Did you know the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights will kick off the holiday season this November? For nearly 30 years, this unique treasure of North Louisiana has provided holiday fun for all in eight of the most festive cities in the state—Shreveport-Bossier City, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches, and Alexandria/Pineville. With combinations of both old favorites and long-time traditions, the partner cities have developed what is sure to be an exciting and memorable holiday season. With so much going on along the Trail, it’s hard to pick just one must-see event per city; however, if I had to choose, the signature events I most highly recommend that you and your family visit include:
- Shreveport-Bossier’s recently-announced marquee event, Rockets over the Red fireworks festival, which will be returning on November 28 at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets. The festival will feature bands, arts and crafts, food, and a spectacular show over the Red River.
- Minden’s annual German-inspired Fasching (pronounced fah-shing) Festival on November 21. The same day, downtown Minden will switch on its holiday lights for the duration of the season. The holiday light displays allow for self-driving tours, and the display of over 100 life-sized nutcrackers is a sight you won’t want to miss.
- Monroe-West Monroe’s holiday season kicks off beginning November 21. Holiday shoppers are delighted time and again by the tour through Antique Alley, which will be completely transformed with Dancing Lights and Holiday Light Displays.
- Natchitoches’s 89th annual Festival of Lights—the oldest Christmas festival in Louisiana—will celebrate the holidays with fireworks shows every Saturday from November 21 until December 26, and again on New Year’s Eve. Seeing the City of Natchitoches adorned with its incredible light displays (lasting until January 6) is a breathtaking sight that is sure to impress.
- Alexandria/Pineville’s kickoff to the city’s popular 12 Nights of Christmas: the Holiday Magic Downtown event on December 3. As the official lighting of Alexandria’s downtown, a visit from Santa is sure to make this celebration a favorite amongst children and families.
These events, while considered Louisiana holiday staples, are only a small representation of the countless holiday celebrations being hosted along the Trail. From November through December, families can experience parades, fireworks shows, holiday exhibits, shopping excursions, and entertainment in any of the eight cities along the Trail. But why stop with a visit to only one of the cities? I would recommend visiting them all, as each city brings something unique to the table. I plan to explore and experience as many of the events as possible, and with 50 events on the Trail’s Calendar of Events (and more being added as the season approaches) I am certain that I will need to invest in more Christmas sweaters just to keep up with the festivities. The Trail provides you with a chance to explore, experience, and celebrate this holiday season the Louisiana way: surrounded by family, great food, and warm hospitality. Make the festivities found along the Trail of Lights part of your holiday season and tradition; come celebrate with us. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and follow the Trail of Lights blog as I embark on exploring the local favorites, hidden treasures, and must-see events of the cities along the Trail.