Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Mississippi River

I hope y'all had a good Christmas so far. We spent a couple of days in New Orleans so we could see them light the bonfires on the Mississippi River levees. During a visit to New Orleans last year a week before Christmas, my husband and I drove up River Road north of New Orleans and saw them building the bonfire structures on the river levees. We decided this year we would go back and watch them actually light the bonfires. This is a tradition practiced every Christmas Eve by several small towns along the river, and legend has it that the lighted bonfires were meant to guide Santa safely down the river with his Christmas loot. Anyway, we settled in at a small town called Gramercy -really there are three towns in a row - Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina - that all have a concentration of bonfires. The locals also set off fireworks during the event, which makes it very festive. Some of the bonfire structures were also laced with firecrackers for additional sound effects. One was built to resemble a bulldozer. Here are a couple of photos before the lighting, during the lighting, and showing off some of the fireworks. You might want to catch these festivities next Christmas Eve.

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