Gonzales family saying goodbye to 2020 in a fiery way
BATON ROUGE – On Friday many will be ringing in the new year saying goodbye to 2020. One family in Gonzales will be celebrating in a fiery way as they continue a tradition that began 19 years ago.
“We usually start the weekend after Thanksgiving and we get everything together to have it done before New Year’s Eve,” said Chris Duplessis.
Duplessis and a dozen of his family members and friends build a large bonfire every year to light up on New Year’s Eve. Their creations through the years are impressive. They’ve built a tank, a ship and Tiger Stadium out of logs in the past. Some years they go the cheeky route.
“We usually pick a current event that was pretty big or in the paper that was news for us,” said Courtney Laiche, who helps build the bonfires.
In 2016, the group built a replica of the Sunshine bridge the year the bridge was closed for repairs creating a huge traffic headache. This year deciding on what to build was easy.
“I mean it’s the year 2020, it pretty much says it all,” said Laiche.
Sitting on their land off of Highway 74 is a dumpster built out of wood with the number 2020 in it ready to be set on fire Thursday night.
"I liked it. It sounded easy and made sense. It was a tough year for everyone so we're ready to see it go,” said Duplessis.
The group won’t be able to invite all of their family and friends over to celebrate with them like years past, but the men are grateful they're able to continue their tradition in some way and even more so to mark an end to 2020.
"Yeah, definitely. I think everyone wants change in 2021,” said Laiche.
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