Countdown ‘til Christmas: Here’s what’s going on in SWLA

Countdown ‘til Christmas: Here’s what’s going on in SWLA
Christmas presents

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It almost time for the Holiday’s and there’s plenty to do in Southwest Louisiana.

Here’s a list of events you and your family can enjoy:

  • Very Merry Christmas Party for Seniors: Dec. 13; Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall, 900 Lakeshore Dr. Lake Charles. A festive day for seniors 60+ who reside in Calcasieu Parish, begins at 9:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast. Music will be provided by Louisiana Scramble for the seniors to dance the day away. A nutritious lunch will be served and bingo will be played for prizes. Admission is free with doors opening at 8:00 a.m. The event will run from 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m. For more information you can call (337) 474-2583.
  • Aaron Neville Christmas Show: Dec. 14; The Golden Nugget, 2550 Golden Nugget Blvd. Lake Charles. Aaron Neville will perform a Christmas show in the Grand Event Center at the Golden Nugget. Start time for the show is 8:00 p.m. You can get tickets for the show on Golden Nugget’s website.
  • Vinton Christmas in the Park: Dec. 14; Downtown Vinton. The parade kicks off the festivities at 5:00 p.m. followed by hot chocolate, cookies, carols and the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree at Vinton City Park. For more information call the city of Vinton at (337) 589-7453 or visit
  • The Lake Charles Community Band Christmas Concert: Dec. 14; St. Luke Simpson Methodist Church, 1500 Country Club Rd. Lake Charles. The Lake Charles Community Band is proud to present its annual Christmas concert in collaboration with Our Lady Queen of Heaven and St. Louis Catholic High School choirs. This event is FREE. It starts at 7:00 p.m. For more information call (713) 825-6864.
  • Welsh Christmas Parade: (UPDATE) Dec. 14; Welsh Town Hall, 201 North Elm St, Welsh. The Christmas parade has been canceled due to inclement weather but the festivities around the parade will continue on as scheduled including the gumbo cook-off at the Old Dollar Store on South Street. The event starts at 4:30 pm and is open to the public.
  • Light up the Lake Christmas Festival: (RESCHEDULED) - Dec. 15; Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr. Lake Charles. The Light Up the Lake Christmas Festival in Lake Charles, LA is a great way to kick of the Christmas season. Santa’s Workshop will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Coliseum. Children can enjoy a Handmade Christmas Card workshop, activities, train rides, and photos with Santa. “Movies with the Mayor” featuring Elf will take place in the Rosa Hart Theater beginning at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Lake Charles’ unique Lighted Boat Parade will begin at 6 p.m. with Fireworks over the Lake at 6:45 p.m. on December 15. Tune in to KBYS 88.3 FM McNeese Radio for a music simulcast. Food trucks will be on hand serving up their favorite treats. All times are subject to change. For more information contact the City of Lake Charles at 337-491-9159,  
  • South City Christian Church Kids Christmas Party (Parents' Day Out): 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15. Ages 3 to 12. Free, but must register at Snowball fight, sleigh ride, games, crafts, story time and more.
  • South City Christian Church You Be the Nativity: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 19-21. Come take your family’s picture as part of the nativity!
  • Crave Gourmet’s Holiday Pairing and Sharing: Nov. 3 - Dec. 22; at Crave, 2801 Ryan St. Suite 100, Lake Charles. Join Crave Gourmet every Saturday during the holidays for complimentary tastings of wine, cheese, and artisanal food items. The event takes place each Saturday from  12 p.m. - 3 p.m. and can be contacted at (337) 421-0040.
  • Handmade Christmas Cards & Letters to Santa: Nov. 24 - Dec. 29; 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, 1001 Ryan St. Lake Charles. All ages are welcome to test their creative skills and create handmade Christmas cards. The handmade Christmas cards will be distributed to area nursing home residents throughout Calcasieu Parish. Also, children are encouraged to write letters to Santa that will be sent directly to the North Pole. Admission is free. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. For more information you can call (337) 491-9147.
  • Pictures with Santa: Nov. 25 - Dec. 24; Prien Lake Mall, 496 W. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles. Capture the magic of the season and get in some last minute Christmas wishes at the Dillard’s Court. You can catch Santa Mondays through Fridays from 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. For more information you can call (337) 477-7487.
  • Annual Trees of Hope, Charity Tree Decorating Contest: Dec. 3 - Dec. 26; Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, 2717 Delta Downs Dr. Vinton. Each year, non-profit organizations from across southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas are invited to decorate 12-foot trees displayed in the Promenade at Delta Downs. Members of the public then have the opportunity to visit the display and vote for their favorite charity. Delta Downs will award a total of $10,000 in cash to all participants, including a first-place prize of $5,000. This is a free weekly event and is open 24 hours a day to the public. For more information you can contact Delta Downs at (800) 589 - 7441.
  • Nuncrackers: Dec. 7 - Dec. 16; ACTS Theatre, 1 Reid St. Lake Charles. Head over to the ACTS theatre to see a show filled with “Nunsence” humor that will make you laugh and maybe even tug at your heartstrings. Times for the shows as well as tickets are availible on the ACTS Theatre website.
  • Holiday Extravaganza Mini-Christmas Tree Decorating Contest & Display: Dec. 8 - Dec. 21; Brimstone Museum Complex, 900 S. Huntington, Sulphur. The Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point & the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau present the 2018 Holiday Extravaganza Mini-Christmas Tree Decorating Contest! To participate in the contest you can bring your decorated tree to the Brimstone Museum/Henning Cultural Center on Wednesday, Dec. 5 between 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. For more information you can contact Shanna Landry at (337) 502-4233 or email her at


  • Holiday House: Nov. 29 - Dec. 1; Brimstone Museum Complex, 900 S. Huntington St. Sulphur. Enjoy an evening of good food, great music and an amazing holiday market. The Holiday House features more than 35 different shops with Christmas decorations, gifts, ornaments and plenty more. The Preview Party will take place on Nov. 29 from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. with admission of $35 per person. Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 will have shopping admission for $5 from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. They can be contacted for more information at (337) 527 - 0357.
  • Christmas Under the Oaks of Sulphur: Nov. 30 - Dec. 1; Heritage Square, 1211 Ruth Street Sulphur. This FREE event will feature live music, a Christmas tree lighting, food booths, carnival rides, and SNOW!! Bag of Donuts will perform under the pavilion at 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 30 and the Lighting of the Christmas Tree will be on Dec. 1 at 7:15 p.m. The carnival will operate 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Nov. 30 and 12 p.m. - 10 p.m on Dec. 1 with admission of $5. (UPDATE); The Kiwanis Lighted Parade on Nov. 30 has been canceled due to threat of inclement weather. For more information call 337-313-1302 for more information.
  • Kiwanis Lighted Parade: Nov. 30; Heritage Square, 1211 Ruth St. Sulphur. (UPDATE) This event has been canceled due to threat of inclement weather. All participants requesting a refund are encouraged to contact Randy Broussard at 337-794-6041.
  • McNeese State Holiday Art Sale: Nov. 30; McNeese State University Shearman Fine Arts Center Grand Gallery, 4205 Ryan St. Lake Charles. Come to McNeese’s annual annual holiday art sale on the first floor of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. McNeese art students and faculty will be displaying over 300 artworks including photographs, drawings, artists books, paintings, mixed media works, wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramic vessels, and a wide range of printing processes. The sale will be open from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. You can contact the McNeese Dapartment of Visual arts for more information at (337) 475-5060.
  • A Magical Cirque Christmas: Nov. 30; The Golden Nugget, 2550 Golden Nugget Blvd. Lake Charles. A holiday entertainment blockbuster set to dazzle audiences of all ages at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. All guests must be at least 8-years-old. Tickets are $15-$35 and are available online. For more information call (337) 508-7224.
  • A Clint Black Christmas with Lisa Hartman Black: Dec. 1; The Golden Nugget, 2550 Golden Nugget Blvd. Lake Charles. Clink Black and Lisa Hartman Black will be performing in the Grand event Center at the Golden Nugget, Admission: $25-$50. Tickets are available online. For more information call (337) 508-7224.
  • DeQuincy Christmas Parade: (UPDATE) This event has been moved to Dec. 1; Downtown DeQuincy. Program will consist of craft and food vendors, hot chocolate, music and singing. The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. traveling west from the Nichols Dept. with several events scheduled to occur downtown at 11 a.m. The event will wrap up with a  Fireworks at 6:30 p.m. at DeQuincy ballpark. Admission is free. For more information you can call (337) 786-6451.
  • Jennings Christmas Parade & Festival: Dec. 1; Founders Park, 341 North Main St. Jennings. The Jennings Downtown Christmas Festival is a perfect example of why there’s no place like Jennings, LA for the holidays. Founders Park is transformed into a glittering Christmas Wonderland. Food vendors will also be on-site. The Christmas parade will start at 4 p.m. followed by fireworks at 7 p.m. For more information you can contact the city of Jennings at (337) 821 - 5532.
  • O Holy Night: A Nativity Exhibit: Dec. 1; St. Michael & All Angels Church (Parish Hall & Narthex in the Main Building), 123 W. Sale Rd. Lake Charles. See a nativity exhibit featuring a diverse selection of 50 -100 Nativity scenes on display for viewing, a Kid’s Corner with activities for ages 2-12, and refreshments and holiday merriment for all. The event will be open from 2:00 p.m. - 4: 00 p.m. with story time at 3:00 p.m. You can find their event schedule on Facebook HERE.
  • Annual Gingerbread House Voting & Display: Dec. 1 - Dec. 26; Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1205 N. Lakeshore Dr. Lake Charles. This a FREE weekly event showing off homemade decorated gingerbread houses that will be on display. The event will be open Mondays through Fridays 8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturdays through Sundays 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. For more information you can contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Convention and Visitors Bureau at (337) 436-9588. To register for the Gingerbread House Contest you can visit
  • Cinderella’s Holiday Dining: Dec. 1; Central School Arts & Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St. Lake Charles. Children join their favorite storybook characters such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Prince, Snow White, Pinocchio Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin for an unforgettable experience. Character meals include pizza, dessert, and a drink. The seating incorporates a visit from each of these famous characters as they make their way around the dinner table. Children will also enjoy photographs and autographs from these well-known characters. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite costume. Hot coco and gingerbread will also be served. Tickets are $25 and seating is limited! This magical encounter occurs on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, with seating at 12:00 p.m. Make your reservation by calling (337) 433-7323 or visiting
  • Town of Elton Christmas Parade: Dec. 1; Downtown Elton. The town of Elton will host its eighth annual Christmas Parade in downtown Elton which begins at 11 a.m. and pass in front of the Coushatta Farmers Market. The Farmers Market will open at 7:30 a.m. at Koasati Plaza on 1007 Main Street. This is a free family event.
  • Santa Hot Chocolate Run: Dec. 1; Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St. Lake Charles. Santa’s Hot Chocolate Run is a chip-timed 5K run/walk fundraiser hosted by the Literacy Council of Southwest Louisiana. The event is on USATF certified courses, both 5K and 1 mile. Onsite registration is $40. The 1 mile fun run will begin at 8 a.m. and the 5k run will begin at 8:30 a.m. Fore more information about early registration, child rates, and hot chocolate, contact the literacy council at or call 494-7000.
  • Starks Christmas Parade: Dec. 1; Starks VFW, 4402 Hwy. 12, Starks. Christmas Parade followed by Christmas hotlinks and chips, hosted by the Auxiliary. Admission to the event is free and starts at 2:00 p.m. For more information you can call (337) 287-3886.
  • Pet Photos with Santa: Dec. 2; Prien Lake Mall, 496 W. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles. Bring your pet family members out to have their picture taken with the jolly old elf himself—Santa Claus! Santa will be there from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. For more information you can call (337) 477-7487.
  • Handel’s Messiah: Dec. 2; Bulber Auditorium at McNeese State University, 4205 Ryan St. Lake Charles. Come and enjoy a beloved Lake Charles holiday tradition, the 78th annual performance of George Frederick Handel’s “Messiah.” As the City’s official kick-off to the Christmas season, you can enjoy 100 voices singing the most popular selections from this moving work. Soloists from McNeese’s music program and renowned musicians will participate in the performance. The performance will begin at 3 p.m. and is free to the public. For more information you can call McNeese at (337) 477-0662. 
  • Old Tyme Christmas Brunch: Dec. 4; West Calcasieu Arena & Events Center, 401 Arena Rd. Sulphur. This brunch is for Seniors only starting  at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m. For more information you can contact Jody Barilleaux at (337) 791-3113. 
  • Christmas in Crowley: Dec. 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Historic Downtown Main Street, Parkerson Avenue. A nativity scene, Mrs. Claus, Storybook Christmas, Holiday Luck of the Draw, hot chocolate, Cartwheels for Christmas, Christmas Cards for Soldiers, Pictures with Santa, games, face painting, and crafts will be available. 
  • Lake Charles Civic Ballet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Dec. 6 - Dec. 8; Rosa Hart Theatre, 900 Lakeshore Dr. Lake Charles. Experience Santa and his elves working furiously to finish all the toys for the trip around the world and the triumph of Rudolph as he saves Christmas. Dec. 6 – Dec. 8. If you want to purchase tickets you can get them on the Civic Ballet’s website.
  • Holiday Art Market 2018: Dec. 7 - Dec. 9;  Central School Arts & Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St. Lake Charles. With an array of fine and handmade items crafted by regional artists this event is free to attend and a portion of all procedes from the market will benefit a locally-based children’s arts orginization. The event will be open 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Dec. 7, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Dec. 8, and 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Dec. 9. For more information you can contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787 or visit their website.
  • FG Bulber Youth Orchestra Christmas concert: Dec. 7; Tritico Theatre at McNeese State University, 340 E. Sale Rd. Lake Charles. Join the members of the FG Bulber Youth Orchestra as they celebrate the season with familiar Christmas classics, as well as new pieces that may become you next holiday favorites! All pieces are mastered by youth musicians age 7-18 throughout the fall semester. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. and admission is free though donations are encouraged. You can contact them for more information at (337) 582-2466 or on their website.
  • Louisiana Choral Foundation Christmas Concert: Dec. 7; First United Methodist Church, 812 Kirkman St. Lake Charles. Catch the Christmas spirit with the harmonious and magical performance of the Louisiana Choral foundation Masterworks Chorale at First United Methodist Church. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for children or students with ID. Start time for the concert is 7:30 p.m.
  • 2nd Annual Christmas in the Bluff: Dec. 8; Moss Bluff Recreation Complex, 1180 Don Manuel Blvd. Moss Bluff. The 2nd annual Christmas in the Bluff presented by the Moss Bluff Women’s League is a free event for the whole family featuring vendor booths, games, food, and Santa himself. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Breakfast with Santa: Dec. 8; Prien Lake Mall, 496 W. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. children will have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast with Santa in the food court. They will receive a complimentary breakfast provided by Popeye’s and there will be special prizes for all who attend. Cookie decorating, ornament making and a variety of crafts will also be offered. This event is free to the public. For more information you can call (337) 477-7487.
  • Westlake Christmas Parade: CANCELED.
  • Moss Bluff Christmas Parade: CANCELED
  • How Christmas Saved the Grinch: Dec. 9; Glad Tidings Church, 3400 Texas St. Lake Charles. A Christmas musical that all ages will enjoy. The shows start at 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Caring Santa for Children with Special Needs: Dec. 9; Prien Lake Mall, 496 W. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles. Children with special needs get one-on-one time with Santa without the distraction of mall traffic. Caring Santa provides a subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs and their families. Admission to the event is free and starts at 10:00 a.m. Please RSVP at and for more information call (337) 477-7487.
  • Christmas at the Courthouse: CANCELED.
  • Christmas in the Bluff: Market, kids activities, sweet shop, and more. Dec. 9 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Moss Bluff Recreation Center, 1180 Don Manuel Blvd, Moss Bluff, LA. 
  • Jingle and Mingle:  This is a one-day fun filled treasure hunt! Dec. 11. Sulphur, LA. 
  • Winter Wonderettes:  Nov. 24 - Dec. 9; at Lake Charles Little Theatre, 813 Enterprise Blvd. Lake Charles. The Wonderettes are back! This seasonal celebration finds the girls entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. When Santa turns up missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the holiday party! Featuring great ’60s versions of holiday classics such as “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Run, Rudolph, Run,” and “Winter Wonderland,” the result is, of course, marvelous! This energetic and glittering holiday package is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages. This event takes place Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

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