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Miles of Christmas Eve bonfires light the way for Papa Noel

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ST. JAMES PARISH – There was nothing to see but miles of Christmas Eve bonfires from St. James Parish to St. John the Baptist Parish. The century-old tradition to light the way for Santa, better known as Papa Noel, as he makes his way through Cajun Country.

It's become a family tradition for the Poche's. A tradition that’s been handed down from one generation to the next.

“For the past 50 years I’ve been building bonfires over here,” Ricky Poche Sr. said. 

“Ever since I was little I can remember going up on the levee and helping dad do everything,” Ricky Poche Jr. said.

For those watching the display for the first time to those who’ve watched year after year, they all say it’s a tradition that’s second to none.

“Oh, it’s amazing. It’s everything you would think it would be. It’s describable really unless you're here to see it,” first-timer Terilyn Moore said.

From the Poche’s tee-pee set up in Paulina to that massive alligator structure in Garyville, folks say it's a lot more than just lighting up the levee.

“It’s friends and family that get together to enjoy Christmas time. And eat good, which we always eat good,” Poche Sr. said.


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