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November 2016

November 2016

Bring the kiddos for fireworks, Santa and free fun

Christmas on Caddo, Saturday, Dec. 3, Oil City, La.

The Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival will celebrate 22 years of holiday fun on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 at Earl G. Williamson Park in Oil City, Louisiana. Activities kick off at 3:30 p.m. with arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, live music, performances by local entertainment groups, a carnival and more. The fireworks show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

“What makes this festival a one-of-a-kind event is that admission is free of charge for all festival attendees to enjoy,” said Mary Dunn, president of the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival. “Locals and out-of-towners alike look forward to this festival as it has become a holiday tradition – it’s something that the community can be proud of.”

Festivalgoers will have the chance to admire artwork from local artists, shop at arts and craft booths and dine on a variety of fair-style food, including gumbo, red beans and rice, Louisiana-style chili and more.

Headlining this year’s entertainment is the Dusty Rose Band. Already confirmed to perform at this year’s festival are Angel Peace, students from the Gifted and Talented program from North Caddo Magnet High School and local dance teams and cheer teams from area schools.

Children’s activities will include clowns, games, jump houses, a carnival and a visit with Santa Claus. Photos with Santa can be purchased for $5. 

Nearby the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival is the Country Christmas Festival also taking place on Dec. 3 in downtown Vivian, Louisiana. The Festival promises to entertain guests with delicious food, entertainment, crafts and so much more. Open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

Monroe-West Monroe Attractions Deck their Halls

biedenharn, poinsettia, christmas

It’s about that time of the year. See an entirely new side of our favorite local attractions when they add a touch of Christmas spirit to their already charming establishments. Forget boughs of holly, these places put their own twist on Christmas.

Biedenharn Museum and Gardens

You don’t want to miss Christmas at the Biedenharn with Emy-Lou’s beautifully preserved home covered in beautiful Christmas decorations from December 1 to 31. The stunning EL-Song Gardens are also glitzed in holiday glam, including everyone’s favorite Poinsettia Christmas tree. Plan to attend their special Christmas Evenings on December 8-10 with musical performances, refreshments and pictures with Santa Claus.

NELA Children’s Museum

Not only will they have a fantastic light display, but they’ll be hosting Santa’s Christmas Village all throughout the season. It’s a holiday wonderland featuring ice skating, snow, a Coca-Cola Christmas trains exhibit, and rides down Mount Sneaux.

Chennault Aviation and Military Museum

The Freedom Trees have arrived at our favorite military museum. Stop by to see these beautifully decorated trees that honor those who have served and are serving now. Red, white, and blue lights twinkle and dance before your eyes.

‘Tis the season of Christmas decorations everywhere. Stop by any of these locations, and see how they get the holiday spirit so right. Post your pictures with any of these locations with the hashtag #mwmholidays for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page.

For more information on these places, visit our Christmas on the River website.

Cities Along the Trail Gear Up for the Holiday Season

November is a busy month for the neighboring cities of the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights as they prepare for the holiday season.

“We work for months planning these events.  There are a lot of hours and behind-the-scenes work to make these events happen,” says Samantha Bonnette, organizer for Natchitoches’ Turn on the Holidays event. “Watching the fireworks and faces of the people in the crowds enjoying the holiday festivities, lets you know that all of the hard work was well worth it. To know that you were a part of creating a magical experience that people will cherish with their families and remember for their lifetime is the most rewarding part of it all.”

Although the cities work together to create the Trail experience, they each have their own individual headliner events.

Here are a few November holiday happenings:

Alexandria-Pineville - Red River Dance Theatre Company is performing its annual presentation of The Nutcracker Ballet at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Come watch as Hoffmann’s classic story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is brought to life with swirling snow and sword-fighting mice! Show times include 7 p.m., Nov. 26 and 2 p.m., Nov. 27. Tickets are available here

Minden - On Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Minden is getting a jumpstart on the holidays with their annual Fifth Season Fasching Celebration. This event features a full German holiday experience of German food, live music, clowns, face painting, arts, crafts, and a carnival. Kids will have the opportunity to take pictures with Weihanchatsmann (Santa Claus). After a long day of fun and entertainment, be sure to stay for the grand firework display at dusk.

Monroe-West Monroe - Santa Claus is coming to town for Santa’s Christmas Village hosted at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum in Monroe. This holiday wonderland features fun activities like ice skating, making ornaments, decorating cookies, rides down Mount Sneaux, and much more. Each Thursday from 5-8 p.m., there will be a photo booth to take holiday pictures. Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to visit with Santa. It kicks off on Nov. 19 and will be open every Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 23. Times are as follows: Thursday-Friday- 5-8 p.m.; Saturday- 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday- 1-6 p.m.

Natchitoches – The City of Lights is preparing to illuminate the streets with their Turn on the Holidays event on Nov. 19. This event will kick off the beloved 90th Annual Natchitoches Christmas Lights Festival. Festivities will include live performances from a local talent showcase and music entertainment by local favorites Trace & D’Nissa and the NOLA Dukes Band. Join Miss Merry Christmas and the Christmas Belles as they flip the switch to light up the town followed by a spectacular firework display. It all takes place at the Natchitoches downtown riverbank from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Shreveport-Bossier – Rockets Over the Red Fireworks Festival is back and bigger than ever this year. For the first time ever, the event will expand to both sides of the Red River, unifying Shreveport and Bossier for one big firework extravaganza. There will be a tree on both sides of the river, each lit in unison to signal the beginning of the firework display. The display can be viewed from Riverview Park in Shreveport and along the Riverfront Promenade at Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Bossier. The first 500 kids at both locations will get a free gift. It all takes place on Nov. 26 from 3-7:30 p.m.

About Charli Stanley

Charli is a current resident of Natchitoches where she attends Northwestern State University. She serves as the communications intern for the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Winter Fête in Alexandria

The Most Wonder Fete Time of the Year

City officials just announced that the Alex Winter Fête is coming back bigger and better than ever in Alexandria/Pineville, located in the heart of Louisiana. This year’s event, Dec. 1, 2, and 3, will have a new 100-foot-ice slide that will accompany the ice skating rink. 

Saturday, Dec. 3, the Ugly Sweater 5K will return as part of the Winter Fête festivities. The race start time is 8 a.m. Register for this race, today. Proceeds will benefit United Way to help the Cenla community.

Other Winter Fête festivities include fire-breathers and magicians, the Polar Express Train, food vendors, live music, and of course Santa Claus!

We are going to officially usher in the holidays on Thursday, Dec. 1 by switching on the holiday lights in downtown Alexandria, said Daniel Williams, director of community services for the city of Alexandria.

Williams promises, “This year’s event is going to be bigger and better, and we are pleased to be able to expand our holiday offerings for our residents and visitors.”

This year, the ice skating rink will be enlarged so that young children, teenagers and adults can skate at their own pace.

Alexandria/Pineville is one of the festive eight cities along the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights. For a complete list of holiday related events in Alexandria, click here.

About Charli Stanley

Charli is a current resident of Natchitoches where she attends Northwestern State University. She serves as the communications intern for the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights.