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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse and throughout the parish. Several holiday events have already been held and more will occur this week and in the rest of the month leading up to day set aside to celebrate Christ’s birth -- the greatest gift of all. {Photo by Raymond L. Daye}

Christmas events in Avoyelles December 6-9

Upcoming Christmas events this week include:

Thursday, Dec. 6
6 p.m. - Lighting of Avoyelles Parish Courthouse
The annual lighting of the historic Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in Marksville will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.
Thousands of lights will brighten the night as Christmas carols are sung.The Marksville Chamber of Commerce will serve hot chocolate and Santa Claus will make a special appearance, arriving on a Marksville Fire Department truck.
For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 253-8599.

Saturday, Dec. 8
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.- “A Holly Jolly Adventure” Cottonport
The town of Cottonport will host a “Holly Jolly Adventure” Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the KC Hall.
Children ages up to 12 can pay $3 to participate in ornament decorating, writing and mailing an “official” letter to Santa, making reindeer food, decorating holiday cookies and more.
Professional photographer Sheree Myers will be on hand to take photos with Santa. Cost is $25 and will include a 5x7 copy and a digital download of the photo. All photo proceeds will be donated to the children of Avoyelles CASA. No personal photos with cameras or phones will be allowed.
For more information call (318) 876-3485.

9 to 11 a.m.- Arts Council ‘Paint and Pajamas’ in Mansura
The Avoyelles Arts and Humanities Council will host a “Christmas Paint and Pajamas” event on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 9 to 11 a.m. open to ages 5 to 13.
The painting party will be held in the LSU AgCenter at 8592 Hwy. 1 Mansura. Cost is $15 per child of an Arts Council member and $20 for all non- Arts Council members.
Children are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas. Hot cocoa and refreshments will be served. Photos with Santa will also be taken.
Space is limited. For more information call (318) 264-1826 or email

Friday, Dec. 7; Saturday, Dec. 8 & Sunday, Dec. 9
53rd annual Cottonport Christmas on the Bayou
The Town of Cottonport will host the 53rd annual Christmas on the Bayou Festival Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 8 and 9).
Festivities will kick off with a Christmas lighting contest at dusk on Friday (Dec. 7). There will be four categories -- yard, business/commercial, window only and door only. The yard category will include the sub-categories of: “Clark Griswold”- excessive use of outdoor lighting and decorations; Debatable Inflatable- all the inflatables you can use; “Oh Holy Night” -Religious; Themed-cartoon, country, Cajun, Candy Cane Lane, etc.; “Anything Goes;” “Charlie Brown”- dog house, shed, barn decorations; “Inside Out”- indoor displays visible from the street; “Martha Stewart”- traditional, classic Christmas and “DIY: Bob the Builder”- homemade wood cutouts or anything else created by hand.
There will be a 1st and 2nd place in each category and sub-category. The overall winner will receive a $75 cash prize. All participants are judged from the street on overall appearance, neatness, originality and creativity.
Entry to the contest is free of charge. To enter call Annie at (318) 792-8100.
There will be a fireworks display along the bayou at 6 p.m. Saturday. Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and pick a spot along Bayou Rouge to enjoy the beautiful and exciting display of fireworks bursting in the air and reflections dancing on the water.
On Sunday, the Christmas on the Bayou parade will roll at 1 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy the traditional parade with its decorated floats, marching bands, beautiful cars with queens from various festivals, local dance groups, great music and, of course, topped off with the first appearance in Cottonport of “Santa Claus” to welcome in the Christmas season.
Trophies will be awarded in four categories of Float, Dance Unit, Band/Marching Unit, and Special Entry with one winner per category. The judges will also select a Best All-Round winner.
The winners will be announced and trophies awarded at the end of the parade at the Cotton Queen on Cottonport Avenue.
Interested participants in the parade may pick up an entry form at Cottonport Town Hall Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call the Cottonport Town Hall at (318) 876-3485.


105 N Main St
Marksville, LA 71351
(318) 253-9247