This past weekend was a huge success for organizers of annual Christmas events in and around Zachary. The city saw probably the largest turnout of people ever at the Christmas in the Village celebration. Last year’s event was minimally attended thanks to freezing, icy rain that kept even the most festive of folk indoors.

Friday’s weather, however, had residents and visitors of Zachary out in the hundreds.

Saturday was a great success for the Zachary Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the annual Christmas parade as a fundraising event.

Festive and fun, the Zachary parade ended with several winners, a tie and honorable mention-worthy floats.

Also this past weekend, Wreaths Across America was celebrated at nearby Port Hudson National Cemetery honoring fallen soldiers and veterans.

Looking ahead around Zachary ...

Holiday break

Midterm exams for students began Tuesday and will wrap Friday in time for the Christmas holiday break. Zachary students will be dismissed early Friday following their last exam and will return to school Jan. 6.

Raffle prizes wanted

Close to 400 wrestlers, their families and supporters will be converging on Zachary on Saturday for the annual one-day tournament the Big Horse Open, hosted by the Zachary High wrestling team.

Businesses willing to donate prizes to a raffle drawing should drop off items along with a business card before 5 p.m. Friday to Shawn Bickham at Castello Agency, 4257 Church St., Suite 107, or email shawn@castelloagency.com.

When each prize is presented, the donating business will be acknowledged on a prize board at the tournament. To participate in the raffle, you must drop by the tournament, which will last until about 6 p.m.

Cost of raffle tickets will be determined once the number of prizes donated have been calculated. Businesses also can drop off prizes Saturday at the ZHS gym. All money raised benefits the wrestling team, Bickham said.

Tournament begins with weigh-ins about 7 a.m.

Musket demonstrations

Saturdays in December, Port Hudson State Historic Site conducts musket demonstrations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Watch demonstrations of various Civil War small arm weapons and hear about the experiences of the riflemen from either the Union or Confederate armies. Firing times are subject to change depending on weather conditions and staff availability.

Belt plates explained

Learn about the history of state belt plates during presentations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at Port Hudson State Historic Site.

For information, call (225) 654-3775.

Job search 2015

If you’re considering starting a job search in 2015, a forum of human resource and business professionals will discuss insider secrets of what employers look for in the recruitment, selection and promotional processes.

Information will be shared by the decision-makers themselves, equipping you with information for your job search, interview, your new job role and beyond. A moderator will ask questions of the hiring professionals present. Answers to these questions will provide valuable insight as you search for work now and/or throughout your career. The forum will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Zachary Branch Library, 1900 Church St.

This program is free and open to anyone 16 and older. RSVP by Tuesday by contacting Trisha Wright at (225) 614-7934.

Send your ‘Around Zachary’ events to me, Stacy Gill, by 3 p.m. Thursday for publication in the Christmas edition of the Zachary Advocate & Plainsman. Email your news, photos and more to sgill@ theadvocate.com.