Final approval given for St. James bonfires
GRAMERCY - Parish officials gave the final go-ahead for plans to light traditional Christmas Eve bonfires along the St. James Parish levee Thursday evening.
The green light was given after an afternoon conference call with the National Weather Service about conditions in the area. Forecasters said everything is favorable for the bonfires to be lit Thursday night.
The biggest concern was strong wind could cause the tall bonfires to fall over. About a hundred bonfires are lit along several miles of the levee, and thousands of people drive out to watch the bonfires be lit each year.
The bonfires are supposed to light the way for Papa Noel as he flies through Louisiana on Christmas Eve, and can be reach heights of 20 feet tall.
People who plan to attend the lighting are encouraged to arrive before 6 p.m., and the bonfires are set to be lit at 7 p.m. Parking is available along Highway 641, and it's a three or four block walk to the levee. People can also drive along the levee to see the bonfires burning, taking Highway 3213 to Highway 44 and exiting just before the bridge.