South of Baton Rouge, about halfway to New Orleans, the River Parishes have a charming and quite old tradition of lighting the way for Papa Noel (Santa) so he can find the children who live along the Mississippi River. For years and years, families have been building huge structures that are lit every Christmas Eve up and down the levee. We have never seen this lovely celebration, but hopefully this Christmas Eve we will be able to along with my younger son and his wife.
Today, though, we thought we'd make a 'dry run' so we would kind of know where we were going and to see the structures before they are lit. Most of the ones we saw were in Paulina, a little bitty town in St. James Parish. Each family has a particular area of the levee where they build their bonfires, and we were able to see some already built, and some still under construction. It looks like HUGE fun, and from what I understand, Christmas Eve is bumper to bumper traffic along the River Road, with great houseparties going on (if you know someone)!
So, here, for your viewing pleasure, are some of the ones we saw today:
Most were the traditional 'teepee' style structure, and some had willow branches around the outside which, I assume, aids the fire (they burn for hours);
Some are built as real structures--I think I might be able to live in that one! But up it will go on Christmas Eve!
As you can see, some folks can be very creative!
The Headmaster insisted on having his picture made with Santa in a pirogue, which had eight alligators pulling it (sorry, no pics of the gators)!
And this one was especially poignant.
If we can get our act together after church on Christmas Eve, we'll give this trip a try.
En attendant, le directeur et je tiens à vous souhaiter à tous un Joyeux Noël!
*In the meantime, the Headmaster and I wish all of you a very
Saturday Nite Special ~ Funky Junk Interiors