Bonfires almost ready to light the way for Papa Noel

Bonfires almost ready to light the way for Papa Noel

Officials in St. James Parish are making final preparations for the annual lighting of the Christmas Eve bonfires. "Christmas Eve is an exciting time in St. James Parish," Parish President Timmy Roussel said. "Our residents look forward to sharing our local tradition with visitors from near and far."

The centuries-old tradition has been passed down from generation to generation and attracts thousands of visitors to the area each year. A total of 138 permits were issued in St. James Parish this year to construct a bonfire along the Mississippi River levee.

Construction of the wooden structures, which reach heights of up to 15 feet, starts after Thanksgiving and continues until Christmas Eve.

The bonfires will be lit simultaneously at 7 p.m. Individuals interested in attending the lighting are encouraged to arrive before 6 p.m.

Parking is available in lots along La. Hwy. 641. Please do not park in lots that are roped off. The parking lots are located approximately three to four blocks from the levee.

As an alternative, individuals may drive along River Road through Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina to see the burning bonfires. Take La. Hwy. 3213 South to the Reserve, Gramercy and Lutcher La. Hwy. 44 exit, which is located just before reaching the Veterans Memorial Bridge. From there, turn right onto La. Hwy. 44 (River Road).

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