Enjoy the festivities across the Ark-La-Tex!
Shreveport -Bossier City
The holiday season starts off strong in Shreveport-Bossier on Nov. 17 to Nov. 19 with Les Boutiques de Noel (Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo St., $10 admission, free for children 12 and under, www.facebook. com/boutiquesdenoel), Northwest Louisiana’s premier holiday shopping event. This long-running annual holiday market, featuring over 100 local and regional vendors, does more than bring holiday cheer to the Ark-La-Tex, but gives back to the arts in Shreveport-Bossier, as the primary fundraiser for the Shreveport Opera.
One of the area’s most lasting, cherished traditions opens the day after Thanksgiving through Dec. 23. For the past 39 years, families have flocked to Christmas in Roseland (American Rose Center, 8877 Jefferson-Paige Rd. in Greenwood, $30 per carload or $10 per person, www.rose. org/christmas-in-roseland) to admire thousands of lights, displays, and giant painted Christmas cards turning the gardens into a winter wonderland.
On Nov. 26, bring your family to enjoy the area’s best fireworks at Rockets over the Red (Riverview Park, 601 Clyde Fant Memorial Pkwy. and 540 Boardwalk Blvd., free, www.rocketsoverthered.com). Festivities on both sides of the Red River begin at 3 p.m. and the fireworks start at 7 p.m.
Another family favorite is the Shreveport Aquarium’s ultimate interactive Christmas journey, Believe! Lights the Night (601 Clyde Fant Pkwy., $30, www.shreveportaquarium.com). Starting Nov. 25, on select weekends in December, tour the brightly-lit aquarium and make magic with motion-activated wands, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with Mrs. Claus and the elves, and take photos with the Snow Mermaid, Glacielle, and the big guy himself—Santa!
While you’re downtown, don’t forget to visit Sno-Port
at Sci-Port Discovery Center (820 Clyde Fant Pkwy., $10, www.sci-port.org/snoport) from Nov. 25 to Jan. 29. This interactive science playground is flurries of fun, with a sock skating rink, a snowball toss, a giant snow globe, an interactive igloo, an ice fishing pond, and lots more!
On Dec. 2, treat yourself to an after-hours chauffeured shop-til-you-drop experience along the Line Ave. corridor at the annual Tinsel (Line Ave. Shopping District, $35, www.shreveportevent.com/events/tinsel) holiday shopping expose from 5 – 9 p.m. Enjoy complimentary food, beverages, and entertainment from local participating businesses, as well as exclusive Tinsel discounts.
For an enchanted evening, as well as a chance to support the local art scene, check out the biennial Christmas in the Sky Gala, (Louisiana Downs, 8000 East Texas St., $300, www.2022sky.com) on Dec. 10. This year’s theme is “Kiss a Frog!” so come dressed in your best fairy tale or formal attire for a magical evening supporting the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
Celebrate the season with Shreveport-Bossier’s flourishing arts scene! One beloved community tradition is the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (Shreveport Riverview Theater, 600 Clyde Fant Pkwy., $35-$55, www.shreveportmetroballet.org) on Dec. 10 and 11. This year’s performance will showcase the talents of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and feature principal guest artists Marena Pérez and Daniel Saez of the Mauro Ballet Company, leading a cast of more than 100 talented local dancers.
Another show you won’t want to miss is Shreveport Little Theatre’s production of the country musical comedy revue, The Honky Tonk Angels’ Holiday Spectacular (Shreveport Little Theatre, 812 Margaret Place, www.shreveportlittletheatre.com), showing from Dec. 8-11 and Dec. 14-17.
On Dec. 17, relax with some holiday classics and show tunes during the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert featuring Broadway and TV
star Megan Hilty (Riverview Theater,
600 Clyde Fant Memorial Pkwy., www. shreveportsymphony.com).
For even more holiday fun, don’t forget to check out Kansas City Southern’s 2022 Holiday Express (KCS Yard, 4500 North Lake Shore Dr., Gate 5, free, www.kcsouthern. com), a six-car holiday train that stops in more than 20 communities over multiple states. The Holiday Express will be in Shreveport on Dec. 4. Tour the decorated train and meet Santa and his elves.
Head up to north Caddo Parish on Dec. 3 for the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival (Earl Williamson Park, 11425 LA-1, free, www.christmasoncaddofireworks.com). Festivities start at 3:30 p.m., and fireworks start at 6:30 p.m. Santa will be present for photos.
On Dec. 9, visit quaint downtown Benton for Christmas on the Square (Heritage Village Square, 417 Sibley St., free, www. bentonchristmasonthesquare.com) for everything from live music to a Christmas parade.
For a perfect small-town Christmas celebration, head northeast to the Arkansas state line on Nov. 26 for a Springhill Christmas on Main (Main St., free, www. springhillmainstreet.com). With “faux sneaux,” shopping, visits from Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, and sweet treats, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy. The festival kicks off with the Reindeer Run 5K through downtown. Taste cocoa from participating downtown businesses in the Cocoa Crawl and vote on your favorites. Visit the Community Activities Center for the 2nd Annual Mistletoe Market (301 West Church St., free, www.facebook.com/northwebsterchamber/events), featuring craft vendors and boutiques, as well as photos with Santa. That evening, the annual Springhill Christmas Parade (Main St., free, www.springhillmainstreet.com) will roll down Main St., followed by carriage rides, food trucks, visits with Santa
Head south to Stonewall for the 7th annual Stonewall Christmas Parade (North Desoto High School, 1027 Highway 171 in Stonewall, free, www.facebook.com/StonewallChristmasParadeofficialpage)
Enjoy the Grand Cane Christmas Parade (8353 Highway 171, free, www. discoverdesoto.com) on Dec. 3. Take the afternoon to tour five of Grand Cane’s historic homes at the Front Porch Tour of Homes (US Hwy 171 at LA 3015, $20, www. discoverdesoto.com). One lucky raffle winner will win an overnight stay at the Cook Hill House Bed and Breakfast.
That evening, enjoy the Back Alley Community Theatre’s production of the warm, witty comedy, Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even a Moose (US Hwy 171 at LA 3015, $15, www.backalleygrandcane. com).
Don’t miss the Mansfield Christmas Parade (15149 Highway 175, free, www. discoverdesoto.com) on Dec. 10. Witness magical floats, performing and marching units from local schools, motorcycle groups, and decorated and vintage automobiles. And don’t forget—the KCS Holiday Express stops in Mansfield on Nov. 29!
Visit the newest partner with the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights! This small, rural town cradling the Louisiana-Texas state line transforms into a Winter Wonderland at the Logansport Festival of Lights
(Logansport River Front, Veterans Blvd., free, www.logansportchristmasfestival.com). The fun begins along the Sabine River on Nov. 19, with fireworks shows and
For the first time, the 11th Annual Antique Adoption Trade Days (Outdoor Park, 9533 Hwy. 5 in Keatchie, LA, $3, +1 (318) 447-4198) will feature special Black Friday trade events on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26. The Elf on the Shelf, the Gr
Head to the town of Many for the Christmas Festival! The festival begins on Nov. 29 with a Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall (965 San Antonio Ave., free, www.toledobendlakecountry.com) with a reception at Community Bank. On Dec. 2, head to the Square on San Antonio Ave. for Moonlight Madness. There will be shopping, food trucks, visits from Santa, and a Christmas movie showing. The festivities go out with a bang on Dec. 11 with the Home for Christmas Parade Downtown (San Antonio Ave., free, www. toledobendlakecountry.com), the Home for Christmas Festival at the Many Fairgrounds, and fireworks show finale.
It wouldn’t be an Ark-La-Tex Christmas without stopping in the South’s City of Lights. Celebrate Christmas in Louisiana’s oldest city at the world-famous 96th Annual Festival of Lights (Downtown Riverfront, 781 Front St.), which runs from mid-November through the first week in January. *Visit www.natchitocheschristmas.com for the full schedule of events. Before the festival, you can sip, shop, and socialize through historic downtown at the Service League of Natchitoches’s annual Jingle and Mingle event (Prud’homme-Rouquier, 446 Jefferson St, $25, www. natchitoches.com/event/jingle-and-mingle) on Nov. 15.
The festival kicks off on Nov. 19, when folks gather at the riverfront to Turn on the Holidays (Downtown Natchitoches, free). There will be live entertainment and children’s activities, but don’t miss the main event: the illumination of over 30,000 lights and 100 set pieces. Enjoy fireworks shows choreographed to holiday music over Cane River Lake every Saturday night until Christmas, with a special New
Year’s Eve fireworks display on Dec. 31.
The Light the Way 5K (Downtown Riverbank, 103 rue Beauport, $35, www. runsignup.com) on Nov. 20 is the perfect chance to view the historic city under the famous Natchitoches Christmas lights.
The bi-annual Fleur de Lis Arts and Crafts Market (Natchitoches Event Center, 750 2nd St., free), with hundreds of vendors, will be back in town on Nov. 26, just in time for the festival.
For over 30 years, students in the Creative and Performing Arts program at Northwestern State University have put on the NSU Christmas Gala (A.A. Fredericks Auditorium, 150 Central Ave.) to showcase their talent. Join them Nov. 30 in an evening of song and dance.
The 96th Annual Christmas Festival Day (781 Front St., $10, 6 and under free) is on Dec. 3, and will feature live music, food vendors, the famous Festival of Lights parade, arts and crafts, and spectacular fireworks over Cane River Lake.
Make sure to stop by the Mistletoe Market (146 St. Denis, free, www.facebook.com/wrcnatla) on Dec. 3. This annual craft fair serves as a fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches to help young women in difficult life situations, including unplanned pregnancies.
To experience the charm of historic Natchitoches, attend the Natchitoches Historic Foundation’s various home tours throughout the season. On Dec. 8 and 11, join the Tinsel
and Treats Christmas Porch Tours
(Cunningham Law Offices, 550 Second St., $25, www.natchitocheshf.com) for a guided tour of historic homes’ decorated porches, where guests will enjoy stories, Christmas decorations, history, and signature tastings at each property. The Christmas Tour of Homes (Various locations, $25, www. natchitocheshf.com), will be on Dec. 9 and 16, and the Holly & History Tours (Cunningham Law Offices, 550 Second St., $25, www.natchitocheshf.com) will be on Dec. 10 and 17. Visitors will be able to take in the uniquely decorated, historic properties in Natchitoches in a selfguided walking tour with docent-led commentaries on each property. Proceeds from the tours benefit restoration of properties in Natchitoches Parish.
Only five minutes from downtown, Dark Woods Adventure Park’s Christmas in the Park (4343 University Pkwy., $6, www.darkwoodschristmas.com) sparkles with over 250,000 twinkling lights— including the new Dancing Light Bridge! — stretched out over 7 acres of natural woodland. Sample their famous homemade doughnuts and gourmet hot chocolate while strolling the woods, make smores around the firepit, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and other holiday characters at Kringle’s Outpost, listen to singing Christmas trees, and more! This event opens on Nov. 26 and 27 for its “Turn on the Lights” weekend and Dec. 3 through Christmas Day.
Get set for the fête! The award-winning holiday festival AlexWinterFête (Downtown Alexandria, free, www. alexwinterfete.com) returns Dec. 8-12, transforming Downtown Alexandria into a winter wonderland with ice skating, holiday shopping, live entertainment, food trucks, and more.
Make sure you don’t miss the Alexandria Christmas Parade on Dec. 11.
The 2022 Annual Christmas Porch Sale (River Oaks Square Arts Center, 1330 Second St., free, www.alexandriapinevillela.com) returns the first Saturday in December with original works of art from dozens of artisans and craftsmen from across the South just in time for the gift giving season! Check out the local performing arts scene!
Start the season with a classic performance of the Red River Dance Theatre Company’s The Nutcracker by (Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center, 1202 3 St., $15-20, www.redriverdance.org) on Nov. 26 and 27.
Finally, listen to the songs of the season with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra’s A Holiday Feast (Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, 1202 3rd St., $25, www.rapidessymphony.org) on Dec. 4. Joining the Symphony will be Samuel Garcia, winner of the Symphony’s Youth Concerto competition, playing the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.
Start your holiday shopping on Nov. 17 at the Holiday Open House (Downtown Ruston, free, www.rustonlincoln.com), where shoppers can take advantage of extended store hours and special holiday sales.
Find more unique gifts at Holidays in CedarTown (Ruston Civic Center, 401 N. Trenton St., free, www. holidaysincedartown.com). On Nov. 26, head to Railroad Park for Kickoff to Christmas (101 W
Park Ave., free, www.facebook.com/downtownrustonla), featuring a tree-lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, extended shopping hours, local dining, and a special visit from Santa!
Downtown, there’ll be art, music, food, and dozens of makers selling unique, handmade gifts at NCLAC’s and the Ruston Art Encounter’s Christmas Stroll and Holiday Makers Market (Downtown Ruston, W. Mississippi Ave., free, www. nclac.org/holiday-markets).
From Dec. 1-4, catch Ruston Community Theatre’s production of ELF! The Musical (Dixie Center for the Arts, 212 N Vienna St., $20, www. rctruston.org) on the Dixie Theatre stage.
On Dec. 8 in Railroad Park, kids can enjoy a Holiday Singalong (101 E Park Ave, free, www.facebook.com/RustonCulturalDistrict) with the Community Chorus and decorating Cookies with Santa (101 W Park Ave., www.rustonlincoln.com)
on Dec. 10. Countdown to Christmas with a movie marathon! The Dixie Center for the Arts is hosting a Dixie Christmas Movie Series (212 North Vienna St., $5, www.dixiecenter.org), showing 5 movies in 5 days, from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23.
Head just a few miles north to Lincoln Parish Park for the annual Lincoln Light Up the Pines (211 Parish Park Rd., $10 a car, www.facebook.com/lincolnlightsup) drive-through light display Dec. 1-3. You can view thousands of lights and displays and decorated vintage campers from the comfort of your vehicle.
From Nov. 11 to Dec. 31, drive through Candy Cane Lane (170 Hwy 151 North, $20 per vehicle, www.candycanelane.net), a mile-long wooded trail featuring over one million twinkle lights and musical and interactive displays.
On Dec. 10, don’t miss the classic and Christmas movie themed floats at the 2022 Calhoun Christmas Parade (Hwy. 151, free, www.monroe-westmonroe.org).
Start the season on Nov. 15 and experience the charm of historic downtown Minden with thousands of twinkling lights and beautiful Christmas scenery (Downtown Minden, free, www. visitwebster.net/events-calendar).
Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, tour local museums, enjoy delicious food, and shop at locally owned antique stores throughout the season. Join the festivities in downtown Minden from Dec. 16 through Dec 17 (Downtown Minden, free, www.greatermindenchamber.com/christmasinminden). There will be a tree lighting ceremony to kick off the holiday weekend, a festive Christmas brunch at Geaux Fresh, the annual Christmas parade (this year’s theme is “Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas”), a fireworks show, a movie in the park, and much more!
Are you ready for a Holiday Hayride? Come out and enjoy the Christmas lights on the historic buildings and homes in the Historic Residential District on Dec. 16 (Minden Civic Center, free, www.visitwebster.net/events-calendar). The Holiday Trail of Lights Hayride tour will highlight some of Minden’s past Christmas memories from the Civil War era to 1940s.
Thousands of twinkling Christmas lights will illuminate downtown Marshall during the 31st annual Wonderland of Lights Festival
(Downtown Marshall, free, www.marshalltexas. net). The festival will kick off the holiday season on Nov. 23 with a ceremony illuminating the historic Harrison County Courthouse and run through Dec. 30, complete with an outdoor ice-skating rink, a vintage carousel, a train, horse-drawn carriage rides, live entertainment. and a collection of tiny houses “Santa’s Village.”
From Nov. 17 to Dec. 31, head to the Piney Park Trail of Lights (600 Martin Lake Rd., $10-$20, www. pineypark.com/winter-festival), a nearly half-mile adventure through dazzling light displays. Be awed by the 45-foot-tall Christmas trees, traverse the Light Maze, take pictures with Santa slide down Piney Peak, and more.
For a scenic Christmas getaway, hop aboard the Jefferson Christmas Express Train (Historic Jefferson Railway, 400 East Austin St., www. visitjeffersontexas.com). Starting Nov. 25, guests can ride aboard an antique narrow-gauge gas locomotive and enjoy the views on the Big Cypress Bayou River and decorated vignettes and scenes narrating the story of Christmas.
On Nov. 26, head downtown for caroling, live entertainment, and the Jefferson Christmas Parade (Downtown Jefferson, free, www. visitjeffersontexas.com). The parade will travel through downtown to Lions Park for the grand finale “Enchanted Forest” Tree Lighting (502 E. Jefferson St., free, www.visitjeffersontexas.com). Over 100 decorated Christmas trees, sponsored by local businesses to support the Jeffersons Lions Club, will be illuminat to welcome the Christmas season to Jefferson.
During the first two weekends in December, experience the warmth of an old-fashioned Christmas with the 40th Annual Jefferson Candlelight Tour of Homes (Port Jefferson Outpost, 220 N. Polk St., $25, www. jeffersoncandlelight.com). View Jefferson’s lavishly decorated historic homes as women in lovely, hooped gowns and gentlemen in top hats and tails regale each home’s history and finery.
The Art on the Bayou Gallery will host an Artisan Makers Market (205 N. Walnut St., $100, www.facebook.com/artonthebayougallery) Dec. 1-4 with hand-crafted items and specialty artisan and food items for sale..
For more shopping, on Dec. 3, the Marion County Chamber of Commerce will host the Wassail Walk (Downtown Jefferson, free, www. marioncountychamber.org), so you can sip and stroll and welcome in the Yuletide season.
For the kids, Red Bus Cupcakes will be hosting a Petting Zoo & “Reindeer” Pony Rides (302 N. Polk St., $7 pony rides, $4 petting zoo, www.facebook.com/redbuscupcakes) on Dec. 10. Satisfy your sweet tooth and get a picture with the Christmas pony!
Visit Carmela’s Mini Santa Land(6085 Hwy. 259 N.,
free, www.carmelassantaland.com), from Nov. 4 to Jan. 5 to
see more lights and give back to the community. Donations to the trail go towards Longview Too AMBUCS to provide mobility support to local individuals in need.