Weather holds, Bonfires light the way for Papa Noel in River Parishes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A forecast for high winds almost put a stop to the Christmas Eve bonfires in St. James Parish but Mother Nature instead served up perfect conditions!

After consulting the National Weather service St. James Parish Emergency Preparedness gave the go ahead to light the bonfires as planned.

It only takes a spark to ignite one of these wood Christmas tree shaped structures doused with fuel.

For generations the people in St James parish have made this their own unique tradition now known all over the world.

But for the kids in the river parishes the question is, “how will Santa find my house?”

Well, this is the solution in  Cajun country.

Though the reason for the celebration is debated the custom experienced a revival in the 1950s.

Today, 1,300 residents build about 110 bonfires in St. James parish.

The Christmas Eve bonfires along the Mississippi river typically burn out just before midnight.