Making Memories: Local Family TraditionsNovember 2023
There’s a special kind of magic that descends upon our lives during the Christmas season. It’s a time of tradition, togetherness, and twinkling lights that illuminate our hearts. And in our area, this magical season takes on an even more enchanting hue. From tree lighting ceremonies that turn the town into a winter wonderland to the spirited local markets where unique gifts await, we’ve got it all covered.
Follow the trail through Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, and even across the state, to get heart full of fun memories and a holiday season full of exciting times!
Louisiana Holiday Guide
by Matt Dye
With Halloween now behind us, we’re in full holiday mode to end the year, and amid all that hustle and bustle, there’s a lot of great opportunities to help get you get in the holiday spirit, from holiday markets, to family events, to shows of the season. So, let’s look at the upcoming calendar of events!
Mistletoe & Moss
Kicking it right off, the Junior League of Lake Charles is holding its annual fundraiser that doubles as your one-stop-shop for everyone on your Christmas list. Held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, tickets are on sale now for $12 or $15. Entry gets you onto the floor with nearly 100 different vendors There’s also opportunities for the kids to interact with Santa.
Natchitoches Christmas Festival
November 18-January 6
If you’re looking for something new this year, take a little road trip over to Natchitoches. With over 300,000 lights across over 100 sets, it’s a sight to behold. Indulge in food and drink from local vendors, including their famous meat pies, parades, and fireworks every Saturday night. You can even stop by and visit Santa’s house located on the downtown riverbank, making memories to last a lifetime.
Light Up the Lake
While the exact schedule is still TBA, Light up the Lake tends to start with the Holiday Art Walk, followed by the official lighting of the entire Civic Center grounds at 5:45. After that, the Lighted Boat Parade occurs along the Boardwalk at 6:30, followed by a fantastic fireworks show at 6:45, with music provided by KBYS.
Main Street Market
November 30-December 2
Similar to Mistletoe & Moss, the Junior League of Beaumont holds its annual fundraising market a couple weeks later, which gives you another opportunity to check out a slew of local vendors and get all of that holiday shopping done in one go. Located in the Beaumont Civic Center, tickets are $10 online now. Oh, and you can meet Santa here too. He’s everywhere!
Noel Acadien au Village
Another road trip idea to see over half-a-million lights is heading over to Acadian Village in Lafayette for their annual holiday celebration. There’s also live entertainment, food from local vendors, and carnival rides, as well as holiday shopping if you’ve still been avoiding it.
Lake Charles Little Theatre will put on Scrooge, a musical interpretation of the well-loved Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Not only will this get you in the holiday spirit, but it takes place at the new Southlake Theatre, which gives you the perfect opportunity to check that out if you haven’t already. The shows are at 7 pm Friday and Saturday, with a 2 pm matinee Sunday.
December 1-3, 8-10
Over at ACTS Theatre, it’s small-town Texas Christmas thrown into total chaos. Come enjoy a good laugh watching this hilarious comedy directed by award-winning comedy actor Zac Hammons. The Futrelle sisters are not exactly in the holiday spirit, but they’ll get there as they attempt to put on the greatest Christmas program the town has ever seen. Shows are 7:30 pm Friday, Saturday, and 3 pm Sunday.
The Lake Charles Ballet Theatre puts on its annual holiday show at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The beauty of the dancing set to Tchaikovsky is one thing to behold, but what’s even more powerful is to know that many of these performers have been doing this for years and growing into these roles, so what you’re seeing is a full evolution of local artistic talent on display. Shows are at 7 pm every night, with a 2 pm matinee on Saturday.
Holiday Express Train
We didn’t forget about Santa! Make tracks to catch up with Santa aboard his very own Holiday Express train. The train arrives each day at a different location at 4 pm, and kids will be able to tour the train and meet Santa for free. The first stop is Leesville at the CPKC Yard on the 10th, then DeRidder at the Beauregard Museum on the 11th, and finally in DeQuincy at the Railroad Museum on the 12th.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Lake Charles Little Theatre and KBYS have collaborated a number of times and do so again the evening of Friday the 15th at 7 pm with their live radio broadcast of the holiday classic. Hosted by KPLC’s John Bridges and featuring nostalgic commercials for famous local businesses of yesteryear, this is always a treat. A taped recording will also play on Christmas Eve.