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Travel Channel set to film segment in Jennings

Last Modified: Friday, November 23, 2012 10:39 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — A production crew from the Travel Channel will be in Jennings in early December to film the city’s annual Christmas Festival as part of a proposed show on unique Christmas events across the United States.

“We have a research office who was looking for stories, but not your typical Christmas festivals,” creative producer Nicole Dunn said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “We wanted to find the best of the best across America, but wanted to get away from the (Radio City) Rockettes story or the lighting of the (Rockefeller Center) tree in New York City.”

The show, which will also feature a parade in New Mexico and Trappist monks in Missouri making fruitcakes for the holidays, has a tentative working title of “Cross Country Christmas.”

No air date has been set, but it is not likely to air this year, Dunn said.

The Jennings segment will focus on the 16th annual gumbo cook-off to be held Dec. 1 in conjunction with the city’s Christmas Festival. The festival features a parade, chicken and sausage gumbo cook-off, craft and food vendors, bonfire and fireworks.

“The show will feature the festival, but the focus will be on the gumbo cook-off and how people come together every year for the gumbo,” Dunn said.

The city’s Christmas parade and bonfire will also be filmed, along with interviews of past gumbo participants, winners, judges, festival attendees and others.“We’d love for as many people to come out to the event as possible,” Dunn said.

The segment will be filmed in the style of reality format as everyone is preparing for the event, attending, eating and having fun, she said.

“It will almost be like we weren’t there,” she said.

City Project Coordinator Michelle Hebert said the show is a great way to showcase what Jennings has to offer during the holidays.“I think shooting at the Louisiana Oil and Gas Park is a beautiful location and will help draw in more people once the show airs,” Hebert said. “It’s great for the city.”

Connie Hebert hopes the show will put the city on the holiday map of things to do for Christmas.

“It will let people know about our traditions and this little bitty city in the United States and what we have to offer,” she said.

Nearly 2,000 people attend the festival each year.

For information on the gumbo cook-off and other festivities, contact Michelle Hebert at 821-5532 or e-mail michelle@cityofjennings.com or tuppermuseum@bellsouth.net.

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