It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Twin Cities, with holiday events this weekend and through the end of the year. Here is a guide to in-person events happening in Monroe and West Monroe this year.
This will be updated frequently, so if you have an event you'd like to add, please email reporter Ian Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas on the River
Don't miss the Christmas on the River Festival Day in downtown West Monroe and Monroe on Saturday, Dec. 4. The day consists of the following events:
Christmas on the River 5K at 8:30 a.m.: The annual 5K is a loop course runs downtown and alongside the Ouachita River. Participants are encouraged to dress in their most festive Christmas colors or costumes. The event will not be timed as organizers have called it a fun race, and everyone is set to receive a medal. Early packet pick up is at The Perfect Find, 318 Trenton St., West Monroe, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.
Downtown Festival at 11 a.m.: Citizens can shop in downtown West Monroe, listen to live music and enjoy food trucks all day in Alley Park, Natchitoches Street.
Kiwanis Parade at 3:30 p.m.: The 50th Annual Kiwanis Christmas Parade is returning after a hiatus last year due to COVID.
Fireworks at 6 p.m.: Don't miss the Christmas on the River fireworks show! The fireworks, shot from the Endom Bridge, are best viewed from either downtown Monroe or West Monroe.
Bawcomville Redneck Christmas Parade
Celebrate Christmas redneck style on Saturday. The Bawcomville Redneck Christmas Parade starts at 10 a.m. The route starts at Riser Elementary, 100 Price Drive, turns on West Heights to Edwards, from Edwards to Smith Street, left on Thomas Road to New Natchitoches Street, from New Natchitoches to Washington Street, ending at Riser School.
Twin City Ballet presents The Nutcracker
What would the holidays without the Twin City Ballet's Christmas performance? Bring the family out out to the Jack Howard Theatre, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, for a gala performance of The Nutcracker - Acts I and II at 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Admission is $25.
Gather up the kiddies for the Children's Light-Up Parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 in Alley Park, Natchitoches Street, in downtown West Monroe.
Artisan Christmas: Market, Music & Holiday Outdoor Movie
Downtown West Monroe is hosting an artisan market Christmas event featuring vendors and tasty treats on Saturday, Dec. 18. Don't miss out on the market with live music in Alley Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. An outdoor holiday movie will be played in Alley Park at 5:30 p.m.
Breakfast with Santa at Surge Entertainment Center
Santa Claus is coming to Surge Entertainment Center, 220 Mane St., West Monroe. Parents can bring their kids to eat breakfast with Santa at 8:30 a.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18. Admission is $20 per person which includes breakfast and a $5 play card, entry into a coloring contest, entrance into the soft play area, and entry into a drawing to win a $25 gift card.
Candy Cane Lane
Come and enjoy the mile-long wooded drive decorated with over a million Christmas lights at 170 Highway 151 North, Calhoun. Cost is $20 for family vehicles and $40 for commercial passenger vans. Trailers, buses and motorhomes over 30 feet are restricted. For more information, visit candycanelane.net.
Christmas at The Biedenharn
Enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe, courtesy of the Monroe Garden Study League through Dec. 31. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admissions for adults, veterans/seniors and student varies $4-$7.
Christmas at Kiroli Park
Celebrate Christmas at Kiroli Park, 820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe, this holiday season with a drive-through Christmas light display and other holiday activities until Christmas Day. Admission is $10 per vehicle and $20 for commercial vehicles.
Shuttle vans, buses, RV's, trailers and any vehicle that exceeds 7 ft. 10 in. are restricted.
Downtown wagon rides through the lights
The Landry Vineyard Wagon tours are available to look at the Christmas lights in in downtown Monroe and downtown West Monroe. Pick ups are in Alley Park every 30 minutes. Wagon rides are available from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until Dec. 19.
Check out the five lighted trees honoring the service of the men and women in each branch of the U.S. military at Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, 701 Kansas Lane, Monroe. The lights will be on display until New Year's Day.
Santa's Christmas Village
Bring the kiddies to the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum, 323 Walnut St., Monroe, for holiday activities such as cookie decorating, visits with Santa, a model train village, make and take holiday ornaments, snow shows, festive lights displays, photo ops and more.
Tickets are available through Dec. 23 and can be purchased in advance at nelcm.org.
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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Monroe, West Monroe holiday event guide for family fun December 2021