Southwest Louisiana Christmas events schedule announced

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Officials with the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitor’s Bureau on Wednesday released a schedule of holiday events for

the region.

“Christmas is always a great season in Southwest Louisiana,” Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Shannon Spell said at

a news conference.

Angie Manning, the bureau’s communications director, said the region is full of family-friendly events throughout December.

“It’s really interesting how all of the communities from Sulphur to Westlake to Vinton to DeQuincy to Iowa all have special

Christmas celebrations, which makes it really wonderful here in Southwest Louisiana,” said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach.

“It’s a special time of year.”

Gingerbread houses

Deadline to register for the bureau’s annual Gingerbread House Contest is Nov. 27. Categories include amateur, school groups

and professional bakers. To register, visit www.visitlakecharles.org/gingerbread.

Entries are due at the bureau 1-4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Winners will be announced at noon the following day. People who

visit the bureau will vote for the People’s Choice Award winner, to be announced at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Lake Charles

The annual Light up the Lake Christmas Celebration will be Saturday, Dec. 7.

The parade will go south on Ryan Street from Mill to Seventh streets. Prizes will be given for best floats, marching bands,

decorated vehicles and specialty groups.

Santa’s Workshop will be in the Civic Center Exhibition Hall 3-5:30 p.m., and there will be arts and crafts, food, story telling

and music. The Community Band Christmas Concert will be at 3:30 p.m. on the Civic Center’s Second Floor Mezzanine.

The St. Louis show band will perform at

5 p.m. on the front lawn. Recording artist Blake Rogers will perform

5-6 p.m. Mayor

Randy Roach, along with 8-year-old Christian White, a J.J. Johnson

Elementary student, will turn on the Christmas lights at

6 p.m. The annual lighted boat parade will be at 6:30 p.m.

Fireworks will be at 7:15 p.m.

The city will hold the Handmade

Christmas Card Workshop during December at the Historic City Hall Arts

and Cultural Center.

Students are asked to create and contribute handmade cards as

class projects. The cards will be donated to the Calcasieu Council

on Aging to distribute to area nursing homes.

Sulphur

The Christmas Under the Oaks Festival will be Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, at the Brimstone Museum Complex, 923 Ruth St.

Shopping will be available at the Holiday House both days.

A preview party will be 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 5. Tickets are $40. Shopping will be 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Friday and Saturday.

Carnival rides will start at 4 p.m. Friday and will run noon-10

p.m. Saturday.

The Kiwanis Christmas Balloon Parade will be at 3 p.m. Saturday. Live entertainment will include The Molly Ringwalds on Friday

and L.A. Roxx on Saturday. It will snow at 6 p.m. for the lighting of the tree.

Westlake

The Westlake Christmas Festival parade will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, on Sampson Street. Activities will include an

ornament contest, bake sale, and arts and crafts booths.

DeQuincy

The Christmas parade will be at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, with Christmas in the Park at 6:15 p.m. Fireworks will start at

7:30 p.m.

The DeQuincy Taste of the Holiday event will begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from

the DeQuincy Civic Club.

Christmas at the Railroad Museum will

be Nov. 30-Dec. 31. It will include exterior lights, a laser show and

several indoor

trees that can be viewed from the road. The KCS Holiday Train will

be open at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Food booths will be available.

Vinton

The Christmas parade will start at 5

p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The parade will begin at City Hall and continue

south to Vinton

High. The Vinton Elementary PTO will host the Cajun Christmas

celebration. Residents are asked to dress in Cajun attire and

take photos with Santa. There will be a gumbo cookoff and

children’s activities.

Iowa

A Christmas parade will be at 4 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 7; it will head along Thomson Avenue from the VF Mall to

Iowa City Park.

Christmas in the Park will begin at 5 p.m. at the Lawrence Toups

Memorial Park Pavilion. It will include a chili cookoff and

performances by local choirs.

Moss Bluff

The Christmas parade will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. It will head down La. 378 from Market Basket to Park Road, where

it will turn and head to Recreation Boulevard and then end at Recreation Park.

Starks

The Christmas parade will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. It will begin and end at VFW Post 4759 on La. 12. After the parade,

Christmas gumbo will be served by the Ladies Auxiliary.

Online: www.visitlakecharles.org/cajunchristmas.