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December 2016

December 2016

Shop 'til You Drop Along the Trail

Need to do a little last minute Christmas shopping this holiday season? There are many stops along the trail that are perfect for picking up that special gift!

Antique Alley in downtown West Monroe is a great location to stop and shop. This “shopaholic’s delight” features a unique and abundant collection of antique shops and boutiques. Whether you’re searching for a beautiful scarf for mom or a recliner for the husband’s man-cave, Antique Alley has it all. Shops are open Tuesday-Saturday (unless posted otherwise) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

In Bossier City, the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets offer another opportunity to shop ‘til you drop! With more than 70 retail stores and restaurants, it is the largest outlet destination in Northern Louisiana. With popular stores like Bass Pro Shops, Under Armour, Bath & Body Works, Lane Bryant, and so many more, the gifting possibilities are endless!

If you’re looking for something a bit more local, Downtown Historic Natchitoches is just the place!  Locally-owned shops along Front Street are your one stop shop for all of your holiday gift and souvenir needs! Front Street’s selection of shops, including Brenda’s Clothing Boutique, Razzle Dazzle and Dickens & Co., is perfect for getting that special someone a gift they will cherish forever.

Those are only a few shopping destinations along the trail. Each of the 8 cities has much more to offer. And while you’re there shopping, be sure to check out our list of events. Each city is sure to have something planned to brighten your Christmas spirit each night. 

Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival Rescheduled for Dec. 10

Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival Rescheduled for Dec. 10

The Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival has been postponed until Dec. 10, 2016 due to rain. The festival will take place 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.”

Children will love the clowns, games, jump houses, a carnival and a visit with Santa Claus. Photos with Santa can be purchased for $5. 

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.

For more information about the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival visit or contact Mary Dunn at

Santa Paws is Coming to Town Competition

Paw-rade Puppy
Santa-Paws is Coming to Town!
Has the holiday season got you in the Christmas spirit? Do you have an adorable, beloved family pet? If so, then the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights crew has just the thing for you! 
We all love our family pets, and they definitely love us back. Sometimes, they’re just so amazing that you want to show them off to everyone.
To get an idea of how pets are a huge part of the family and even the holiday season, we asked Brittinie Deville, a member of Alley Cat Allies, what her pet means to her. 
“My cat means the world to me and makes the holidays that much more enjoyable,” she said. “She loves to watch the twinkling lights and the dangling ornaments, but her favorite part is her infamous race to the top of our Christmas tree. She is the true definition of a curious cat and her curiosity through this holiday season has kept us in stitches. The holidays can be very stressful but having her to come home to every day is the best stress relief I could ask for. If she is not making me laugh she is showing me love and what more could one need?”
Many more families feel the same as Brittinie. So this holiday season, we decided to give you the perfect opportunity to show off your furry friend HTOL style. Give your family pet a makeover by dressing them up in their best Christmas costume and snap a picture. Enter it into our Santa-Paws competition for a chance to win 1 of the 5 prizes we have lined up for the top 5 submissions. Voting will be done by others by clicking “like” on the photo they think should win.
Show your appreciation for your furry family member and help spread the Christmas cheer!
Check below for more information:
Prizes include: a $50 gift card to the Louisiana Boardwalk, a pair of festive blinking holiday glasses, a “Cookin’ on the Cane with Norma” cookbook, a MexiCajun Seasoning Gift Basket, and a souvenir from the Coca-Cola museum in Monroe. 
Any and all types of pets can be eligible to enter.
Participant will send in submission as directed below in the To Enter Section
Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights will review the submission and notify you if it is approved or not
If approved, HTOL will post the submission with the included information in an album along with the other submissions
Viewers will then “like” the photo they believe should win
-each “like” counts as 1 vote
-the top 5 photos with the most likes will each receive 1 of the 5 prizes
Winners will be notified within 7 days of the final day for voting
Winners must accept their prize within 5 days of the winner announcements
HTOL will begin accepting entries on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016 through Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.
Voting will begin Monday, Dec. 12 and will continue until the following Friday, Dec. 16.
Must be 18 years of age or older
Must be a legal resident of the United States
Must be the author/copyright holder of photo submissions
Submissions must be kid and family friendly
Submissions may not contain:
-full or partial nudity
-inappropriate innuendo
-offensive slurs
Submissions may not, in any way, promote another business or company
Any feedback on submissions must be kind and ethical
Failure to comply by these rules may result in immediate elimination
To Enter
-“like” the pinned Facebook post at the top of the page
-send a private message to the Holiday Trail of Lights Facebook page containing all of the required entry criteria
HTOL has the right to delete any entries publically posted without HTOL consent as well as the right to refuse a submission if it is in violation of the eligibility/rules outlined above.  
Entries are limited to 1 per participant
Entries submitted after Dec. 10, 2016 will immediately be declined
Entry criteria
Submission must include:
-name of participant
-photograph of pet
-name of photographed pet
By clicking ‘like’, you, the participant, agree to the above information, rules and criteria, release the right to HTOL to publically post your submission and information to the page, and acknowledge that this promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or with, Facebook.

Children will love Benton Christmas on the Square & Parade

Benton Christmas on the Square, Dec. 10, 2016

If you are looking for a traditional, family oriented Christmas, then look no further than the Benton Christmas on the Square and Parade 10 a.m., Dec. 10. This festival features live music, arts and craft vendors, a 5k run and health walk, a parade and children's activities in the charming Heritage Village Square, 417 Sibley St., Benton, Louisiana. Admission is free. Free parking is available at the Benton Courthouse with a free shuttle to the festival running all day.

This year, the parade portion of the festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary. “The streets really fill up when it’s parade time,” said Jill Lucero, parade chairman of the Benton Christmas on the Square and Parade. “This is a free event that the Rotary Club holds annually as a way to give back to the community and its citizens.” Featured in the parade will be bands, floats, beauty queens, princesses, hot rod cars, clowns and, of course, Santa Claus. The parade begins at 3 p.m. at Simpson Street and Sibley Street near the Bossier Parish School Board Office and will travel down Sibley Street, then to Old Bellevue Road and back up Lee Street.

Festival goers can enjoy 80 arts and craft vendors like Wreathing Havoc LA, Southern Charm Gifts & Boutique, Gradys Smokehouse BBQ, Killin' Time Canning and Audrey Shamsabady with Scentsy. Local food vendors will also be available such as the Some Like It Hot food truck and the Garcon Du Bayou food truck. The entertainment line-up includes country singer Cheridy Adams, the Theatre School of Dance and Pilates and Vicki's Dancers.

Children will love the free children's area with bounce houses, carnival rides, pictures with Santa, children’s fun run, student art contest, horse rides, games, Heritage Village exhibits and arts and crafts. 

What makes this festival unique is that it is located smack-dab in the middle of six historical structures. There is an 1840 six-room dogtrot, an 1884 log cabin, a movable plantation kitchen, a one-room schoolhouse, an early 1900 corn crib and a blacksmith shop. These sites are now exhibits and are open to the public. If you’ve got some history buffs in your family, then they’ll love exploring the square.

For more information about Benton Christmas on the Square and Parade, visit

Walk into a Winter Wonderland at Christmas in Roseland

Christmas in Shreveport-Bossier is not complete without a trip to Christmas in Roseland. This walk through winter wonderland features thousands of twinkling lights in America’s largest park dedicated to roses, the Roseland Express Train rides, lighted displays, giant Christmas cards, concessions, nightly entertainment and photos with Santa.

This year, Christmas in Roseland is open until Dec. 18 on the weekends, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The last car will be admitted at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or $20 per car load. Ages 2 and younger are free. The park is cash only.  Your last chance to catch Christmas in Roseland will be during their special Encore Nights Dec. 19-23, 2016 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Coupon alert: During Christmas in Roseland, purchase a photo with Santa and get a free train ride.

Children’s activities always include pictures with Santa ($5) and train rides on the Roseland Express Train ($10), but this year, there’s also a scavenger hunt and a Princess and Rock Crawler Night.

Explore the park in a new, fun and exciting way on Friday, Dec. 12.  All you have to do is like the Facebook page “Christmas in Roseland,” search the park for the 5 clues listed below, take a photo of each clue and post all 5 photos to the Facebook page “Christmas in Roseland. The 5 photos will constitute as your contest entry and qualify you to win a $25 Visa gift card courtesy of

The Princess and Rock Crawler Night will be held Dec. 17 from 6-9 p.m. This children’s event will feature a princess meet and greet and a remote control monster truck meet-up. Princess lovers are invited to dress as their favorite princess and meet the Bella Princesses. Face painting will be available.  Children are also encouraged to bring their favorite remote control rock crawler or monster truck to drive them around the gardens. Kryptonite Kustoms will have various off road vehicles on display for visitors to see up close. Entrance to this event is included with Christmas in Roseland admission.

If you are looking to shop for local stocking stuffers and presents, make sure to check out the Roseland Christmas Market and the Roseland Christmas Market Attractions Night. The Christmas Market will be held Dec. 2-4 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Kilma Rose Hall. Entrance is free with Christmas in Roseland admission. This Christmas market features over 30 local vendors selling everything from art and accessories to chocolate and spices. Christmas Market Attractions Night will feature local attractions such as Chimp Haven, Sci-Port Discovery Center and Splash Kingdom Waterpark. Vendors will be giving away door prizes and selling admission tickets to their attractions.

So, grab some hot chocolate from the concessions stand, and walk through this winter wonderland.