Virginia Calhoun (We Olive & Wine Bar) demonstrates how to make a batch of Spiced Sangria– ideal for a holiday soiree.
‘Tis the season of joy and good cheer!
The holiday season is officially kicking off Thanksgiving weekend leading to weeks of hot cocoa sipping, seasonal songs, and neighborhoods transforming into winter wonderlands.
Festive events sure to warm the hearts of children and adults will commence in Shreveport-Bossier City and across North Louisiana. There’s something for all to enjoy—and from a safe distance and open environments.
Christmas in Roseland, hosted by The American Rose Center, is on the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights. (Photo: Courtesy Photo)
Social distancing and COVID-19 protocols are practiced and enforced at all events, which include mandatory mask-wearing, regular sanitization by staff, and access to handwashing and hand sanitizer stations for the public. Before you go, check the website and social media pages of the events for guidelines and updates.
End 2020 surrounded by twinkle lights and merriment. Head to these places for holiday spirit.
Rockets Over the Red Fireworks Festival with Mudbug Market
3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov.27-28
Riverview Hall, 600 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport
The annual Rocket Over the Red Fireworks Festival will illuminate the skies with colorful hues of lights over the Red River. On the Shreveport side of the bank, holiday-themed kid-friendly activities offered inside Riverview Hall. Plus, shop for gifts for everyone on the list at the indoor Mudbug Market. Refuel from all the fun by ordering a meal or snack from the food trucks outside of Riverview Hall. For more information, visit rocketsoverthered.com.
Rockets Over the Red Festival in downtown Shreveport. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
Christmas in Roseland
The American Rose Center, 8877 Jefferson Paige Rd., Shreveport
Various dates Nov. 27 through Dec. 23
The American Rose Center and gardens will light up for its annual Christmas in Roseland celebration. The landscape will be even brighter this year thanks to the addition of more than 20,000 LED lights made possible by sponsors and donors. Walk the grounds to view the spectacular, then commence to the center for more entertainment and activities for the whole family.
Take a ride under the night sky on the small-circuit Roseland Express train. Tickets are $5 per person. Photo ops with Santa Claus are $10 per photo. Spot Santa in the garden every night until 9 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa will not hold children but will pose with groups from a social-distanced position in front of a festive backdrop.
The gift shop and concession stand will be open with treats including hot chocolate, corn dogs, and funnel cakes. The outdoor vendor market will be open Dec 4-6. A Candlelight Sing-A-Long will be on Dec. 23.
Christmas in Roseland admission is $5 per person or $20 per carload. Ages 2 and under are free. Group rates are available. The event dates are Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6, Dec. 11-13, Dec. 17-20, and an encore run from Dec. 21-23. For more information, visit rose.org/christmas-in-roseland.
Believe: The Magic of Christmas & Lights the Night!
Shreveport Aquarium, 601 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport
Nov. 27 through Dec. 23
Shreveport Aquarium is curating an interactive, magical experience that takes guests through a Grinch’s lair, down Christmas Tree Lane, and into a star factory.
“Believe: The Magic of Christmas” is a clue and riddle-driven adventure that begins with participants acquiring a magic motion-activated wand that has the power to turn on lights, create music, grow a Grinch’s heart, create reindeer footprints, and reveal if the handler is on the naughty or nice list.
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Shreveport Aquarium will offer holiday-themed aquarium photos, gifts for guests, and special appearances by the underwater Scuba Santa. Also, stroll Christmas Tree Lane to see the array of trees decorated by local businesses—vote for a favorite, and the winning business will have $3,000 donated to the charity of choice.
“Believe: The Magic of Christmas” is open Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday from Nov. 27 through Dec. 23. Regular tickets (no wand or gift) are $15 (ages 13+), $12 (ages 3-12), Free (age 2 and under). Ticket upgrades are available for $5 for daytime tickets to include magic motion-activated wand rental and a special take-home gift. Advance ticket purchasing is encouraged.
“Believe: Lights the Night!” features thousands of exterior Christmas lights that dance to synchronized Christmas music broadcast on FM radio station, 88.9. This portion of the event series includes the magic wand exploration, plus special holiday activities and guests. Meet elves, an Ice Queen, the Grinch, and Santa Claus and venture through the decorated aquarium. Write a letter to Santa (through Dec. 12) and await a return letter sent to your home. Make an ornament at the craft station to mark the memory of “Believe” for years to come. Dress attire: Christmas pajamas or sweaters encouraged.
“Believe: Lights the Night!” is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 3-5, 10-12, and 17-23. Night tickets are $25 for ages 2 and up. Members receive a $10 discount. For more information and online sales, visit shreveportaquarium.com/believe.
Sno-Port: Icicle Forest
Sci-Port Discovery Center, 820 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport
Nov. 27 through Jan. 31, 2021
Sci-Post Discovery Center will present its annual winter exhibition with a new theme, new activities, and returning popular features in Sno-Port: Icicle Forest.
Sno-Port: Icicle Forest interactive exhibition will run from Nov. 27 through Jan. 31, 2021 at Sci-Port Discovery Center, (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
Sno-Port features 11 all-ages activities. “Icicle Forest” will bring back the interactive, STEM-based learning activities from last year, including “Ice Fishing”, “Igloo Brick Building Gallery”, “Make-A-Flake” and “Snowball Castle.” This year, guests will learn how to light up a tree using tactile and non-tactile interaction in the “Icicle Forest.” In “Snow-mazing” explorers are challenged to find make it out of a walk-thru maze. In “Let It Blow” participants learn the power of kinetic energy.
Tickets to Sno-Port are separate from Sci-Port’s general admission prices. Tickets range from $8-12 for Sno-Port access only for children and adults with Sci-Port member discounts available. Group rates and scheduling is offered. Combo tickets for the Sno-Port and other Sci-Port exhibits are $20-25. Sno-Port tickets are available for pre-sale. Visit sci-port.org for more information about Sno-Port and Sci-Port Discovery Center or call (318) 424-3466. Exhibition hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Saturday and Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday from Nov. 27 through Jan. 31, 2021.
Sportspectrum Downtown Christmas Run and Kids Christmas Run
Begins at 5 p.m. Dec. 17
Rhino Coffee, 624 Texas St., Shreveport
Dash 3.1 miles through downtown Shreveport to the tune of Christmas carols and silver bell ringing. The Downtown Christmas Run and Kids Christmas Run course will overflow with holiday lighting, decorations, and music—and runners wearing themed attire. The three-loop route begins and ends at Rhino Coffee on Texas Street. The registration fee is $25 through Dec. 11, $30 Dec. 12-16, and $40 on Race Day, Dec. 17. Awards and prizes will be distributed to overall winners and runner-up male and female in several age groups. For details, online registration, and to view a map of the full route at sportspectrumusa.com/calendar/.
Sportspectrum is partnering with Operation Santa Clause to provide presents to less fortunate children during the holiday season. Bring new toys and monetary donations to the retail store during packet pick-up or on race day.
Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights
Various event dates from Nov. through Dec.
Eight cities are partnering again to highlight a collection of events along I-20 and I-49. Cruise across North Louisiana for the 2020 Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights.
Rockets Over the Red Fireworks Festival blasts holiday cheer and lights over the Red River in Shreveport-Bossier City. (Photo: Courtesy of Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau)
Locals and out-of-town guests are invited to the more than 100 events hosted by the participating cities Alexandria-Pineville, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches, and Shreveport-Bossier City during November and December.
The events include Christmas festivals, lighted displays, traditional Cajun and Creole culinary experiences, firework displays, walking tours, holiday home tours, and many other festive activities.
Popular highlights include “Christmas Market on Main” (Minden), Santa’s Christmas Village (Monroe-West Monroe), Holiday Lighting of the Water Tower (Alexandria-Pineville), and Rockets Over the Red Fireworks and Festival and Mudbug Market (Shreveport-Bossier). Begin planning your holiday itinerary at holidaytrailoflights.com.
Additional Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights stops in Bossier and Caddo Parish:
East Bank Holiday Market. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, East Bank District and Plaza, 400 block of Barksdale Blvd, Bossier City. The event features holiday-themed vendors, food trucks, live music, and an appearance by Santa Claus. Admission is free.
Lights and Christmas tableau at the American Rose Center’s 32nd annual Christmas in Roseland. (Photo: Stan Carpenter/The Times)
Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival. Earl G. Williamson Park, 11425 LA Hwy 1, Oil City, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5. The drive-in festival will include food, children’s activities, live music, and a firework show over Caddo Lake. Admission is free.
Winter Wonderland Christmas Party. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dec. 12, Holiday Inn Shreveport Downtown, 102 Lake St., Shreveport. An adult-only holiday party for friends, family, and coworkers. The dress attire is formal or semi-formal. Admission is free, but each guest is required to bring a wrapped unisex gift valued at $30.
Christmas and Paint presented by Craig Events. 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 6056 Greenwood Rd., Shreveport. An adult-only art party in which guests will be led in painting a Christmas sweater. Music will be provided by Scoota Man Pro. Admission begins at $30, which includes canvas, paint, paintbrushes, and plastic aprons.
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