City kicks off Christmas season with annual event Saturday

By By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

The annual Light up the Lake Christmas Celebration will be on Saturday, Dec. 1, on an around the grounds of the Lake Charles

Civic Center and lakefront.

Admission will be free, and the celebration will include a concert, parades and a party.

“The fact that we’re located on the

water is very unique in that during Christmas we get to have a lighted

boat parade and

a fireworks display over the lake. We get to see the beautiful,

shimmering lights over the lake, which many other cities don’t

get to do,” said Denise Fasske, the city’s director of cultural

affairs. “It really is such a wonderful day with nonstop activities

beginning with the parade and ending with our block party on the

lakefront.”

The day will begin at 2 p.m. with a Christmas parade from Bord du Lac Drive, down Broad Street, turning south on Ryan and

ending at Clarence Street.

Children will be able to have a private meeting with Santa Claus at Santa’s Workshop in the Civic Center Exhibition Hall 3-5:30

p.m. Activities will include arts and crafts projects, games and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Mayor Randy

Roach.

The Community Band will perform at 4 p.m. on the Civic Center’s second-floor mezzanine.

“We have this concert every year,” Fasske said. “And it really makes you feel like you are immersed in the spirit of Christmas,

like you’re in a sleigh in a winter wonderland.”

The celebration’s main event, the lighting of the Civic Center grounds and Lakefront Promenade, will be at 6 p.m.

“Along with the tree and lawn ornaments

on the Civic Center grounds, we’ve also asked that all of the residents

and merchants

around the Civic Center and down Shell Beach Drive to also turn

their lights on at exactly 6 p.m.,” Fasske said. “If you were

driving over the bridge or flying over the city in an airplane at

that time, you’d get a treat to see it all lit up at once.”

Those attending the lakefront block party, which begins at 6 p.m., will be treated to the music of Boomerang. The lighted

boat parade will be at 6:30 p.m., and the fireworks display will be at 8 p.m.