Louisiana settlers were lighting bonfires as early as the 1700s. The fires served a variety of purposes: as navigational signals, as a holiday celebration, and to mark the homecoming of relatives.
The town of Lutcher, bringing back the longstanding Louisiana tradition, holds bonfires on the levee each Christmas Eve. But, prepare to celebrate a little early. The prelude to the Christmas fun, the Festival of Bonfires, will be held this weekend, Dec. 7-10.
The festival serves as a teaser for the Christmas Eve bonfire but also fundraises for the insurance required to build a bonfire. Anyone wanting to build a bonfire must first purchase a permit, thus including them in insurance coverage.
The event begins tonight, Dec. 7, with musical performances by Image and Zebra. Tonight’s performances require a ticket, which is separate from the festival admission. To purchase concert tickets, click here. Regular festival activities start tomorrow, Dec. 8, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 10.
Festival of Bonfires will feature a variety of events each day, including a potato salad showdown, bread pudding bake-off, car show, fun run, a 5K race, and, of course, bonfires. There will also be food vendors, live entertainment and carnival rides throughout the weekend.
The festival will be held at Lutcher Recreational Park, 2601 Lutcher Ave. Times vary each day. For a full schedule of events, click here. Admission is $5 for adults. Children 10 and under and seniors 62 and up get in free.