The holiday season kicks off in Kenner on Friday when the city’s annual Christmas Village in Heritage Park in Rivertown, 405 Williams Blvd., officially opens.

Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 21.

On opening night, there will be live holiday music and booths with gifts, food and refreshments. Also, confettilike snow will fall all three days of the opening weekend.

In conjunction with Christmas Village, a special holiday laser show will be shown at the Kenner Planetarium and Megadome Cinema, 2020 Fourth St., on the first three Saturday nights of the month.

“The Season of Light” music and laser production will start the fun at 7 p.m. each Saturday with “Laser Holidays” to follow at 8 p.m. Admission to the shows is $4 per person.

Admission to the Christmas Village is free as is parking.

Holiday party

The New Orleans Myasthenia Gravis Resource Group will hold its annual holiday party from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Don’s Seafood Hut, 4801 Metairie.

Tickets are $25 per person and will include a three-course meal from a special holiday menu. Refreshments and tip already included in the price.

Information will also be available concerning the latest research and Myasthenia Gravis awareness updates from the 2014 MG Medical Scientific Conference held recently in Savannah, Georgia.

MG is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups and can affect muscles that control eye movements, eyelids, chewing, swallowing, breathing, coughing and facial expression, as well as, the arms and legs.

The local New Orleans Myasthenia Gravis Resource Group was founded in 2011 by Tommy Santora, a resident of Harvey, who was diagnosed with the disease when he was 12 years old. The group has raised more than $100,000 for MG research.

Reservations are required by Sunday.

For more information and to make a reservation, call Santora at (504) 376-7474 or

Garden club news

Two local garden clubs are hosting holiday events later this month.

First, Colonial Garden Club’s annual Christmas luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Chateau Golf and Country Club, 3600 Chateau Blvd., Kenner. Susan Hardeman, president, will welcome members and guests. Chairwomen for the event are Melinda Jackson and Marian Petry.

Prior to the Tuesday luncheon, the club’s Christmas doorway contest will be held with Jeanne Turner and Hardeman presiding as judges. Winners will receive ribbons at the luncheon.

Philanthropy chairman Sandy Anzelmo has collected donations from members for the food pantry at St. Rita’s Church in Harahan.

And the Shady Oaks Garden Club will hold its Christmas meeting and luncheon at 11 a.m. Dec. 11 at the home of club President Molly Prokop.

Co-hostesses for the event will be Diana Offner, Liz Elvir, Cheryl Eaton, Merle Guerin, Mary Ellen Miller, Louise Nash, Kathy Pastorek and Madeline Wagner.

The theme for the month is “The Welcoming Doors of River Ridge.” At this meeting, the winners of the club’s doorway contest will be announced, and ribbons will be awarded. In keeping with the theme, the floral design for the month is “Wreaths, Swags and Garlands” and will be given by Judith Taylor.

The horticulture study will be on wisteria and given by Erin Fleming. And Jeanne Fabacher will present a talk on the butterflies.

The members of the Sunshine Committee will continue to collect donations to help families for the Christmas holidays in the River Ridge area. The money raised will go toward food and gifts.

And the community garden of the month winner for November was awarded to Janet Deselle and the member garden of the month winner went to Margaret Handy.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events on the east bank of Jefferson Parish. She can be reached by calling (504) 430-8053 or by email at