Acadiana comes alive every holiday season for the annual “A Cajun and Creole Christmas.” Voted a Top 20 December Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the celebration includes parades, performances, children’s activities, home tours and Santa — and much, much more.
For a complete list of events for A Cajun and Creole Christmas, including events in towns throughout Acadiana, visit LafayetteTravel.com.
Here’s a rundown of events happening in Lafayette starting with Thanksgiving Eve.
Downtown Alive! free music concert series features The Pine Leaf Boys on Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving Eve) in Parc Sans Souci and includes the Lighting of the Official City Christmas Tree by Mayor Joey Durel. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m. Also on Nov. 27 is the Thanksgiving Eve Dance with Geno Delafose at 8:30 p.m. at Vermilionville. Admission is $10.
The Safari of Lights at the Zoo of Acadiana begins Nov. 29 and runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30. Be sure and ride the North Pole Express train!
Acadian Village is covered in half a million lights and offers live entertainment, food and holiday shopping from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly from Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. The annual event helps raise funds for the non-profit organization. Tickets $9 at the gate; $7 in advance.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra presents “Sounds of the Season” from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at St. Peters Catholic Church, 108 E St. Peter St. in New Iberia. Free.
Christmas in Scott includes photos with Santa and the official lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at 916 Cayret St. in downtown Scott.
The annual Festival of Light, one of Lafayette’s largest holiday attractions, happens 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Oil Center. Celebrate as the switch is pulled to light the colossal Santa, sleigh and reindeer over Coolidge Boulevard, with music, food and fun, and of course shopping! There’s even snow!
Christmas at the Alexandre Mouton House, adorned in period decorations, will be Dec. 6-31 at 1122 Lafayette St., downtown Lafayette. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tickets $5 adults, $3 seniors, $2 students.
The City of Broussard Christmas Parade begins at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at the intersection of South Morgan and Albertson Parkway.
The Carencro Country Christmas with choirs, singers, arts and crafts, food booths and pictures with Santa takes place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5115 N. University in Carencro. Free. The Christmas Children’s Parade begins at 2 p.m.
The Sonic Christmas Parade rolls from downtown Lafayette to the Oil Center, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Free. One of the oldest Christmas activities in Acadiana, containing more than 20 floats, high school marching bands and the official arrival of Santa Claus to Lafayette.
Vermilionville historic village offers an Old-Time Christmas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Experience the simple warmth and beauty of Christmas past and meet Papa Noël, learn how to make wax candles, sing along to Christmas carols, watch popcorn stringing and even get a taste of apple cider!
The popular “A Tuna Christmas” stage play returns to Cité des Arts of downtown Lafayette Dec. 12-15, 19-22 and 26-29. The comedy is set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, and two actors play the entire cast of more than 20 characters of both genders and various ages. 337-291-1122.
The Living Bethlehem will be 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 13-15 at Sugar Mill Pond Town Center, 120 Waterview Road in Youngsville. Free. The Living Bethlehem is a live nativity drama featuring a cast of children, live animals and a children’s choir.
The Singing Christmas Tree is a Broadway-style Christmas show for the entire family with a choir singing from a massive Christmas tree. This year’s production is “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the First Baptist Church in Lafayette. 800-965-9324.
“The Nutcracker” will be performed by Lafayette Ballet Theatre with special guests at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette. (337) 262-0444.
Lessons and Carols, traditional candlelight service of readings and choral music for the Christmas season in the historic St. John Cathedral, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at 914 St. John St. in Lafayette. Free.
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana offers a New Year’s Noon Countdown & Carnival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 31 at the museum in downtown Lafayette. The cost is $6 per person and includes exhibits, confetti, cannons and prize drops.
This is only a tip of the holiday iceberg. Be sure and check out the full schedule athttp://www.lafayettetravel.com/play/festivalsevents/cajun-creole-christmas.