BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s now officially Christmas in the Capital City after the annual Festival of Lights was held in downtown Baton Rouge, along with the ceremonial lighting of the tree.
“So tonight is going to be a great night for our city and for our community, kicking off the holiday season, the Christmas season,” said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.
“With Winter Wonderland, we have snow, outdoor ice skating for the kids, there’s a community concert going on, we have big band dancing tonight, movies in the Manship Theatre,” said Davis Rhorer, director of the Downtown Development District (DDD).
“It’s exciting and fun and I love it,” said one festival-goer.
“This is the second year that we’ve done come and it’s been great. It’s awesome,” said Keba Coleman and Kendra Ellsworth, more festival-goers.
“The tree is beautiful. We love the festivities. We try to come every year. Just an enjoyable time to see the fireworks and hear the music,” said Richard Leggett.
“Just the games and all the Christmas lights,” Giamani Coleman said about the festival.
But with warm temps in Baton Rouge, it may have been tough for some to get in the holiday spirit.
“With the weather, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas, but with the festivities, it looks like Christmas and lets you know that Christmas is on the way, yes,” said Coleman and Ellsworth.
“We’re here to see Santa Claus and to support the Christmas spirit,” said Harper Dupont.
Despite the warm weather, kids and adults alike were able to experience real snow trucked in for sledding. The event also featured music, ice skating, holiday performers, face-painting, a balloon artist, and of course, Santa Claus.
But the best part was perhaps the lighting of the giant 35-foot tall Christmas tree.