LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - J & R Carriages in Lake Charles is seeing a boost in carriage ride sales through the month of December with a special Christmas light tour down Shell Beach Drive.
The carriage company has given more than 1,500 tours in the month of December this year alone. Now the carriage drivers must work extra hard to prepare for the busy nights of rides.
"We get to the J & R barn everyday around 4 o'clock," said Fred Hamilton, a carriage driver for J & R Carriages. "This gives us enough time to get our animals ready and hitch them to the carriages."
Seven carriage drivers give an average of three tours a night. The company gives a total of 20 daily tours overall. J & R takes care of 11 Belgian mules who take turns giving the Christmas tours for their well-being.
The daily J & R tours begin at 6 p.m. at the new Lakefront Promenade behind the Civic Center. The carriage drivers then take the passengers on a 4 1/2 mile tour down Shell Beach Drive for their special December light tour.
"During this time of year in the winter everyone looks forward to the decorations and the lights, so we try to give the public what they need during this time of year," said Hamilton.
However, customers said there is so much more to the tour than the lights.
"It's something out of the ordinary," said Tim Fowlkes, a J & R Carriage customer. "We all sit in front of our TVs and our computers, and this allows us to get back to the roots with your family and having a good time.
J & R Carriages will continue giving the special light tours through New Year's Day. For more information on booking a tour click on "J & R Carriages" to the right.