NewsAround Acadiana


Behind the scenes with Noel Acadien au Village

Posted at 10:33 PM, Dec 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-14 23:33:26-05

There's only nine days left to make it out to LARC's Acadian Village. With nearly a million lights on display, Noel Acadien au Village attracts thousands each Christmas.

Every tree, every candy cane, and almost everything you see at Noel Acadien au Village is because of a volunteer.

The village's transformation into a winter wonderland starts right after Halloween.

Michelle Guilbeau, a volunteer, explained, "Early November, we come in, a whole crew of us, and just start unloading the boxes and just start throwing the trees together."

Even the village's barn is transformed into a venue for the nearly month-long event.

"They make an actual kitchen in it, so they close in the kitchen. They make dressing rooms for the bands. Everything you see in there is done by volunteers," said Brian Hensgens, Director of Acadian Village.

In that kitchen, several batches of gumbo and jambalaya are made - batches so big that they feed about 400 people. But their biggest seller is no secret.

"From this point forward, on Friday and Saturday night, there's nothing but fill, return, fill, return hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is just being made all night long," Hensgens added.

As the evening nears, LARC's helpers prepare for what's expected to be a very busy night.

"They're getting all the chips out. They're getting hot dog buns out. They're getting all the chili ready. Heating everything up. Heating the cheese up for the nachos."

And once that's all done, the lights go on, and it's time for the festivities to begin.

Hensgens explained, "It all goes to something great. It goes to LARC. It goes to the developmentally disabled, and it's fun."

It's fun that the whole family can enjoy.

Visitors Braxton and Bailey Manuel told us what they like most about Acadian Village.

"I like the food and the entertainment, and I can spend time with family and friends."

"There's so many lights. It's pretty and it's good entertainment."

Noel Acadien au Village's lights are unplugged for 2019 on December 23.