ST. JAMES, La. -- It’s a spectacle that attracts visitors across Louisiana and beyond, a tradition folks in St. James Parish have cherished for generations as they light huge bonfires lighting the way for Papa Noel.
“It’s fun for all ages, and the anticipation of lighting the bonfires is the most fun, just waiting,” said Max Toler. “And once they do light them, you of course get all the Black Cats and all the fireworks to go along with it. It makes it real nice.”
Early on, though, some were concerned expected rough weather could stop the show.
“It’s nice that you get to see the fires and everything, provided the weather don’t kick up and they don’t light them,” said Chery Mahler.
But at 7 p.m. the fires went up, as towering flames and a dazzling fireworks display lit the night’s sky.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before, but we’re looking forward to seeing Santa,” said Peter Spencer.
“Well, it’s like everything in Louisiana turns into a festival. I don’t know what we were expecting, but it kind of wasn’t this. But it’s a lot of fun. You have your funnel cakes, and your festival chairs and fireworks,” said Peggy Ucciferri. “What more do you need?”
We met locals, visitors, first timers and even veterans, and all seem to agree this is a one-of-kind, unique Christmas Eve tradition.