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Christmas: Acadiana-Style, Parish By Parish Traditions and Events

Dec 02, 2019 02:12PM ● By Scott Brazda

‘Tis the season… for fun and family celebrations during the 2019 Christmas season.  And few communities (I’m about to tell you something you already know) do the holidays like Acadiana.  

Let’s give you a preview of some of the area’s more notable destinations for reigning in—and perhaps letting loose—some holiday spirit.  (Note: While Santa-sightings at many of these events aren’t guaranteed, the possibilities of seeing a jolly man in a big red suit who heartedly projects the words “Ho, Ho, Ho” are considered quite likely)!!!


“Starting with the world-famous Noel Acadien au Village, our Cajun and Creole Christmas features parades, tours of homes, performances, carolers, and much more to get the family in the holiday spirit,” says Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission President and CEO Ben Berthelot.

Noel Acadien au Village *

 - LARC’s Acadien Village -- 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

- November 30, 2019 -- December 23, 2019

Noel Acadien au Village is simply iconic to visitors.  And touching. And unforgettable. Over half-a-million lights will dazzle and enthrall at Lafayette’s Acadian Village, and that’s not all!!  With shopping, carnival rides, animated displays, nightly entertainment and photos with Santa, Noel Acadien promises 24-nights of illuminated holiday cheer. 

Sonic Drive-In Christmas Parade 

- Starts in Downtown Lafayette and ends in the Oil Center

- December 8, 2019  

One of the oldest Christmas activities in Acadiana will roll yet again with over 20 floats, high school marching bands and the official arrival of Santa Claus.  You’ve heard of a “Rite of Spring”? The Sonic Christmas Parade is most definitely a “Rite of Christmas” in the city of Lafayette. Starts at 1 p.m.

City of Broussard Christmas Parade

- December 8, 2019

- Starts at 1 p.m. 

Beginning at South Morgan and Albertson’s Parkway, a parade singing the holiday praises of the community of Broussard will roll---and please---and dazzle all in attendance.  Floats & cars, bands & dancers, and friends & neighbors will send your Christmas spirit soaring.

Old Time Christmas at Vermilionville


- December 9—21, 2019

For 23 days in the heart of December, you can tour homes decorated in the style put forth by Acadiana’s ancestors.  Happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rest assured you’ll also be entertainment by a Christmas carol or two, and no doubt there is sure to be a number of special events that will take you (and your hearts and spirit) back to a simpler, richer time. 

The Real Story of Christmas

- Crossroads Church, Lafayette

- December 12—15, 2019

The Real Story of Christmas is a fun, Broadway-style stage production that retells traditional stories of Christmas. The stories come alive in a way that has everyone laughing and singing along until the climax of the show when Santa and Mrs. Claus call for the REAL story of Christmas to be shared with a beautiful nativity scene with live camels and sheep. Pictures with Santa and characters following the performance.

Old Time Winter Family Day

- Vermilionville

- December 14, 2019

Live music.  Delicious food.  Native American storytelling.  Arts and crafts. Innumerable learning opportunities.

At Vermilionville’s Old Time Winter Family Day, artisans will demonstrate things such as how to make candles and soap, plus provide the details on putting together hand-made Christmas ornaments that will provide joy in your homes for years to come. Papa Noel (Santa) will be on hand, and children can write letters to him sealed with wax, and a readying of The Night Before Christmas will take place every half-hour.

“The Nutcracker”    

 - Heymann Performing Arts Center

- December 14 & 15, 2019 7 p.m.

Courtesy of the Lafayette Ballet Theatre, the holiday classic returns. With guest artists from the Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Nutcracker is presented in two glorious acts, all set to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score.  This annual production is elegant and oh-so-memorable.

Acadiana Christmas Night  

- Heymann Performing Arts Center

- December 19, 2019 – 7 p.m.

Presenting a Christmas celebration for the whole family!  Keep the traditions alive (or perhaps, start a few new ones) by immersing yourself in magical instrumental music of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra (ASO), with a few vocal selections as well.

And to give it a Cajun touch, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys will on hand as well.  Expect a magical twist when the ASO, Playboys and the youth chorus team-up and intertwine their respective talents.


 "If you're looking for family-friendly events to enjoy during the holiday season - look no further than Downtown Lafayette,” says Anita Begnaud, CEO of the Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited. “We’re bringing hope, cheer, and family fun to the heart of our city through a month-long series of 'Merry & Bright' Christmas events.” To see all that Downtown Lafayette has to offer during this holiday season visit:

Christmas with the Boss

- December 6, 2019  

- Parc International

The fun will kick off with a free concert on Friday, December 6 at Parc International in downtown Lafayette; it will be a big holiday party featuring Keith Frank, the Pine Leaf Boys, plus the official lighting of the Downtown Christmas tree.

Assorted Downtown Lafayette Events

"Downtown Lafayette will be the center of Christmas magic in Lafayette this year,” continues Begnaud. “Throughout December, you'll be able to take photos with Santa Claus (7 dates to choose from); view more than 50 Christmas trees decorated by business, non-profits, and church groups from across Acadiana; enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides down Jefferson Street; attend a caroling and Christmas story reading program; and make memories at a special Christmas edition of Movies in the Parc showing my favorite Christmas movie of all time – ‘Elf’."

Learn more at


Christmas in Crowley

- Historic Downtown Crowley

- December 4, 2019

The lights of Parkerson Avenue in Crowley are—how do you say?—simply amazing.  Walk, drive or do both, but here’s a warning: Be prepared to say, “Oo!! Ah!! Wow!!” followed or preceded by “Would you look at that!!” time after time.  There are over 200,000 lights synchronized to music, and you can tune into 93.3-FM to digitally follow along.

Kiwanis Christmas Parade

- Historic Downtown Crowley

- December 5, 2019

Set your alarms for 6 p.m., because that’s when the local Kiwanis Club lets the holiday spirit roll and roll and roll.  Like brightly lit and decorated floats? Check. Expecting the sights and sounds of local marching bands? Check. Hoping to see a jolly celebrity known to utter the words, “Ho Ho Ho” and wears a red suit trimmed in white?  Check!!  


New Iberia Christmas Parade   

 - Historic Downtown New Iberia

- December 7, 2019

You begin your journey at 5:30 p.m. with the lighting of New Iberia’s official Christmas tree in front of City Hall.  After that, it’s an always-memorable parade through New Iberia, one chock-full of floats, visiting royalty, exquisitely-talented bands and dance teams, and plenty of Christmas-themed throws, too!!  

Delcambre Main Street Christmas Parade

- Historic Main Street

- December 8, 2019

From 2 to 4 p.m., it’s time for the people of Delcambre to celebrate the holidays.  Be prepared for the trappings of the Christmas season to be elevated to unprecedented levels with floats, family and fun.  The parade runs from Main Street and S. Pelloat to the Delcambre Shrimp Festival Building.

Delcambre Christmas Boat Parade

- Delcambre Docks   

- December 14, 2019

It’s a sight…at the site… of what makes Delcambre the Shrimping Capital of the World!!  Take the concept of a parade, and then add the flair of Delcambre for an all-day affair along the waters.  From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., lighted boats of all sizes will cruise along Bayou Carlin, all for you and your friends & family to enjoy.  Lots of Christmas tunes to get you into the spirit, too!

A Shadows Christmas

- Shadows-on-the-Teche

- December 19, 2019

You may have thought this an impossible task, but the Shadows-on-the-Teche staff takes things to even greater heights with awe-inspiring décor that simultaneously spotlight the Christmas traditions of those who lived on the Weeks plantations so many years ago. Enjoy old-fashioned peppermint sticks, gingerbread, and other holiday fare while you stroll through the gardens with a glass of apple cider.


“If I had to choose just two events for you to see and enjoy in St. Landry Parish,” begins St. Landry Parish Tourism Executive Director Herman Fuselier, “it would be Christmas at Coteau and Joyful Noise.”

Christmas at Coteau   

 - December 5, 2019 – December 6, 2019 

Regardless of the time of year, the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau is simply one of the most beautiful places in south Louisiana.  However, when December arrives, Christmas at Coteau takes this extra-special place to new heights.

For one thing, this is the perfect opportunity to view the gorgeous, sacred grounds which includes the Alley of the Oaks. Then, at the Holiday Market, shoppers have first selection from as many as 75 unique vendors offering antiques, estate jewelry, Christmas accessories, handmade items, artwork, children’s apparel, and home and garden accessories. Christmas carols and local culinary cuisine will also be available.

Children’s Christmas Parade

- St. Landry Catholic Church

- December 12, 2019

The first bit of Christmas cheer and songs will take place at St. Landry Church at Union & Main Street in Opelousas at around 6 p.m., but after that?! Here it comes, Downtown Opelousas!!  Colorful characters, adorable (and adorably-talented) kids will collectively mae their way into your hearts on both foot and floats, and—put this in print—the North Pole’s most famous resident will be in attendance as well.

Joyful Noise

- 6 p.m., Courthouse Square, Opelousas

- December 17, 2019

“Holy Ghost Catholic Church is already known for its standout choir,” explains Fuselier.  “Throw in their centennial celebration as one of the nation’s largest African American Catholic congregations and the noise they’ll make will indeed be joyful."  

Joyful Noise will be gloriously made under the spectacularly decorated oak trees of Courthouse Square in Opelousas; in addition, not only is it a Christmas-celebration, but this ‘joyful noise’ will also serve as part of two noteworthy events—the 100-year Centennial Celebration of Holy Ghost Catholic Church and Opelousas’ own 300th birthday in 2020.


Creole Christmas

- Longfellow-Evangeline State Park, St. Martinville

- December 4 -- 14, 2019

Experience the traditions of Christmas past, all with natural period decorations and exhibits.  Demonstrations of time-honored crafts such as candle-making, spinning & weaving, making corn shuck dolls and cooking holiday sugar wafers will be conducted. 

Community Celebration with Papa Noel

- Breaux Bridge, various locations

- December 7, 2019

One terrific starting point will be… THE SKIES.  Eyes will be aimed upward as Santa and his Elves will parachute onto the Breaux Bridge Junior High football field, an unofficial ‘drop zone’ for this toy making team of experts from the North Pole. In addition, a revered group of military jumpers from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces will follow suit.

In Veterans Park, witness a most solemn yet joyful mix of music, caroling and a special military flag retirement ceremony honoring those whose sacrifices have meant so much to our freedom.  Santa Claus will make an appearance, and children from across St. Martin Parish will perform ‘The Night Before Christmas’. 

The celebration culminates with the Lighting of The Biggest Christmas Tree in Breaux Bridge


 Abbeville Christmas Stroll

- Historic Downtown Abbeville

- Thursday, December 5, 2019 -- 5:30 to 8 p.m.

A family-oriented evening of strolling, visiting, shopping and dining. Santa Claus, music, white lights all within the beautifully decorated downtown historic district.  Tour, shop, visit and take in the holiday spirit of Vermilion Parish with your family, friends, and neighbors.

Abbeville Christmas Parade

- Saturday, December 7th -- 6 p.m.

- Christmas parades done in ways unique to the fabulous residents of Vermilion Parish. Colorful floats, marching bands and tons of revelry will ring in the season to the different entry points of Vermilon.  (It seems that a jolly and generous man from the North Pole will also make an early visit, too).  

Movie Under The Oaks: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

- Magdalen Place, 2 S Magdalen Square, Abbeville

- Saturday, December 7th -- 7 p.m. – Immediately following the Abbeville Christmas Parade

Bring the family to enjoy the movie, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" under the oaks of Magdalen Square. Bring blankets or chairs. Food and refreshments will be sold by Animal Aid Vermilion Area. Admission is FREE.  

    By Scott Brazda    


From our family to yours,

Merry Christmas and 

Happy New Year!!!

*Photos by Face Magazine, event sponsors, and other sources (known and unknown).