Ring in the holiday season at Baton Rouge’s oldest holiday tradition, the Festival of Lights, on Friday, Dec. 3, from 4-8 p.m. Transforming the winter sky into a winter wonderland, Mayor Broome will count down the lighting of North Boulevard with 250,000 sparkling lights. You can experience the magic beneath the 35-foot Christmas tree in Town Square and celebrate the official start of the holidays in Baton Rouge with activities for the entire family!
Ice Skating & Snow Village
Bring the kiddos to play in REAL snow – yes, even in Baton Rouge! Take a turn playing in 10 tons of real snow at Repentance Park, located between the Old State Capitol and the Raising Cane’s River Center. Enjoy Baton Rouge’s very own Rockefeller Center-style ice skating rink located on the first floor of the River Center Plaza, where festival-goers can stand on the balcony and watch the children skate around the plaza!
- Snow Village begins at 5 p.m. - Ages 5-15 Only
- Ice Skating begins at 4 p.m. - Ages 5-10 Only
Santa’s Gift Shop with the Baton Rouge Arts Market
Knock out some holiday shopping at Santa’s Gift Shop, hosted by the Baton Rouge Arts Market. Produced by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Santa’s Gift Shop will be located at Rhorer Plaza and will feature artists from around the region selling handmade items for everyone on your holiday gift list!
Holiday Film Screenings
From 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., you can enjoy screenings of your favorite holiday classics, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, at Harley/Vey Theatres.
Tree Lighting & Fireworks
Mayor Broome will count down the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, along with 250,000 sparkling lights down North Boulevard. You can experience the holiday magic beneath the 35-foot tree and marvel over the elaborate firework show on the Mississippi River. While you await the countdown, you can support Louisiana Youth Orchestra by shopping their bake sale, where baked goods, hot chocolate and popcorn will be available for purchase or let the kids decorate a personalized ornament to cherish for years to come.
You can catch local choirs, dance studios and bands performing throughout the evening on the Community Stage. The Mayor's Stage at Galvez Plaza will see EscoSoulMusic perform from 4:15 pm - 6 p.m, then "Swing into Christmas" with Ned Fasullo and the Fabulous Big Band Orchestra from 6:25 p.m.- 8 p.m. Can't get enough performing arts? Experience the magic of the holidays with Bayou Cirque's Krampus, Jack Frost, Winter Witch, Winter Fairies, Santa’s Elves and more!
Downtown Holiday Lagniappe
17TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY TRUNK SHOW AT LSU MUSEUM OF ART STORE
12 – 8 p.m.
LSU Museum of Art Store (1st Floor), 100 Lafayette Street
Support the LSU Museum of Art while crossing everyone off your list! Shop unique items from local artists, including jewelry, photography and paintings. They'll even be offering free gift wrapping and the chance to win raffle prizes, plus 20% off one item!
LIVE NATIVITY AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH TERRACED GARDEN
5 – 6 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church Terraced Garden, 763 North Boulevard
Visit First Presbyterian Church’s terraced garden for a reenactment of the birth of Jesus Christ as told in the Gospels, as well as a petting zoo for the children. Linger awhile after the last performance and experience a Christmas concert with Michael O’Brien and the Foto Sisters, “The Incarnation of Christ,” held in the Sanctuary at 7 p.m.
Information provided by Downtown Development District.