LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles hadn't even said Trick-or-Treat yet and City Public Works employees were already decking the halls. Four weeks later, they have finished putting up all the lights and decorations.
"We've been adding to it every year. Ever since we opened up the Promenade we have been purchasing Christmas lights and we've been setting aside money," said Mark Eckard, Lake Charles City Council.
Eckard said they budget at least $100,000 each year for Christmas decorations. This year, it bought more lights and signage for the newly finished Ryan Streetscape and Promenade. But Eckard said the big attraction is "The 12 Days of Christmas" lighted display along Lakeshore Drive.
All of the lights and decorations are in addition to what residents already expect: The big tree, lighted boat parade and winter wonderland that stretches down Shell Beach Drive.
"It brings in a lot of people. You realize how many people are there because traffic is backed up bumper to bumper. People come and they get on carriage rides to go see the lights. It's amazing at the amount of people that come to look at the lights ... It's been fabulous," said Eckard.
City officials hope the lighted investment will continue to bring in more visitors and become a huge tourist draw.
"We hope that when people talk about going to see the Christmas lights they talk about going to Natchitoches, they also talk about going to Lake Charles to see Christmas lights. We want to be included in that conversation ... to where people literally come spend the night, look at the Christmas lights and take in Lake Charles and all that we have to offer," said Eckard.
The City of Lake Charles is set "Light Up the Lake" on Dec. 7. To get a full list of events and times, click here.