Five Free, Small-Town Christmas Events in North Louisiana that are Worth the Drive
Local residents and visitors can experience Christmas in the countryside with five free holiday events in the rural areas of Caddo and Bossier Parish, which includes the Christmas Bazaar & Tour of Trees in Vivian, Mistletoe and Memories in Plain Dealing, Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival in Oil City, Benton Christmas on the Square and Parade in Benton and A Small Town Christmas in Blanchard.
The Christmas Bazaar and Tour of Trees exhibit will be held in downtown Vivian at the Lighthouse Mission Thrift Store, located at 105 West Louisiana Ave. The thrift store transforms into a whimsical wonderland with more than 100 decorated Christmas trees, food vendors, arts and crafts and a bake sale that will benefit Watersprings Ranch, a children’s home in Texarkana, Ark. Visitors can tour the exhibit every Friday in December until Dec. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about the Christmas Bazaar and Tour of Trees exhibit, visit the Light House Mission Thrift Store Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lighthousemissionthrift.
Plain Dealing is introducing its First Annual Mistletoe and Memories Christmas Festival on Friday, Dec. 6, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Plain Dealing Community Center, located at 109 South Cotton Belt St. This event will feature a Hallmark Christmas theme, free food, arts and crafts, and more. Children can write letters to Santa and enjoy a story-time session. The Macedonia Baptist Church Youth Choir will perform Christmas carols for all to enjoy. This event is organized by Plain Dealing Proud, a group of women dedicated to highlighting their community by introducing new events in their hometown to increase economic impact. Admission is free. For more information on the Mistletoe and Memories Christmas Festival, visit the Plain Dealing Proud Facebook page at www. facebook.com/plaindealingproud.
Returning for the 25th year, the annual Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Earl G. Williamson Park, located at 11425 Highway 1 in Oil City. This popular event features fair-style food, clowns, arts and crafts, kids’ zones, an inflatable snow globe, live entertainment, fireworks show, Santa Claus and more. Children can visit with Santa and will receive a free gift from Santa’s helpers. Photos with Santa will be available for purchase. The fireworks show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about Christmas on Caddo, www.christmasoncaddo.com.
The 20th Annual Benton Christmas on the Square Festival and Parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. in downtown Benton on Sibley Street. This event features a 5K run, parade, kids’ zone, food, arts and crafts, live entertainment, horse rides, art contest, Mrs. Claus and more. The parade route starts at the corner of Simpson at Sibley Street, travel south on Sibley Street and cross Old Bellevue Road onto Lee Street. Festival admission is free. The 5K race registration is $15-$25. Register at www. sportsspectrum.com or at the race site on the day of the event. For more information about the Benton Christmas on the Square Festival and Parade, visit www.bentonchristmasonthesquare.com.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, visitors can experience Blanchard’s fourth annual A Small Town Christmas from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Blanchard Town Hall, located at 110 North Main St. This event features a parade, Christmas market, Christmas tree lighting, gingerbread house competition, award ceremony, Christmas light exhibit at Northwood Hills Country Club and more. This event is hosted by A Better Blanchard, a non-profit organization that strives to improve the quality of life for residents in Blanchard. Admission is free. For more information on A Small Town Christmas, visit A Better Blanchard Facebook page at www.facebook.com/abetterblanchard.
For more events in the rural areas of Caddo and Bossier Parish along the Boom or Bust Byway, visit www. BoomOrBustByway.com. For more information on Christmas events in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.HolidaysOnTheRed.com