Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Festival of Bonfires

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LUTCHER - It's been a Christmas Eve tradition for more than 200 years. Almost 60 hallow tree-like structures line the levee in St. James and St. John Parishes. The tradition is passed down from generation to generation.

For the past few weeks, the levee has been busy with people bringing logs and assembling their 20 ft. structures.

Some say the lighting of the bonfires help guide Santa's sleigh to Southern Louisiana. Others say the bonfires guide travelers along the Mississippi River. For Taylor Brignac, it's all about the memories.

"It's getting together with family and friends, just lighting it up," said Brignac. "Having a good time on Christmas Eve."

As the tradition goes, 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, fire chiefs give the signal for parish residents to simultaneously set a torch to their bonfires.

Tomorrow begins the Festival of the Bonfires. The event is Dec. 14-16 at Luchter Recreation Park. Each night of the festival will have a single bonfire lighting at 7 p.m.

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