Dec 2, 2010 5:13 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Festival of Lights in Lafayette Gearing Up

The oil center is getting geared-up for Christmas. Tonight a skating rink will be open from 5 pm to 10 pm in the Oil Center, but the official festival kick-off is tomorrow.
Mark Attles, Lafayette General Medical Center Director of Community Relations, said "I can remember years ago with the kids when they were small, bringing the kids out to see Santa on the crosswalk. Once he was lit--it just brings that whole spirit of Christmas."
The Executive Director of the Oil Center, Johanna Villareal, wanted to shake things up this year.
Villarreal said, "we wanted to bring some traditional Christmas activities, so we thought ice skating. We also added a 7 ton snow yard, which is fresh blown snow for children of all ages."
Besides ice skating and a live nativity set, there's dozens of other activities being set up.
Villarreal said, "we have a Children's Court and Santa, of course. We have free Santa pictures and free crafts and four stages with tons of local school performances."
You can get some Christmas shopping out of the way. Patricia Maomi of Paul's Jewelry said the the stores in the oil center are prepared to stay open for shopping under the Christmas lights.
She said, " there's a buzz in the oil center. Trees are going up and there's big trucks unloading things."
The festival officially kicks off Friday at 5 pm and will run until 10 pm. Travis St. and Coolidge Blvd will close down at 4 pm until 10:30 pm, detour routes will be made available to drivers.

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