Celebrate the season along the Holiday Trail of Lights
The all-new Holiday Trail of Lights in North Louisiana features parades, fireworks, light shows and shopping even a Scrooge will love.
When Santa makes his annual deliveries to Louisiana, he’s probably tempted to stay here. You see, the Holiday Trail of Lights, which spans eight cities along the I-20 and I-49 corridors, puts on a Christmas display so festive, so jolly it’s enough to make the big guy from the North Pole feel at home.
For 2011, the trail incorporates new cities, new events and a new website, www.HolidayTrailofLights.com, with calendars, accommodations information and an interactive itinerary builder.
Cities along the trail include Shreveport-Bossier, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches and Alexandria-Pineville. Conveniently, each city is about an hour drive from its neighboring city along the trail.
Shreveport-Bossier kicks off the season Nov. 17, 2011, with the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree at the Louisiana Boardwalk, which happens to be the perfect spot for a little holiday shopping. Favored traditions such as the Holiday Laser Light Show at Barnwell Garden and Art Center and Christmas in Roseland return this year. But the area will also feature a brand-new December on the Red Fireworks Festival, which is sure to draw a crowd to the banks of the Red River.
To the east, Minden celebrates not only the holidays but also its German heritage during the Fasching Fifth Season Festival, Nov. 11–12, 2011. During the festival, thousands of Christmas lights will be turned on and hundreds of nutcrackers will be on display. Enjoy the German food and beer exhibition before taking in an evening fireworks show. The season also brings a parade and candlelight tour of homes to the “Friendliest City in the South.”
In Monroe-West Monroe, enjoy the Christmas on the River Festival, ooh and aah over the lighting ceremony at Antique Alley on Nov. 26, 2011, and ice skate with your kids at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum. Check those names off your gift list as you enjoy the great shopping, and then check out the decked halls at Biedenharn Museum & Gardens.
Natchitoches, also known as “The City of Lights,” does Christmas like no place else. On Nov. 19, 2011, festivities kick off as they “Turn on the Holidays.” Some 300,000 lights will twinkle along the historic district through Jan. 6, 2012. Bring the kids to Frosty’s Avalanche Slide, a 110-foot winter tubing adventure, on Nov. 25–26, 2011. On Dec. 3, 2011, attend the Christmas Festival, which features food, live entertainment, two parades, fireworks and more.
There’s no better way to catch the holiday spirit than listening to the sounds of the season, and Alexandria-Pineville offers multiple opportunities to do just that. Enjoy a holiday concert by the Rapides Symphony Orchestra and take in a performance of “The Nutcracker” by the Red River Dance Company. Don’t miss the Old-Fashioned Christmas at Kent Plantation House, Dec. 3, 2011, and from Dec. 1–23, 2011, celebrate with the animals at the Alexandria Zoological Parks’ Holiday Light Safari.
There are so many ways to enjoy the holidays in Fa-La-La-Louisiana!