Festival in St. James Parish celebrates ‘the bonfire capital of the world’

ST. JAMES PARISH, La. -- It's a St. James Parish tradition that dates back to the early 1940s.

The Christmas Eve lighting of the bonfires along the levees in Lutcher, Paulina and Gramercy -- to light the way for Papa Noel -- is preceded by a three-day Festival of the Bonfires at the Lutcher Recreational Park. This year's festival is Friday, December 8 - Sunday, December 10. Click here for a full schedule of events.

Bonfires are lit on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., but because of the winter weather, no bonfires were lit Friday night.

Watch below for a history lesson on the bonfires, and why St. James Parish is known as the bonfire capital of the world: