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 www.bentonchristmasonthesquare.com.