Christmas Eve bonfire tradition to go on in St. James Parish

GRAMERCY, LA (WAFB) - If viewing this story on a mobile device or in an email, click the link for additional features -

All eyes will be on the sky Christmas Eve in St. James Parish.

Not just to spot Papa Noel during the public's annual row of bonfires, but residents are also hoping to dodge the rain.

Perhaps no one is working as hard for the annual display as 32-year-old Ronald Boudreaux, Jr.

"I am the hardest working guy in Gramercy, at all times," said Boudreaux laughing.

The Iraq War veteran is finishing his family bonfire.

It's part of a Christmas Eve tradition to guide Santa's sleigh going back ages in Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina.

"A lot of memories from small, to growing up, to now," said Jermeryl Lawrence from Lutcher.

This year, for the first time, Lawrence plans to bring his 5-year-old daughter.

"She'll see what I had a chance to see growing up as a kid so it's kind of cool," said Lawrence.

The only thing that might spoil that chance is the weather.

That's not slowing down Boudreaux from finishing up, but it is deterring some other folks from making plans to come out, like Nick Daigle, who's in town from Lafourche Parish.

"We probably won't come out just because of the forecast for the next few days," said Daigle from Raceland. "We were originally planning on coming, but we just decided differently because of the weather."

Daigle said there's a slight chance he could change his mind again, pending the weather Thursday.

At last word from the parish on Wednesday, the bonfires are on as scheduled beginning at 7 p.m Thursday.

Leaders advise that people can watch from their cars if it rains and they do not want to get wet.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.