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November 2017

November 2017

It’s the Most WonderFete Time of the Year

Thursday, Nov. 30 marks the beginning of the holidays in Alexandria/Pineville, and kicks off the biggest holiday festival in town - AlexWinterFete! Festivities begin at 5 p.m.

At AlexWinterFete, you will enjoy ice-skating, Indie Village, live music, food, shopping and much more. The family-friendly festival also features local choirs and performing groups. The event marks the official lighting of downtown, and the arrival of Santa from the North Pole. There is also a cookie-decorating event, which is always in good taste!

This year, the Arts Council of Central Louisiana has added a live acrobatic performance by Cirque-tacular Entertainment to the AlexWinterFete lineup. Based in New York City, with artists nationwide, Cirque-tacular Entertainment is considered one of the premiere acrobatic production companies in the United States.

They will be performing Snowkus Pocus, a snow show that will warm your heart. It tells the story of young Brianna, who is whisked away to an enchanted winter wonderland. There, she encounters the colorful characters that inhabit the magical world. This tale is told through dazzling cirque, breathtaking ballet, and incredible acrobatics that will amaze, inspire, and enchant your imagination.

Snowkus Pocus is approved for all ages. Advanced tickets are $18 for general admission, $12 for seniors age 65 and over, $10 for students and children, and $45 for families with two adults and up to two children. Children ages two and under get in free. Prices will increase by $5 at the door. The production will premiere at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30 at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center located at 1202 Third Street in Alexandria.

AlexWinterFete was named the 2016 Festival of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association. The three-night event is held in downtown Alexandria, near the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, and will end on Saturday, Dec. 2. For more information about AlexWinterFete, click HERE!

Alexandria/Pineville is a partner in the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights, which also includes Shreveport-Bossier, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, and Natchitoches. To learn more about events and holiday happenings visit www.holidaytrailoflights.com

Meet Me at the Broken Bean

Don’t get too cold while you’re shopping and enjoying the parade in downtown Minden on Dec. 9. Stop by the Broken Bean and get a drink that will keep your temperature high and your spirits higher.

The Broken Bean has it all: coffee, lattes, frappes, ice tea, flavored tea, hot tea, soup, sandwiches, salads, biscuits, donuts, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, soft drinks, and water. And if that isn’t enough, they also sell candles, jewelry, t-shirts, wax melts, car air fresheners, and bags of coffee. During the holiday season, the cafe will be selling eggnog lattes, peppermint mochas lattes, and pumpkin spice lattes. It will also have pumpkin spice and apple berry cinnamon candles for sale. The Broken Bean imports its dark coffee from Indonesia and its medium coffee from Columbia. The coffee shop roast the beans itself making the beverages fresh and more tasteful.

If you stop by the Broken Bean between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., you’ll be at one of the happiest places in Minden because all drinks will be half price!  Not to mention, the lunch special gives you your choice of soup or a sandwich and a salad for just $8.

The Broken Bean is located at 107 McDonald Street in Minden. For more information about this coffee shop, like them on Facebook.

North Louisiana Colleges Host Events that the Whole Family Can Enjoy

When final exams are done, and the holiday season rolls around, the students of north Louisiana colleges put down their books and catch up on quality time with their families. To help the students and their families get into the Christmas spirit, three of the universities along the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights host family friendly events that people of all ages can enjoy. Nevertheless, these aren’t closed events! You can join in on the fun at these family-friendly events that are hosted by Louisiana State University in Alexandria, Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, and Centenary College in Shreveport.

1.)    Louisiana State University in Alexandria

If traveling the Trail from south to north on I-49, your first destination will be Louisiana State University in Alexandria. The university will be hosting Christmas on the Quad at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 28.

At this event, Santa begins the countdown to turn on the lights of the school’s water tower and Christmas tree, before a fireworks show. There will be caroling, cookies and hot chocolate. This event is free and open to the public.

LSUA is located at 8100 Hwy 71 South in Alexandria. For more information about this event, click here.

2.)    Northwestern State University in Natchitoches

Your next stop is Northwestern State University. The school is hosting its 29th Annual Christmas Gala. The show includes the famous Nutcracker dance, the NSU Jazz Orchestra, the Percussion Ensemble, and several other featured vocalists and musicians.

Each year, almost 13,000 people see the production. Inspired by New York City’s Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, the production show cases the students and faculty of NSU’s music, theatre, dance, art, and media programs.

The NSU Christmas Gala will be performed 7 p.m., Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 and again at 9 p.m., Dec. 1. All performances will take place at NSU in A. A. Fredericks Auditorium. NSU is located at 175 Sam Sibley Dr. in Natchitoches. For more information about this event, click here.

3.)    Centenary College in Shreveport

Centenary College of Shreveport will be hosting three holiday events. At 5:30 p.m., Dec. 1, the school will be hosting its annual Christmas Candlelight Service. The Centenary College Choir, Centenary Camerata Choral Ensemble, I-49 Brass Ensemble, and organist Dr. Hollice Watson will make special appearances during this event.

On Saturday, Dec. 16, Centenary will have Breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. That same afternoon, Centenary will host the Shreveport-Bossier Holiday Classic Collegiate Basketball Show Case at the Gold Dome. This event includes a family-friendly tailgate party that will begin at noon, appearances by Santa, and several other activities for children and families to enjoy.

For more information about these events, click here.

Chennault Aviation & Military Museum Presents Freedom Trees

Honor and respect were the two words that rang in my head during my visit to the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum in Monroe. The Freedom Trees ceremony was held on Veterans Day weekend. On display were five Freedom Trees, one for each active-duty branch of the armed forces. Freedom Trees are Christmas trees that have been decorated with red, white, and blue décor. The trees are also dressed with the ribbons, patches, medals and photos of United States military veterans. Attending the ceremony were members of the community, veterans and the loved ones of fallen military personnel.

The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum opened in 2000. The building is one of the last remaining buildings used by the Selman Field School in 1986. The museum holds the rich aviation and military history of Northeast Louisiana and features exhibits on all wars from World War I through Iraq and Afghanistan. Inside the museum, you will find nine exhibits that provide information on D-Day, Flying Tigers, Selman Field Navigational School, NASA, and more.

The Freedom Trees will be on display until Dec. 31. The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum is open, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Tuesday – Saturday. It is located at 701 Kansas Lane in Monroe. Admission is free for all, and the building is handicap accessible and offers wheelchairs at no cost. For more information, visit the website.

The Town of Vivian Offers Holiday Parades, Christmas Tree Exhibits, Fireworks and More

Vivian is a small, quiet town that kicks off the first weekend in December with a bang. You can go on a biblically-based Christmas tree tour, attend two Christmas festivals, and warm up with organic coffees and homemade chilis served at the one and only coffee shop in Vivian, a 15-minute drive north of downtown Shreveport.

The Light House Mission Thrift Store located at 105 W Louisiana Street in downtown Vivian is hosting its 2nd Annual Tour of Trees event, Dec. 1–2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event will continue every Friday leading up to Christmas Day. The Tour of Trees consists of more than 80 Christian-inspired Christmas trees that cover the entire second floor of the Light House Mission Thrift Store. The decorations represent biblical stories, verses and ministry themes.  To learn more about The Tour of Trees or The Light House Thrift Store please call 318-422-3622 or visit www.facebook.com/lighthousemissionthrift.

“Last year, we had over 300 visitors. We put a lot into these Christmas trees so that everyone who visits can experience a connection to Jesus,” said Donna Allen, executive director of The Light House Mission Thrift Store.

Saturday, Dec. 2, wake up to Christmas in the country. The town of Vivian will start its Country Christmas Festival from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 100 Front Street in the town’s downtown area. Activities include a concert, beauty pageant, food booths, arts and crafts, and ends with a parade.

Just across the street from the Country Christmas Festival is a new coffee shop, Cool Beans. Drinks are created with organic coffee beans from local brands such as Louisiana Roasting Coffee and Mooringsport’s Plantation Gourmet Coffee.  It is home to many popular holiday flavors such as mint chocolate, s’mores, maple and gingerbread. You can have it served hot, on ice or even frozen. Along with the specialty drinks, Cool Beans offers a lunch menu, pastries, pie slices, chips and soft drinks. The affordable lunch menu consists of sandwiches and various soups and chilis to warm you up for the holidays. For more information on Cool Beans Coffee Shop visit www.facebook.com/coolbeansvivian or call 318-936-9947.

Saturday’s festivities continue with the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival in Oil City, an easy 10-minute drive from downtown Vivian on LA-1. The festival takes place at Earl Williamson Park from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Families can enjoy local entertainment, a jumping house, clowns, food booths, and arts and crafts. Make sure you grab your kids for some professional photos with Santa! The big finale to complete your Christmas weekend in Vivian is an extraordinary firework show over the majestic Caddo Lake. This year’s fireworks are provided by Pyromania Fireworks and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival, visit www.christmasoncaddofireworks.com or call 318-631-0182.

These events are part of the Shreveport-Bossier holiday celebrations. Shreveport-Bossier is a partner on the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights, which also include Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches and Alexandria/Pineville. For more information on the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights visit www.holidaytrailoflights.com