Dec 7, 2013 12:27 AM by Alex Labat
The "Festival of Light" is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. The tradition highlights the businesses in the Oil Center, bringing holiday cheer and festivities to those in Acadiana. But plummeting temperatures today meant plummeting attendance, which has those whom depend on the exposure from the event concerned.
The Santa display atop Lafayette General Medical Center is lit, marking the return of Christmas in Lafayette. But for an event meant to celebrate the winter holidays, cold temperatures and rain kept many inside this evening. "The attendance tonight is a little sad to see especially with the great winter weather that we're having tonight. We would've loved to have had a bigger crowd" says Kristin Bodin, President of the Oil Center Reinassance Association Board.
A drop in attendance means stores like Koi in the Oil Center saw less exposure this first night, but owner Karen Anderson says they're hoping the crowds will come from here in out. "Just see what the Oil Center is about. It's a fun children's festival, it's family oriented. It's free...it really kicks off our Christmas season", says Anderson.
Some of the funds raised by the event were used to refurbish the Santa display, and attendees hope that even though attendance was low this year, they'll be able to light those lights for many years to come. "A lot of people strive on the business that they get from this. I work at the Hub City Diner, and this is one of our busiest days of the year. I hope they continue to do this" says Amanda Schelin.
If you'd like to keep the lights on for the festival, organizers will still be selling the Oil Center 20th Annual Festival of Light Poster, which you can find by clicking here.