Festival Queens light the first bonfire of the season in St. James Parish

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Lutcher, La (WGNO) - Things heated up in St. James Parish Friday night when News with a Twist was LIVE from the Festival of the Bonfires at 5 and 6 p.m.

For the 27th  year, local residents enjoyed endless cups of gumbo and lots of old fashioned fun, before heading to the nearby levee to watch the first bonfire of the year go up in flames.

There are around 125 structures in various stages of completion on the levee -- all but two will be lit on Christmas Eve, following a tradition that began in the early 1940s.

Festival Queens Davi Clement and Breleigh Bentivegna lit the bonfire at exactly 7 p.m., and our own Twist Reporter Stephanie Oswald was on hand for the monumental moment.

The festival continues throughout the weekend at the Lutcher Recreational Park. A second bonfire will be lit on Saturday night, once again by the Queens.