MINDEN, La. - Some cities in Central and North Louisiana are capitalizing on the spirit of the season with a "Holiday Trail of Lights." One of those cities is also tapping into its German roots and it's old-fashioned Main Street to celebrate Christmas. FOX 8's Dave McNamara takes us to Webster Parish for a holiday greeting from Minden in tonight's Heart of Louisiana.
It's named after a city in Germany. Minden traces its roots to the German settlers who arrived in this northern parish in the 1830s. Part of the old Germantown colony still exists. And today, Minden celebrates its old-style Main Street, its grand houses and brick streets, and a growing antique trade.
"Minden is actually turning into a wonderful little antique village," said Evelyn Colvin. "We now have about nine antique shops spread out down Main Street, and it's wonderful."
Shop owner Colvin opened her Cottage Antiques earlier this year.
There is an emphasis on the arts, with a city-owned studio that rents spaces to local artists.
"My art is called 'botanical finds,'" said artist Bill Cook.
Cook, has a collection of organic creations.
"The artwork here is made out of, like, seed pods and magnolia pods and dirt dauber nests and just very little strange things," Cook said. "I use a lot of mushrooms.''
Artist Larry Milford shapes his art from metal.
"This is hammered copper," Milford said, showing one of his pieces. "I do all kinds of metal work."
And with a German celebration in November, the streets of Minden take on a holiday glow.
Minden is part of Louisiana's Holiday Trail of Lights, which also includes large displays in the cities of Shreveport, Monroe, Natchitoches and Alexandria.
Larger-than-life Nutcrackers add to the charm of Minden's old-style lampposts. The city's old historic Main Street churches add to the holiday charm. And the boulevards, the city park, store fronts and public spaces offer a dazzling display of lights.
"Minden is on Main Street community, and so we have actually, the city has invested so much in trying to keep their downtown area vitalized," said Lynn Dorsey of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau.