental in the Shreveport and Bossier areas of Louisiana. Each year on the first Saturday of December, the Earl Williamson Park lights up with the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival. Spend the evening sampling southern cuisine from the local vendors, listening to live music, and browsing the gifts from the craft vendors. The festival offers entertainment for the kids, too, with clowns on-site and interactive games featuring a holiday twist. If you’re travelling in mid-November, don’t miss the Louisiana Boardwalk’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, located right on the banks of the Red River.
  9. The annual Christmas Festival of Lights in Natchitoches brings visitors from near and far to see the 300,000 lights strung along the riverbank in November and December. The festivities for 2018 begin November 17th and continue with a variety of celebrations, entertainment, tours, food, music, shopping, and of course, Santa, through January 6, 2019. Book your room today for this season of lights and festivities where Natchitoches’ elegant past meets a vibrant present! The Landmark Historic District of the city hosts multiple events you can enjoy at this premier vacation destination for the holidays, such as carriage rides and visits with Santa. Time your vacation to coincide with the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Parade on the first Saturday of December to see live music, creative holiday-themed floats, and a light show. The Christmas celebrations kick off in late November with a fireworks display on Cane River Lake.
  10. New Orleans is a magical place to visit anytime, but it is especially magical over the holidays.  Start your trip with a visit to the Celebration in the Oaks, where City Park is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights. The French Quarter is in close proximity to the Christmas concerts at the St. Louis Cathedral and the carolers who stroll down the downtown streets nightly singing classic Christmas medleys. Sightsee some more with tours of historic homes decorated for the holiday, such as the Louisiana Museum’s 1850s house or the Old Ursuline Convent. If you want a calmer experience in this busy city, opt for a Christmas Tea experience at the Windsor Court Hotel.

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