The Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society will hold its annual Christmas bonfire Saturday with activities beginning at 4 p.m. on the museum complex grounds, 1345-1357 Bayou Road in St. Bernard community.

The grounds will be lit and the historic houses will be decorated in their best holiday finery. Islenos Society members will be present throughout the complex to show visitors around and answer questions about the Islenos, Canary Island immigrants who came to St. Bernard Parish between 1778 and 1783 from places like Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and other parts of the Americas.

Entertainment will be provided by local schoolchildren, and there will be a bonfire about 5:30 p.m. Hayrides will follow. Free cookies, apple cider and hot chocolate will be distributed, and hot dogs and other refreshments will be sold. Admission is free. For information, call Kathy Serpas at (504) 494-5848.

Santa on the Bayou

The 16th annual Santa on the Bayou will be held Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 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, call (504) 279-4260.

Farmers market

The St. Bernard Seafood and Farmers Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 12 at the Aycock Barn, 409 Aycock St. in historic Old Arabi.

The market provides a place for local farmers and fishers to sell their products, and local artisans to showcase their handmade arts and crafts. Visitors also can find delicious baked goods, jams, pickled goods and fresh herbs.

For information, call (504) 278-4242.

Battlefield yuletide

The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve’s Chalmette Battlefield will hold its annual yuletide celebration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Malus-Beauregard House, 8606 W. St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette.

Living-history volunteers wearing 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. For information, call (504) 281-0510 or visit

‘A Knight’s Gift’ toy giveaway

St. Bernard Parish children ages 12 and under are invited to select one 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,” at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 in Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center grand ballroom, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drivein Chalmette.

A food distribution also will be held at 9 a.m. Needy families should contact their church or school to secure a voucher to obtain a turkey and food basket. Toy distribution is first-come, first-served, while supplies last.

For information, call Cisco Gonzales at (504) 329-6411.

Parade seeks participants

The St. Bernard Irish Italian Islenos Community Parade and Marching Club is accepting float riders for its 2016 parade, which will roll at noon on April 16 in Chalmette.

Floats are available in four sizes, up to 20 people for a small float, 28 people for a medium float, 36 people for a large float, and 44 people for a super float.

The cost for a small float rental, insurance, tractor to pull float and driver starts at $2,500. Prices increase from there.

For information, contact Chad O’Neil at (504) 655-7555 or

Tales on Tuesdays

Children 3 and older are invited to participate in the St. Bernard Parish Library’s 2015 fall session of Tales on Tuesdays.

The free programs, set to run through Dec. 15, introduce children to literature through storybooks, poetry, flannel boards, finger plays and participatory activities.

Two sessions of Tales on Tuesdays will be offered: a daytime session at 1 p.m. geared to younger listeners and an evening session at 5:30 p.m. open to children of all ages but targeting school-aged children.

The 45-minute programs will take place at the St. Bernard Parish Library’s main branch, 2600 Palmisano Blvd., Chalmette.

For information, call the library at (504) 279-0448 or visit

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