Lafayette, LA – Do you hear what we hear? Downtown Lafayette is becoming a Winter Wonderland once again this December.
Downtown Lafayette Unlimited is producing “Merry & Bright,” a series of family-friendly holiday events in Downtown Lafayette sponsored by Lafayette Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The seasonal celebration includes a Christmas tree decorating contest, a concert featuring Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, a competition for best holiday window display, a Candlelight Christmas featuring traditional carols, and a Movies In The Parc season finale —all taking place throughout December and following guidelines for safe outdoors events.
All COVID-19 mandates — including social distancing, requiring masks, and limiting event attendance capacity to 250 or less people — will be in place. If updated protocols prevent public gatherings, A Very Curley Christmas and Candlelight Christmas will be live-streamed on the Downtown Lafayette Facebook page; and Movies In The Parc will be rescheduled. Currently, Downtown Lafayette plans to move forward with all events as scheduled.
To make Downtown Lafayette a destination for Christmas, DLU will transform the city center into a beacon of holiday cheer. Parc International will transform into the “North Pole” of Downtown, with decorations, lights, a 24-foot-tall Christmas tree, and larger-than-life ornaments big enough to walk through. A grove of Christmas trees decorated by local families, businesses, and organizations will also fill the parc.
Other exciting holiday decorations and installations will be spread throughout Downtown and found in Parc Sans Souci and Parc de Lafayette. Downtown Lafayette also expects Santa to make walk-through appearances at some Merry & Bright events; interested visitors can stay tuned to the Downtown Lafayette Facebook page for announcements regarding Santa’s availability.
“Thanks to our presenting sponsor, Lafayette Coca-Cola Bottling Company, we have the incredible opportunity to provide holiday magic during a time where we need it the most,” said Anita Begnaud, CEO of Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited. “We invite the public to grab a festive mask, safely come together, and join us in creating memories with your loved ones to celebrate the wonderful things that make up the holiday season special in the heart of Lafayette — Downtown itself.”
Merry & Bright Downtown Christmas will officially kick-off on Friday, December 4th, with A Very Curly Christmas featuring Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble. Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory will also lead the lighting of the Downtown Lafayette Christmas tree before the event.
No real snow or typical winter scenery? No problem. Starting in November, many Downtown shops and businesses are converting their storefronts into a “Window Wonderland,” featuring incredibly creative installations curated by local artists. You can vote for your favorite holiday display beginning Friday, December 4th.
The Christmas Tree Extravaganza decorating begins on Friday, November 27th. This Christmas tree decorating competition is open to businesses, organizations, families, and creative individuals to display throughout the holiday season. Visitors to the Parc can vote on their favorite tree online beginning December 4th, with winners of the competition announced on December 19th.
Interested in decorating a tree of your own? Email [email protected] for details.
December ArtWalk will take place on Saturday, December 12th, at a special-edition Night Art Market outside of Parc International. Vendors will line up on Polk Street between Garfield and Vermilion streets from 4 – 8 pm. Find holiday gifts, stocking stuffers, and other hand-crafted items created by local artists while enjoying the district’s restaurants and other businesses.
Candlelight Christmas, an event co-hosted by First United Methodist Church and Downtown Lafayette, will occur on Thursday, December 18th, from 6 – 7 pm. In addition to reading the Christmas story, this traditional event also features a live band to lead attendees in singing carols. Candles will be passed out at the end of the ceremony as “Joy to the World” rounds out the concert.
The Grand Finale will take place at Movies In The Parc. A screening of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas concert will play as guests enter Parc International, followed by a showing of the holiday classic, “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Winners of Window Wonderland and Christmas Tree Extravaganza will be announced before the movie.
Downtown Lafayette would like to extend a holly, jolly thank you to all of the sponsors who made Merry & Bright Christmas a possibility this year: presenting sponsor Lafayette Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Evangeline Bank & Trust, Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, Professional Outsource Services, Evangeline Maid, The Acadiana Advocate, Guilliot Dentistry, Jones Walker, The Grouse Room, Kiwanis of Acadiana, Kiwanis of Lafayette, and Asociación Cultural Latino-Acadiana.
Tickets to A Very Curley Christmas, Candlelight Christmas, and Movies In The Parc are available at downtownlafayette.org/events-landing/christmas-downtown.
The list below represents each event that Downtown Lafayette Unlimited will host or partner to produce.
Merry & Bright Downtown Christmas Events
Downtown Window Wonderland
November 13 – December 19 | Jefferson Street + Various Locations Downtown
Christmas Tree Extravaganza
November 30 – December 19 | Parc International
A Very Curley Christmas + Lighting Of The Tree
Friday, December 4 | Parc International | 5:00 – 8:00 PM
ArtWalk Christmas Market
Saturday, December 14 | Parc International | 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Downtown Candlelight Christmas
Thursday, December 19 | Parc International | 6:00 — 7:00 PM
Christmas Tree Extravaganza + Window Wonderland Finale (Winner Announced)
Movies in the Parc Christmas Edition
Saturday, December 19 | Parc International | 4:30 – 7:00 PM