Thanksgiving has come and gone and St. Francisville is ready for Christmas in the Country. Transformed into a twinkling town of lights, festive decorations and holiday cheer, the ’Ville will celebrate Christmas in the Country on Dec. 5-7; everything from fireworks, a parade and tour of homes to book signings, exquisite shopping and, yes, even Elvis tribute artists.
Beginning Dec. 5, Christmas in the Country kicks off with the lighting of the town Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. followed by a reception at St. Francsiville’s Town Hall hosted by Mayor Billy D’Aquilla. Fireworks and a performance by the First Baptist Church Children’s Choir are scheduled.
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., visitors can peep into participating holiday homes through handblown windowpanes and lace curtains. The homes will be decorated for the holidays in St. Francisville’s downtown historic district.
The Baton Rouge Symphony will perform its annual Christmas Brass concert and dessert reception at Hemingbough at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are available at the Bank of St. Francisville or at the door for $25. For information, call the BRSO ticket office at (225) 383-0500.
On Dec. 6, Christmas in the Country continues with a full day of activities beginning at 7:30 a.m. with a community prayer breakfast at United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall off Royal Street, followed by Breakfast with St. Nicholas for children at Jackson Hall, next to Grace Episcopal Church. Santa will be there at 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Reservations are recommended. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at www.womensserviceleague.com.
The Women’s Service League, sponsor of the event, will be selling fresh holiday wreaths on Ferdinand Street with proceeds benefiting charitable and civic organizations.
Saturday and Sunday
Music, arts and crafts, and food vendors will be featured from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Parker Park. The Talented Art Walk, with artwork by local students, will be on display and available as well as inside local shops until 5:30 p.m.
Singing, dancing and musical performances throughout the downtown historic district are scheduled. Bains Elementary’s second-grade choir performs at 10 a.m. at the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum on Ferdinand Street, and the West Feliciana High School Choir sings from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall.
A Jazz Brunch at the Bluffs begins at 11 a.m. at the Bluffs Golf Resort, 14233 Sunrise Way, along with the Bells of Christmas boutique shopping.
Friends of the Library’s Tour of Homes starts at noon and lasts until 5 p.m. Four diverse homes, two located in the Bluffs, will be featured. This event benefits the WFP library. Tickets for Tour of Homes are available at Grandmother’s Buttons, Ma Milles Gift Shop, South of the Border and at the WFP Library, 5114 Burnett Road, by visiting wftourofhomes.bpt.me or from any member of the Friends of the Library organization.
The Angola Inmate Traveling Band has a scheduled performance from noon to 4 p.m. across from Garden Symposium Park.
The United Methodist Church on Royal Street will host a community singalong from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., while the St. Francisville First Baptist Church presents a live nativity scene 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., reminding everyone the reason for the season. Peep into our Holiday Homes continues 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown St. Francisville.
Saturday has traditionally been reserved for the St. Francisville Christmas parade, but due to the runoff election Dec. 6, the parade has moved to Sunday at 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Women’s Service League, this year’s parade will include local leaders, Angola’s enormous Percheron work horses and their sleigh bells and dozens of parade floats accompanied by cheerleaders, dancers, bands, bagpipes, marching ROTC units and vintage cars. This year’s theme for the St. Francisville Christmas parade is “Be There With Bells On.” Floats will line up on Royal Street with the parade rolling along Commerce and Ferdinand streets.
Christmas in the Country wraps up at 6 p.m. with Elvis tribute artists Cody Ray Slaughter and Jay Dupuis performing An Ultimate Christmas. Backed by the EAS Band from Chicago and special guest Jeff Lewis, the artists will perform holiday classics, hymns and some of the King’s greatest hits.
Slaughter, 23, an Arkansas native, was named the 2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist by Elvis Presley Enterprises and has since traveled the world performing in the Million Dollar Quartet.
Dupuis, a Baton Rouge native, is the 2014 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist by Elvis Presley Enterprises and part of the 2014 EP Expo. The two artists will re-create the moves, the looks and the sounds of Presley. In honor of the King’s favorite holiday, everyone is asked to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots or a gift card from any business to donate to Cancer Card Exchange.
This special holiday concert will be at Hemingbough’s Hemstead Hall, 10101 La. 965.
Advance tickets are $30; at the door $35; and VIP seating tickets are $50. They can be purchased at Grandmother’s Buttons, 9814 Royal St. in St. Francisville, by visiting www.hrhpromotions.com or calling (662) 871-6832.
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