"We noticed that Lafayette never had an official tree before, one that everyone in the city could enjoy," says Downtown Lafayette Unlimited's David D'Aquin. "DLU bought the tree and made the investment, and we thought what better place to have the tree than in the center of the city." The tree comes from downtown business Evangeline Specialties, which specializes in seasonal decorations for cities.
Officially named "Twas the Light Before Christmas," the tree lighting is one of numerous events planned for Nov. 26. The Louisiana Crafts Guild and Children's Museum of Acadiana will hold a crafts market with children's activities in the park from noon-8 p.m., and the Alexandre Mouton House, Acadiana Center for the Arts and Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium will offer free admission all day. At dusk, around 5:45 p.m., City-Parish President Joey Durel will light the Lafayette Christmas tree. A holiday downtown ArtWalk will follow from 6-8 p.m., along with a Music Market at Nitetown from 5-8 p.m. and open house at IberiaBank for viewing of its Winter Wonderland and Santa's Workshop.
Although Lafayette's Christmas tree is artificial, two live spruce pines were planted in the park earlier this month to eventually take the place of the first tree. D'Aquin says the pines should be ready for decorations and lights next year. This year's big tree will be lit through New Year's. "[The lights] come on with a photo sensor," D'Aquin says. "As soon as it gets dark, the lights are on."
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