For the 31st consecutive year, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office will offer its free Holiday Ride Home program to prevent drinking and driving.

The program, which runs through Jan. 2, allows residents who have too much to drink during the holiday season the opportunity to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 to receive a free ride home from a deputy, no questions asked.

“It is a no-brainer,’’ Sheriff James Pohlmann said. “Why should you risk killing or injuring yourself or someone else or being arrested for DWI when we will bring you home in St. Bernard?’’

A sheriff’s deputy will pick you up and take you to your home in St. Bernard or, if you live out of the parish, you can be taken to a sheriff’s substation where you can make arrangements to be picked up.

Battlefield Yuletide celebration

History buffs are invited to let their imaginations wander this weekend at Chalmette Battlefield’s Yuletide Celebration as re-enactors depict how life was in the 19th century during the holidays along the mighty Mississippi River.

Set for Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the event will center on the Malus-Beauregard House, a beautiful example of French-Louisiana architecture built in 1833, 18 years after the Battle of New Orleans.

The house, with its high ceilings and large doors that usher in cooling breezes from the Mississippi River, will be furnished and decorated as it might have been by the families who lived there in the 1800s.

Living-history volunteers in period clothing will be in character, discussing their plans for the holidays and telling stories about their lives.

Visitors also will be able to make old-fashioned decorations for the house Christmas tree and for their own homes.

Admission is free. The Chalmette Battlefield is at 8606 W. St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette. For information, call (504) 281-0510 or visit

Santa on the Bayou

The 15th annual Santa on the Bayou will be held Saturday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2805 Bayou Road in St. Bernard community.

Santa Claus will hand out presents to children, food will be served and entertainment will be provided by St. Bernard Parish schoolchildren.

For information, email or call (504) 279-4260.

Wreaths Across America

The 2014 Wreaths Across America wreath-laying will take place Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at Chalmette National Historical Cemetery, 8606 W. St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette.

Founded in 2007, this national nonprofit organization is continuing the work of Morrill Worcester who, in 1997, began laying the extra wreaths his business had on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. The effort has now expanded to all 50 states.

“This year’s local ceremony continues the WAA mission — Remember, Honor, Teach — and members of the community can purchase a wreath to place on the graves in Chalmette National Historic Cemetery,” said Bonnie Cook, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Francois deLery Chapter organizing regent and vice president general and Chalmette National Historical Cemetery coordinator.

Wreaths cost $15 and can be ordered at The sponsoring group ID code for the local event is LA0004P. The location ID is LACMNC.

Volunteers are needed to place the wreaths on gravesites at the cemetery. For information, contact Cook at or (504) 722-8823. Comfortable clothes are suggested and gloves should be worn. Groups will be recognized on the program, and participants should arrive at the cemetery at 9:30 a.m. Volunteers also will be needed to remove the wreaths between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Cruise Night

The St. Bernard Rod Knockers’ monthly cruise night will be held Saturday, Dec. 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the parking lot of The Palms Casino, 8001 W. St. Bernard Highway in Arabi.

Cruise nights are held on the second Saturday of every month. Participation is open to all makes and models of antique, muscle and modified cars.

For information, call (504) 975-2371 or (504) 508-1599. Information about the club is available at

‘A Knight’s Gift’ toy giveaway

St. Bernard Parish children ages 12 and under are invited to select a free toy when the Knights of Columbus Archbishop Rummel Council 5747 and Operation Merry Christmas hold their annual Christmas gift giveaway, “A Knight’s Gift,” on Sunday, Dec. 14, at noon in the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center grand ballroom, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.

A food distribution also will be held at 10 a.m. Needy families should contact their church to secure a voucher to obtain a turkey and food basket.

Event Chairman Cisco Gonzales Sr. said the program is made possible with proceeds from the council’s annual Louisiana Crawfish Festival and an $8,750 contribution from Operation Merry Christmas.

“It’s that Christmas season that ignites the Knights of Columbus 5747 to gear up rapidly for this year’s Christmas gift giveaway known as ‘A Knight’s Gift’,” Gonzales said. “With the support of Operation Merry Christmas, this year’s event will be bigger than ever.”

Church dinner fundraiser

Covenant United Methodist Church will hold its weekly dinner fundraiser Monday, Dec. 15, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the church, 115 E. D’Amour St. in Chalmette.

This week’s menu will include chicken Parmesan with green beans. Dinners cost $8. Dine-in or take-out orders will be accepted while supplies last.

For information, call the church at (504) 271-3763.

Kim Gritter writes about people, places and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at