Port Allen city officials are bringing back BonFest this year as they seek to use the Christmas holiday festival and levee bonfires to build a sense of community.

The city will host this year’s BonFest on Dec. 23 in front of City Hall on Court Street.

Santa Claus is set to make an appearance, and children’s activities are scheduled from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. that day, including a holiday train ride, balloons and face painting.

The band Phunky Monkeys will perform from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The city’s bonfires will be lit shortly after 6 p.m. on the Mississippi River levee, and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters will perform at 7 p.m.

Nine food and drink vendor trucks will be on site to provide refreshments for attendees.

“We wanted to offer our residents a fun way to enjoy the holidays with their neighbors,” Mayor Richard Lee said in a news release. “In years past, BonFest was a popular and enjoyable event for the community, and we plan on providing that type of event again — starting this year.”

The city’s One Port Allen community development committee is coordinating the event.

New Roads Christmas

The public is invited to “A New Roads Christmas” in downtown New Roads this weekend, starting with the 31st annual Holiday Memories open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Holiday arts and crafts vendors will be stationed in the Heritage Building, located at 116 W. Main St.

A White Light Walking Tour is set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday along Poydras, Pennsylvania and North Carolina streets.

There also will be ice skating, rides, a Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony in New Roads’ town square across from City Hall at various times throughout the day Saturday.

Plaquemine food drive

The city of Plaquemine has kicked off its annual food drive, which residents can join by dropping off nonperishable food to City Hall during business hours from now until Dec. 15.

Food collected will be donated to Our Brother’s Keeper in Plaquemine.

A barrel for donated food is located in the lobby of the first floor of City Hall.

Plaquemine Christmas fest

The city of Plaquemine’s Main Street Program is celebrating Christmas early this year by sponsoring its annual Christmas Festival from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park.

Craft vendors and artists are invited to display and sell their wares.

A full slate of activities is planned for children, including a magic show, balloon twister, strolling magician, cupcake decorating and live music by local artists.

A nonmotorized children’s parade is among the special attractions this year. Children under the age of 12 are welcome to participate, either by walking or being pulled in wagons by an adult.

Christmas decorations on the wagons and costumes are encouraged.

For vendor information and parade entry, contact Plaquemine Main Street Manager Kristine Hebert at (225) 687-3116 or visit www.plaquemine.org.

Submit news to Terry Jones by phone, (225) 326-6627; fax, (225) 344-0099; or email, tjones@theadvocate.com.