GARYVILLE, La. -- Some Christmas traditions are meant to go up in flames.
A group of friends better known as “Blood, Sweat and Bonfires” built a giant, moving snapping turtle out of wood that will be set on fire to light the way for Papa Noel this Christmas.
“It's just one of those things when you're a kid, it just sticks with you … we have all those moments in our lives when we're kids,” Joshua Weidert, one of the turtle's engineers said. “We kind of tend to go back to them as adults because the way they made us feel as kids."
Weidert and his friends grew up celebrating the bonfire tradition. For the past several years, they've taken it a step further with custom designs.
"Last year we did the moving parts on the crawfish claws, they opened and closed,” Weidert said.
This year, they expanded on the crawfish's pulley and spring system to make the snapping turtle's jaws.
The engineers say each pull is about 150 lbs.,” Weidert said. “It's heavy.”
The effort is appreciated. Word of mouth is bringing people from across the state to see their creation before it goes up in flames.
“I'm from out there in Thibodeaux and believe me, it's the first time I see this, that's pure artist and the best right there,” one man said.
Weidert says this year's design is going to be hard to beat.
"A lot of people say it's a shame to burn it, but they make beautiful wedding cakes to eat them,” Weidert said. "We just build what we like to have fun, and if nobody else likes it, well we still get to burn it.”