By LouisianaTravel.com Staff

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Natchitoches lights up the night during its Christmas Festival of Lights.

Across the state, the holidays are celebrated with a zest of unique activities, sounds and sights only Louisiana could serve up. On the Holiday Trail of Lights there are eight towns to celebrate all the festivities of the season. They create the Christmas spirit with beautiful displays of holiday lights, parades, live music, theatre performances, visits from Santa and more. Enjoy the celebrations from November to January.

Alexandria & Pineville - Visit Alexandria and Pineville located in the “Heart of Louisiana” to catch the holiday fever. Watch the extravaganza at the CENLA Christmas Spectacular featuring dance troupes, choirs and theatre groups all in the vein of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular or take the family to any of the 12 Nights of Christmas celebrations to hear storytelling and vintage music and take pictures with Santa. Head to the zoo for the Holiday Light Safari where thousands of twinkling lights transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. Visit the website for more event info, dates and times.

Minden - The sweet charm of Minden is a perfect setting to get in the holiday mindset. Celebrate all things German with the early season Minden Fasching Festival. Bring the family and enjoy ice skating, German food, entertainment, arts, crafts and a beer exhibition. In December, check out the many whimsical holiday events like Wrap It Up in Minden where guests can take a trolley ride through historic downtown, continue their shopping efforts, visit Santa and sing carols. Take to the streets with multiple Christmas Parades that ushers in the Christmas spirit with decorated floats and marching bands. Visit the website for more event info, dates and times.

Monroe & West Monroe - It’s a busy holiday schedule in Monroe/West Monroe area! Kids love Santa’s Christmas Village at the Children's Museum where they can decorate make-and-take ornaments, go ice skating and mail their letters to Santa from the Peppermint Post Office. View the beautiful lights around town that will be turned on right before Thanksgiving. There are lots of nontraditional events like the Bawcomville Redneck Christmas Parade that celebrates the Redneck flavor of Christmas; run off those Christmas calories at the Bah-Humbug 5K run. Top it all off with Christmas Evenings at the Biedenharn Museum with gorgeous decorations, entertainment by local musicians and photos with Santa.

Natchitoches - Head to the beautiful historic town of Natchitoches to jump right into the energy of the Holidays. Take a Holiday Tour of Homes to see the amazing Christmas decorations in these historic houses. Head to the 90th Annual Christmas Festival with live musical entertainment, arts, crafts, food vendors, two parades, and a magnificent fireworks and laser show choreographed to holiday music over a state of the art sound system.  The kids will love the Santa House in Downtown Riverbank where they can get their photo taken with Santa. Hear the gorgeous notes of Christmas carols at the Northwestern Christmas Gala with music and theatre performances by the NSU students. Visit the website for more event info, dates and times.

Shreveport-Bossier - Make sure you’ve rationed your holiday cheer for these awesome and plentiful events that happen in Shreveport-Bossier every Christmas. Shop over 100 booths at the Les Boutique de Noel show. Wander the Christmas in Roseland lights display transforming the gardens into a winter wonderland with Santa’s Candy Shop and more. Take the kids to try something different at the Christmas on Caddo Lake Fireworks Festival while a night at the theatre is perfect for the entire family with the performance of the Nutcracker Ballet.  Experience what a makes a Cajun Christmas special at the Cajun Christmas Festival catch one of the many theatre and music shows. Visit the website for more event info, dates and times.

The Festival of Lights will ensure you’ve enjoyed your holiday season with enough lights, parades, Christmas carols, music and holiday cheer to get you through to next year!  Come join us for the holidays.

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