UPDATE: The display was unveiled Friday night, and we’ve got some photos for you:
We’ll have video of the new display tonight on KATC TV3!
Here’s Dannielle Garcia’s original story:
Cajun Santa Claus has come to Morgan City.
Friday is the annual Christmas lighting ceremony in Morgan City, but this year there is an extra gift being revealed.
Artist Lee Romaire is giving back to his hometown with a top secret Christmas display.
“I just decided I wanted to do something great for the town,” said Romaire who is a sculpture artist, originally from Morgan City.
The traditional Christmas display on the shrimping boat along Brashear Avenue is getting a transformation. Over the course of a year and with the help of 15 artistic elves, Romaire has been working on a surprise for the city.
“I decided, ‘why not make it a Cajun Christmas.’ So instead of reindeer we’re using alligators and everything about the display is really themed towards Louisiana,” said Romaire who now lives in Hollywood and makes sculptures for major theme parks
Cajun Santa and his elves came all the way from Hollywood, California– dashing through the bayou, with shrimping boots–in a 3 gator sleigh.
“When Lee came to me and had this great idea we took it with open arms, not realizing this was going to be an over $100,000 donation, one of the largest donations from an individual since I’ve been here,” Mayor Frank ‘Boo’ Grizzaffi said.
The Cajun Christmas display on the “Spirit of Morgan City” will greet people driving through town.
“When I was a kid, there was a display back then built by the former mayor of the town. It was pretty elaborate when we were younger so I think it’s kind of coming back to that now,” Romaire said.
Of course, Santa’s alligators have names
“The largest alligator is named Doc after Doc Brownell who created the original Santa Claus. The second alligator is named Green after a local artist Mr. Greenwood who created the second Santa Claus and finally Rudolph because we couldn’t really change Rudolph’s name,” Romaire explained.
So off Doc, off Green, off Rudolph, because Cajun Santa has come to town.