For more than 30 years, families and local residents traditionally visit LARC’s Acadian Village, which transforms into Noël Acadien au Village for the Christmas season, where they can revel in a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, animated displays, carousel rides, hot chocolate, singing choirs and all round Christmas cheer as the historic village ushers in the holiday season.
LARC’s Acadian Village will host its 36th annual Christmas festival fundraiser from December 1 - 23 to benefit persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“At the end of the day, the Christmas lighting program is a fundraiser for LARC, which is a 501c3 non-profit here in Acadiana that helps individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” says Thomas Gott, director of Acadian Village. “So now more than ever with state cuts and the economy it’s really tough, and so this program is the largest fundraiser for the organization. It’s so important that people not only enjoy Christmas and come out and enjoy the local cuisine and local shopping and entertainment, but it’s also helping a really great cause.”
The Christmas festival fundraiser features half a million lights including the fully lit Open Door Chapel, themed Acadian home porches, lighted holiday displays, live entertainment, carnival rides, local cuisine, photos with Santa, holiday shopping in the Shannon’s Hardware Christmas Store & The Village Art Gallery and much more.
The village features several prominent displays including themed Acadian homes, lighted grounds, Santa’s Sleigh, 20 foot animated alligators, oil derrick displays, the Gingerbread House and the Christmas Carolers.
This year, the village will feature seven new porch displays for guests to enjoy on their tour of its many historic homes, each of which will have its very own theme including classic characters like snowmen and elves. The lighting on the village's iconic chapel has also been completely converted to LED lights, which have all been restrung on its roof, walls, ceilings and exterior windows.
Acadian Village is conducting a talent competition on Tuesday, Dec. 13, where guests can enter to win prizes with different categories for children to adults. All forms of talent will be accepted including singing, dancing, juggling, magic and more.
“We encourage everyone to participate; no talent is too big or too small,” says Gott. “All talents are welcome and I think there’s a fit for everybody here. It’s a wonderful opportunity to come out and showcase that to the public and what better event than Noël Acadien. It’s a perfect Christmas-themed event that you can come out and participate in.”
Noël Acadien au Village runs from Dec. 1 - 23 from 5:30 - 9 p.m. at LARC’s Acadian Village, located at 200 Greenleaf Drive in Lafayette. Tickets are $8 in advance and may be purchased beginning one week prior to Thanksgiving at any Shop Rite located throughout Acadiana. Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children 4 years of age and under get in free. For more information visit www.AcadianVillage.org.