A longtime tradition in Metairie continues when the holiday light display opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday inside Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie.
The lights will come on at 5:30 p.m. daily and go off at 9:45 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and will go off at 11:45 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Concessions will be on sale nightly as well.
Barry McGuinness, manager of Lafreniere Park, said there is an admission fee of $3 per vehicle “regardless of how many people are in that vehicle.”
“All the money collected is spent on improving the display for the next year,” McGuinness said. “However, admission will be free on four nights — Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”
Vehicles will only be allowed into the park from West Napoleon Avenue and will have to exit on Downs Boulevard near Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
McGuinness said the newest features this year will be Olaf and Sven from the movie “Frozen,” and the Minions from the movie “Despicable Me.” Other features of the display include Penguin Island, Sea Serpent in the Lagoon, a circus scene and a section dedicated to “Star Wars.”
“Also, we have Santa’s Forest where you can choose an ornament, decorate it and place it on one of the Christmas trees free of charge,” McGuinness added. “We also have a fully operational Ferris wheel and under the main pavilion will be lights that are in time with holiday music.”
All the lights in the display were converted to LED two years ago, making it more energy efficient, McGuinness said.
Also, many items in the display were part of the late Al Copeland’s holiday scene at his Metairie lakefront home and were donated to the park by the Copeland family a few years ago.
There will be a musical group nightly representing area schools and choral groups. McGuinness said the Jefferson Parish Library will host story time in which traditional Christmas stories will be performed on stage.
“On the weekends, we are expecting visits from Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” McGuinness said.
And beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 13, a snow day is planned and will be open to the public.
“We feel that we provide a diverse display that focuses on the traditional holiday and the not so traditional holiday items,” McGuinness said. “Everyone sees something different, and they enjoy the lights in their own way.”
The last night of the display is Jan. 1.