Holiday Time

Celebrate 2017 Mardi Gras in the South (February 2017)

Three Festive Ways to Avoid Going Stir Crazy Before the Holidays (December 2016)

30 Ways to Get Your "Jingle" On in the South (December 2016)

Five Ways to Experience the Holidays "Louisiana-Style" (December 2016)

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Red, White, Blue and You: Fourth of July Celebrations in the South (July 2016)

Drops, Celebrations and More: Memorable Ways to Welcome in 2016 (December 2015)

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14 Dazzling Holiday Light Displays Throughout the South to Enjoy Now (November 2015)

Celebrate the Holidays in Minden and North Louisiana with the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights (November 2015)

New Twist on an Old Favorite: Amping Up the Grilled Cheese (April 2015)

Celebrate National Soup Month Anytime with Recipes from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels (January 2015)

Move Over Ball Drop - This is How the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2014)

Ways to Get Your Holiday On in the South (December 2014)

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Warm Up the Days and the Nights with These Chili Recipes (October 2014)

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A MoonPie, Pickle, Red Stick and More...Welcoming in the New Year in the South (December 2013)

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide...Packages and Escapes (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Food and Beverage (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in the South (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Experiences in the South (December 2013)

End Your Holiday Meal on a Sweet Note courtesy of Chef Sara Thomas (November 2013)

From Their Table to Yours: Holiday Recipes from The Carolina Inn (November 2013)

Firing Up the Grill: Tips and Recipes for a Successful and Tasty Grilling Season (May 2013)

Breakfast for Mom, Southern-Style (May 2013)

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Southern Style: 13 Things You Must Do in 2013 (January 2013)

Holiday Joy: Tips for Creating the Perfect Gingerbread House (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Secret is in the Sauce at Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Make It Memorable and Give the Gift of an Experience (December 2012)

8 Reasons to Visit Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights this Season (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Chef's Table at Emeril's Delmonico (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Simply Ballastone Cookbook (November 2012)

Treat Your Mom to One of These Eight Southern Destinations (May 2012)

Seeing Various Shades of Green: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the South (March 2012)

It’s Mardi Gras Time in the South (February 2012)

Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday in the South (January 2012)

A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

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Tours and Treats Along Virginia’s Inn to Inn Cookie Trail and Tour (November 2011)

Celebrating Milestones in the South (August 2010)

5 Activities that Add a "Sizzle" to Your Summer Vacation (June 2010)

Forget Gifts, Give Experiences This Mother’s Day (April 2010)

Celebrating Mardi Gras 2010 (February 2010)


Published: December 2012
8 Reasons to Visit Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights this Season  

1. Have your photo made with Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus in Santa’s Wonderland at the Bass Pro Shop located on the Louisiana Boardwalk in Shreveport. “Santa Bob” Collins (a card-carrying member of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, and the only real bearded Santa in the state of Louisiana) and his wife Beth, aka “Beth Claus” has been bringing holiday joy to the Bass Pro Shop for around nine years. Collins says it’s more than a job, it’s a calling. “Seeing people smile is so rewarding.”

Afterwards, finish your shopping at the Louisiana Boardwalk. A visit isn’t complete without viewing the 40-foot Christmas tree. Don’t miss the 18-foot LED Holiday Trail of Lights sign, either.

2. In its 29th year, Christmas in Roseland at the Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport is one of the area’s longest running holiday events. Enter a winter wonderland with twinkling lights, light displays, giant Christmas community cards and much more. Take a ride on the Roseland Express train, and visit with Santa. Don’t miss the Friday night entertainment. Christmas in Roseland run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 23, from 5:30 - 10 p.m. Admission is $20 per carload, $5 per person. Santa photos $10. Roseland Express Train is $10.

3. Savor a spin on a holiday classic when you sample frozen eggnog daiquiris at Tony’s Discount Beverage in Shreveport. Available in vanilla and chocolate, one sip and you know you have something good here. During the height of the holiday season, Tony’s can sell upwards of 1,400 eggnog daiquiris a day.

4. “It’s homey,” says Pattie Odom, Downtown Development director for Minden, about the town. “It’s small-town USA.”  It’s this charm that has attracted the attention of Hollywood. Around 15 films have been shot on location. Settled by Germans, the town pays tribute to its heritage with its Fasching Festival in November that extends to the beginning of Lent. Get into the holiday spirit as you explore Main Street, with its decorations and Nutcrackers. Be sure to drop in the different shops to find that one-of-a-kind gift for someone special (or for yourself.)

“We have characters downtown,” comments Odom. “To experience Minden, visit some of our shops. We have a family jewelry store that’s over 50 years old, ran be the third generation jeweler. We are also home to the oldest family-owned former Western Auto (now a hardware shop with the same family)in the nation.”

Be sure to drop by City Art Works, where you can enjoy art by local artists, see working studios and more.

Of course being on the Holiday Trail of Lights, Minden doesn’t disappoint. End your day here with a driving tour of the lighted neighborhoods.

5. Become inspired as you view the rooms at  Biedenharn Home in Monroe decked in holiday splendor. Each year, the Monroe Garden Study League decorates every room according to a theme. Make it a true experience, and explore the Coca-Cola Museum and Gardens, too. Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m.  -5 p.m., $6 per adult, $4 per child, under the age of 12.

6. “Spend the entire day shopping,” recommend Mike McMahan, president of theAntique Alley Association and owner of Trenton Street Antiques. What began 25 years ago with around six to seven antique stores has grown in 40 shops. You can find everything from boutique-style storefronts to antique stores to even a spice and tea shop. Enjoy the holiday- themed decorated windows and the canopy lights that provide the “extra-special” holiday feeling.

If you are looking for something or some things to do leading up to the holidays, be sure to check out Monroe-West Monroe’s Christmas on the River. Upcoming events include Louisiana Cattlemen’s Chili Cook-Off, Downtown Gallery Crawl, Rivermarket events and much, much more.

7. The city of Alexandria is ready to celebrate the holidays with you. From the “12 Nights of Christmas” to the Holiday Concert Series, there is something for everyone to enjoy. For an event that’s a little different, be sure to check out “Taking It 2 The Streets”on December 8. This features a walking tour of the Downtown Cultural Arts District, featuring storytellers, musicians, dance troupes and more. Also, don’t miss Alexandria Museum of Art’s Second Saturday Market. Perfect place to find that special gift.

8. Perhaps it may be one of the best known festivals in Louisiana, and it's celebrating its 86th year. Natchitoches’ Festival of Lights run through January 6, with over thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the downtown district and the Cane River Lake daily at dusk. On Saturday nights, you can enjoy fireworks and live entertainment. In addition, there’s “Snow Fest” (December 14-16 and 21-23, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. $5 per person), where everyone can tube down 110-feet of “winter-ness,” among other activities. Of course, it’s not the holiday season without a little shopping along the Historic District. If you’ve completed your shopping, why not take a carriage ride tour through the National Landmark Historic District.

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