Holiday Bonfires Return to the River Parishes

LAPLACE, La. – Louisiana’s River Parishes announced that the region’s annual holiday bonfire tradition will return this month after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Dating back hundreds of years, the almost month-long event features open houses, parades, live music and other activities that culminate in the annual Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee event.

“I’m incredibly honored and excited to announce the return of the full slate of Bonfire Season events for 2021,” said Louisiana’s River Parishes Executive Director Jay Robichaux. “Our citizens need a reason to smile and celebrate, and this incredible tradition dating back to the founding of the River Parishes showcases our incredible heritage and culture in a way that is unique to only Louisiana.”  

Following the start of the season on Dec. 1, the Festival of the Bonfires takes place Dec. 9-12 in Lutcher. The four-day celebration features live music, cook-off, pageant, car show and much more. A bonfire is ceremoniously lit on Friday and Saturday, with a fireworks show on Saturday night. 

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During Bonfire Season, there are other attractions throughout the River Parishes, including the replica bonfire structure at the St. James Welcome Center, and “Saint,” the 50-foot wooden alligator bonfire mascot of the season. Saint was designed by Garyville’s Bonfire Builders, and have their own stop in Bonfire Country named “Blood, Sweat, and Bonfires.” The Gramercy Fire Department also holds an annual open house, where guests can learn more about the history and tradition of the bonfires and the people who have kept this tradition alive.

Bonfire Season comes to a close on Christmas Eve, as the nearly 300 constructed bonfires across the 24 days in the River Parishes are finally lit to light the way for Papa Nöel (Santa Claus).

For more information on Louisiana’s River Parishes, visit

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