Holiday Happenings 2023

November 25: Light up the Lake Christmas Celebration (Click here to download the printable poster)

December 2: Art in the Park

December 9: Christmas Ornament Workshop

December 10: Movies with the Mayor, featuring the 2018 edition The Grinch 

The magic of the holiday season is coming to Lake Charles for the annual Light Up the Lake Christmas Celebration on Saturday, November 25. This year’s event will include an art market, live Christmas concert, lighting ceremony, lighted boat parade, and a fireworks extravaganza over the lake.

This is a free and family-friendly event that will take place at the Lake Charles Event Center (900 Lakeshore Drive) from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m.

“I am thrilled to see our community come together once more to ignite the holiday spirit and Light Up the Lake with joy, unity, and fireworks this Christmas!” says Mayor Nic Hunter. 

Beginning at 11 a.m. and open until 3 p.m. on Gill Street, festival goers can browse and shop the Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA’s Holiday Art Walk. This annual market is a new addition to the City’s Light Up the Lake festival schedule. It will feature homemade arts, crafts, and merchandise from local creatives and artisans. Shoppers can also enjoy food trucks and various musical entertainment throughout the day on the grounds of the Lake Charles Event Center.

From 4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., our shoppers and festival goers will gather inside Rosa Hart Theatre for the musical entertainment portion of Light Up the Lake. The Girl Scouts of the Louisiana Pines to the Gulf will open with caroling classics. After a heart-warming opening, the City welcomes Rory Partin and his All-Star Big Band back to the stage for a second year. 

Raised in Southwest Louisiana, Partin’s musical influences include Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, and the Doobie Brothers. Rory Partin will set a perfectly festive tone with smooth, jolly sounds from his wildly talented All-Star Big Band. 

After the concert, the fun will continue with a lighting ceremony, led by Mayor Hunter, at Millennium Park set for 6:30 p.m. At this time, Mayor Hunter will flip the switch to light up the grounds of the Lake Charles Event Center and Millennium Park.

Captains are then called upon to round up their boating crew for another annual Christmas favorite—the Lighted Boat Parade on Lake Charles. At 7 p.m., an assortment of boats, reflecting the spirit of the season, will parade past spectators along the Lakefront Promenade. 

At 7:45 p.m., tune into KBYS 88.3 FM McNeese Radio for the simulcast music as the grand fireworks finale commences. The extravaganza will light up the lake for all festival goers and boat spectators to enjoy! Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets; however, ice coolers and pets are prohibited.

Light Up the Lake is free for attendees thanks to sponsorships provided by Entergy, Visit Lake Charles, Banners at McNeese, Lake Charles Toyota, Upscale Productions, and KBYS 88.3 FM. For more information, please contact the City of Lake Charles at 337-491-9159,