Annual St. Tammany Holiday of Lights celebration canceled, leaders cite lack of funding

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Holiday of Lights photo courtesy St. Tammany Parish Government

MANDEVILLE, La. — The annual Holiday of Lights celebration in St. Tammany Parish has been canceled this year because of a lack of funds, the parish government announced recently.

The celebration, held at the Koop Drive Trailhead in December, would have been in its 18th year.

Parish officials said in a news release that they are grappling with an estimated $18 million revenue shortfall, largely because two sales tax renewals failed by a “razor-thin” margin in April.

Because of the shortfall, several initiatives are now on hold, according to the parish government, and there is also a hiring freeze and reduced manpower and operating hours at some facilities.

Holiday of Lights spanned two weekends and featured entertainment by local school groups, kiddie rides and a tour of the light display on Koop Drive, at no charge to the general public.