Holiday Time

Only in the South: Celebrate the Arrival of 2020 with Unique New Year's Eve Drops (December 2019)

Log on to Cyber Monday Deals (December 2019)

Southern Hospitality Traveler's Favorite Things About October (October 2019)

Honor the Red, White and Blue in the South with Independence Day Celebrations (July 2019)

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Celebrating Mardi Gras 2019 (February 2019)

Pickle, Pelican or Peach: The Many Unique Ways the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2018)

Get Into the Holiday Spirit with the 29th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest (November 2018)

17 Celebrations Honoring the Red, White and Blue (June 2018)

Celebrate Mom this Mother's Day with Getaways and Experiences (May 2018)

"Throw me Somethin' Mister!" Celebrating Mardi Gras 2018 (January 2018)

Beach Ball, Fleur-De-Lis, MoonPie: Unique New Year's Eve Drops in the South (December 2017)

25 Festive Events to Keep that Holiday Feeling Through the New Year (December 2017)

Awe-Inspiring Gingerbread Displays at Various Hotels and Resorts Around the South (December 2017)

Fun and Fireworks: 14 Events Celebrating Independence Day (June 2017)

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)

"Brighten Up" Your Holidays with These Holiday Light Displays (November 2016)

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)

Spark Your Holiday Spirit with the Many Events Happening Around the South (December 2015)

Six Places to Celebrate the Holiday Season (December 2015)

So Many Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season in the South (November 2015)

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)

Liven Up Your Thanksgiving Meal with Some Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Style Comfort Foods (November 2014)

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

Creating the Perfect Cheeseburger with Crawford Ker on National Cheeseburger Day (September 2014)

Celebrate National Martini Day with these Recipes (June 2014)

It's Great to be King...Celebrating Mardi Season with King Cake Creations (February 2014)

Celebrate Your Valentine with a Getaway (February 2014)

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

Celebrate the Holidays with a New Orleans' Reveillon Dinner (December 2013)

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)

Mom-Worthy Hotels in the South (May 2013)

Talkin' Mardi Gras, Shreveport, La. Style (February 2013)

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)

Celebrate the Holidays New Orleans-Style with a Reveillon Dinner (December 2011)

"Treat" Yourself this Holiday Season with (November 2011)

Holiday Fun in the South After Thanksgiving (November 2011)

Holiday Fun at Gaylord Opryland (November 2011)

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 2016
Five Ways to Experience the Holidays "Louisiana-Style"  


No doubt about it, any time is a great time to visit the state of Louisiana. However, there is just something "extra special" about it during the holidays.

Louisianians love to celebrate, and the holiday season is no exception. From Reveillon dinners to light displays to bonfires and more, there's always something going on.

Here are five ways you can experience the holidays "Louisiana-style" this year.

1.  Celebrate 90 years of Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Through Jan.6 2017, take in over 300,000 Christmas lights and 100 displays along the riverbank. The six-week festival also features Holiday Kids Fest, Holiday Tour of Homes, live entertainment and more.

Natchitoches is one of eight cities along the Holiday Trail of Lights. The trail
travels through north Louisiana, highlighting Monroe-West Monroe, Minden and
Shreveport-Bossier on I-20 east to west; and Natchitoches and Alexandria/Pineville on
I-49 north to south. All are within an hour from the other. Not only can you enjoy
millions of twinkling lights and unique shopping opportunities found at each
destination, but also holiday events like Monroe-West Monroe’s Santa’s Christmas Village (through Dec. 23), Minden’s Old World Christmas Lights Spectacular (through Jan. 7, 2017), Shreveport-Bossier’s Christmas in Roseland (through Dec. 19, with special encore nights Dec. 20-23) and Alexandria Zoo’s Holiday Light Safari (Dec. 9-10, 16-23).

2.  With events like Celebration in the Oaks  (Jan. 1, 2017) at New Orleans City Park andcelebrationintheoaks NOLA ChristmasFest (Dec. 16-30), it's quite easy to get into the holiday spirit while visiting the Big Easy. If you're looking for that "New Orleans-only" experience, make your way over to the French Quarter Sun., Dec. 18 for Caroling in Jackson Square. Historic Jackson Square is illuminated with candles held by carolers singing Christmas favorites. Another option (or even before or after caroling) is to hop on the famous New Orleans streetcar and ride down Saint Charles Avenue to view the elegantly decorated homes.

3.  Enjoy the glow and warmth from the bonfires during the 25th annual Lighting of the Bonfires in Lutcher at Lutcher Recreational Park on Dec. 9-11. This tradition dates back to the 1800s as both the French and German would light bonfires during the holidays. In true Louisiana-style, the festivities includes various cook-offs, amusement rides, live entertainment and more.

Nottoway Plantation in White Castle hosts Iberville Bonfire Christmas Festival on Dec. 9. The evening includes a Christmas Tree lighting, fireworks, among other events.

On Christmas Eve, bonfires dot the levees along Great River Road (between New Orleans and Baton Rouge). These are lit not only for a celebration but also to provide direction for Papa Noel.

4.  Learn more about the holiday traditions of the Acadians during Old Time Christmas at Vemilionville in Lafayette. Stop in the different structures throughout the historic village to watch various demonstrations and participate in a festive sing-a-long.

Old Time Christmas is one of many events highlighted in a Cajun and Creole Christmas. This round-up highlights other holiday happenings this region such as Noel Acadien Au Village in Lafayette, Christmas on the Cajun Coast (through Dec. 31) in St. Mary Parish and Christmas in Crowley (through Jan. 2)

5.  Lake Charles invites you to have yourself a very "Merry Little Boudin" when in the area. No, that isn't a typo, because Visit Lake Charles has complied renditions of Christmas carols that feature boudin. And if that has piqued your interest and appetite, there's the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail, which is a gift itself.

When it comes to holiday events, the area's Cajun Christmas offers a mix of live performances, parades, Santa sightings and more. Be sure not to miss voting for your favorite decorate gingerbread house during the Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Display (through Dec. 27) at the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point in Sulphur.

photo credit: (top) Natchitoches Christmas Festival, personal collection; (top left) Icicle Tree at Celebration in the Oaks, photog Pat Garin, courtesy of New Orleans CVB