Holiday lights, play to brighten season

Deidre Cruse
Banners atop lightpoles through downtown Plaquemine are used to celebrate the revelry of the Christmas season.

The City of Plaquemine soon will glow with Christmas lights, but the annual Christmas festival is on hold this year, Special Projects Director and Main Street Manager Kristine Hebert said.

The recovery from Hurricane Gustav slowed down many local activities this fall, including preparations for the city’s Christmas event. Crews are working to set up the city’s holiday decorations -- including 6,000 bulbs in displays at Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park, Hebert said. She said they hope to have the work done this week.

District 6 Plaquemine Selectman Jimmie Randle said he would hold the annual “Holly Jolly Christmas Festival” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturday, December 20, with a small parade (with throws) at 1 p.m. Randle said he would provide further details before the event.

In the meantime, for the second year, Iberville Parish public school students from around the parish will combine their talents for a Christmas play.

“Reasons,” written by Special Projects Director Elvis J. Cavalier, will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 16, at the Iberville Math, Science and Arts Academy – West Bank, and again at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 18, at the Math, Science and Arts Academy – East Bank.

“This Christmas Program is something a little bit different,” the author said.

In Act 1, an American family getting excited about the arrival of Santa Claus finds a pregnant girl at their doorstep and slams the door on her back, he said, and Act 2 is a retelling of the Biblical Christmas story.

The play covers a lot more ground with music, dance and acting, including a playground discussion among elementary school students about love:

“We all have had moments when love was all around,” one student says. “We just need to rethink what it is and what it is all about. Think about it.”

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore,” says another. “So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when he got arthritis, too. I really, really think that’s love!”

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different,” offers another. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume, and a boy puts on shaving cologne, and then they go out places and just smell each other.”

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”

“Love is what makes you smile when you are tired.”

Wreaths and other decorations, such as those seen on the door of this Plaquemine business, are a part of the holiday celebration.