Last Modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:46 PM
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted By: Jessica On: 11/21/2013
Title: One weekend
Too bad everything is all on the same weekend, we can't enjoy all the festivities offered in the surrounding areas. SWLA should consider collaborating to host their events on different weekends throught the month of Dec. I am from Sulphur, and I love to go to Lake Charles, but would also like to see what DeQuincy, Westlake, and other communities have to offer for the holiday season. Looks like I could catch the Moss Bluff parade on the 14th.