The Lafayette area is known for its Christmas traditions with a Cajun twist. During the holiday season, it is not uncommon to see Father Christmas crossing the waterways in a canoe or to hear a local band sing Christmas songs in French. Additionally, the hospitality and warmth that characterizes Cajun culture is on full display to locals and visitors alike.
One of the main centers of holiday activity is downtown lafayette, which kicks off the season at 5 p.m. on December 3 with the official lighting of the downtown Christmas tree, followed by live music. Then, at 1 p.m. on December 4, Santa Claus comes to town during the Sonic Christmas Parade. The parade will pass along Jefferson Street and head downtown before ending at the Oil Center. Then, at 5:30 p.m. on December 8, Parc International in downtown Lafayette will host Candlelight Christmas. The event will include the telling of the story of a savior born in Bethlehem, as well as the singing of traditional Christmas carols.
Downtown Lafayette’s holiday celebrations continue on December 10. Over 30 local vendors will set up shop during the Holiday Art Market at ArtWalk with their one-of-a-kind artwork and crafts perfect for gift giving. The market will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. along Polk Street. Also on December 10, the International Park will host a screening of The Polar Express at 5:30 p.m. The evening will also include activities for children, popcorn, hot chocolate and more.
Live music is a staple of South Louisiana celebrations, and that’s certainly true during the holidays, too. On December 1, international opera star Andre Courville will be joined by the Grammy-nominated trio Sweet Cecilia for a special performance at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. Then, on December 13, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra will host a musical Christmas celebration for the whole family, with a carol for all ages.
Additionally, Crossroads Church will host The real story of Christmas, a Broadway-style staging with a live nativity scene. The show will take place on December 3 and 4 and December 10 and 11 at the church at 150 Verona Drive in Lafayette. And, the Bayou Church at 2234 Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette will host Christmas at the Bayou from December 16-18. This is the church’s annual Christmas concert which mixes the musical styles of some of the region’s finest musicians, followed by an uplifting message of hope from the pastor.
Here are more ways the Lafayette area is celebrating the 2022 holiday season:
Atchafalaya Christmas 2022: Santa Claus organizes these one-hour tours in the swamps which include The Cajun Night Before Christmas. After each visit there will be family photos with Santa, swamp-themed ornaments and refreshments. The visits will take place on November 26, 27 and 28; December 3, 4, 10 and 11, then every day from December 17 to 22. They depart from McGee’s Swamp Tours at Breaux Bridge.
Acadian Christmas At The Village: This annual exhibition of half a million lights at the Acadian Village has become a regional tradition. There will also be food, entertainment and holiday shopping. The exhibition runs from December 2 to December 23.
Delcambre Christmas Boat Parade: It’s a celebration of the holidays on the water as lighted boats of all sizes cruise Bayou Carlin while Christmas music plays everywhere. The parade is at 6 p.m. on December 10 at the Delcambre docks on South Richard Street.
Christmas in the park: Moncus Park in the heart of Lafayette will host this three-day event on December 16, 17 and 18. The program includes live music, children’s activities, visits from Santa Claus, selfie stations, a live art installation, local food vendors and much more. .
No matter when you and your loved ones visit each other over the holiday season, there’s sure to be an activity on the calendar to help get everyone in the mood. For more details on these and other Christmas events, visit www.lafayettetravel.com/noel.