Christmas Light Display

by blackspanielgallery

The Christmas display at Lafreniere Park in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, is well worth a visit, as are others elsewhere.

Every year a local park, Lafreniere Park, in Jefferson Parish Louisiana has a light display. This display has grown over the years. This display is free to walk through, and there is a nominal fee for an automobile, one price for as many people as will fit in the automobile. This has been going on for several years. We usually visit the display once annually. This year we were a little later than usual, delayed because there was illness in the family.

Main Part of the Display

The display is in a public park, a portion of which is closed to vehicles except those for which the entrance fee was paid.  The centerpiece is an island with a pavilion, and in a normal year when Covid is not an issue, groups come out to sing in the pavilion.  The island is decorated quite extensively.

 

Entering the lighted portion of the park one passes between lights alongside the roadway on the right and lights in the median, called the neutral ground in local dialogue, on the left.

Christmas Display

Christmas 1
Christmas 1
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Christmas 2
Christmas 2
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Christmas 3
Christmas 3
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Christmas 4
Christmas 4
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Christmas 5
Christmas 5
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Christmas 6
Christmas 6
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Christmas 7
Christmas 7
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The First Parking Lot and More

The first large parking lot comes at the end of the light display.  One enters to the left, and may park if desired.  A bridge open to foot traffic allows people to go onto the island.  Or, there is a carousel one can purchase tickets for and entertain children.  We did not park, but we did enjoy the lights from the car. 

 

After driving close to the island, we exited the parking lot, returned the other way on the roadway we entered, and got to a second parking lot.  Between the two parking lots is a lagoon, which serves as a reflecting pool.  I should mention that there are no lights on the right side going back, but the lights on the medium and the lights on the left side of the first side of the roadway are now all to the left, reenforcing each other in a spectacular display.

 

The second parking lot gives a better view of the island, so we entered.  The first parking lot had food trucks obscuring the view in part, but the second parking lot had none, just a truck owned by Jefferson Parish that seemed to have some needed reason for being there.

More Christmas Display Images

Christmas a
Christmas a
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Christmas b
Christmas b
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Christmas c
Christmas c
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Christmas d
Christmas d
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Christmas e
Christmas e
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Christmas f
Christmas f
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The First Major Change

Many years ago, vandals did extensive damage to the display.  Sheriff Harry Lee, a man so popular he had no real need to campaign for reelection, came to the rescue.  Louisiana law allows politicians to use campaign funds for elections, and to donate excess funds to certain beneficial causes.  He donated funds, enough that the display was saved, and possible improved.

Even More Images

Christmas 8
Christmas 8
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Christmas 9
Christmas 9
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Christmas 10
Christmas 10
 
Christmas 11
Christmas 11
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Christmas 12
Christmas 12
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Christmas 13
Christmas 13
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The Second Major Change

Al Copeland, the founder of Popeye’s Fried Chicken, loved Christmas, and had an elaborate display.  Now that he has passed on much of his display has been added to the park.  If I recall, he donated it before his passing when he moved to a different neighborhood. 

 

Current Display

The current display includes some of the items Jefferson Parish had originally, items bought with the funds donated by Harry Lee, and pieces from the Al Copeland collection.  The display is well maintained, and kept in excellent condition year after year.  It seems to grow over time, and it may well be that new pieces are added as needed.

 

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Updated: 12/29/2021, blackspanielgallery
 
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blackspanielgallery on 01/20/2022

I can understand our nominal fee to pay for the electricity and the labor involved in placing and removing the display, as well as security.
Many houses decorate, and viewing them is free.

frankbeswick on 01/20/2022

In the United Kingdom you would not normally pay to see Christmas displays, though they may be attached to commercial property whose owners hope to attract customers. Perhaps the power of such displays lies in the contrast between winter darkness and light.

blackspanielgallery on 01/20/2022

The one I showed is free to walk through, and I believe abut $5 or $10 to drive through. There is one in New Orleans that has gone more expensive over the years, and now is very expensive. In comparison, I believe this one has been better in the past. It is a matter of taste, but I was not particularly impressed with the one in New Orleans, so paying a high price, one to drive to through and another to walk after getting to the main part, is not on my list of things to do. I believe the cost would have exceeded $100 for a family of four with $35 or $40 just to drive through the driving part, not the main part. It does have rides, but I would not benefit from them.
The one shown here is paid in advance by credit card and a phone apt is scanned to gain entry to avoid handling money with Covid, and it can be seen from a car so there is no real danger. walking is allowed, and there is a lot of space for the people to be far apart.

WriterArtist on 01/20/2022

I would love to play a visit to Christmas exhibitions. I believe it is beautifully decorated all over US, Europe & elsewhere. The photos you have put show what grandeur this festival commands all over the world.

blackspanielgallery on 12/30/2021

Mr. Bingle is a puppet snowman with holly wings and can speak. He can get messages to , Santa. He was a marketing tool of Maison Blanche in the 50s, sold with the stores to Godcheaux, which also is no more. He appeared during a daily children's show to advise children to see toys at MB. He had a jingle that most of us knew. Now, stuffed Mr. Bingle toys still pop up. In the window of MB he would have a short show and people would line up on the sidewalk to watch. I believe the large puppet is what is in the box, and I think it was part of Al Copeland's collection.
While this is named Christmas Lights, a menorah and star of David are in one picture to indicate how religions get along in the area. Many pieces are generic, like animals. The themes are many, and no cohesion run through, but the beauty cannot be denied. I enjoy it.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/30/2021

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
In your Christmas 5 image, what comes after Mr. Bingle The Maison Blanche Building was home to a magical...?

You, Veronica and Frank have a talent for taking images and writing about them in a way that makes me feel like I've been there.

The range of colors and shapes is lovely in all images, from a distance and up close. In particular, I like the colors cast from the ground lights onto the tree trunks and the lights in the trees. Also, it must have been quite a chore to do the lights so beautifully for the trees in the Christmas e image and the zebra (?) in the Christmas 12 image.

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