There's no stopping Cajun Santa from making his third annual appearance aboard the Spirit of Morgan City.
This year, though, Morgan City native and Emmy Award-winning artist Lee Romaire debuting a new character - Mother Christmas.
Mother Christmas is a special addition. She's about 15-feet tall and is a "living" Cypress Christmas tree, Romaire explained. The new character will be the biggest on the boat. Romaire just recently completed the character in Los Angeles and drove Mother Christmas cross-country to Morgan City. Also new to the display this year are 50 Christmas presents. Romaire said the new additions took two months to complete.
Romaire, who is the CEO of Los Angeles- based Romaire Studios, says the display was inspired by his childhood, when the city had a Santa Claus and reindeer display. Through the years, the characters fell into disarray, and Romaire decided he wanted to donate something to his community.
Everything on the boat has a Cajun theme, from the brown fur-wearing Santa (a nod to the area's early 1900s-era fur industry) to the shrimp tail hats the elves wear. Santa also dons white shrimp boots to complete his ensemble.
The artist explains it's very exciting for the community to enjoy the display every year.
"It's fun to share this work. A lot of the work we do for Disney and Universal Studios we can't talk about, so it's really fun to make something that you can talk about and share with people," he said. "It's very exciting for me to see the kids enjoy it. And also the adults, it brings out the kid in them."
The shrimp boat Christmas display will be lit on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, at 6 p.m. It's located on Brashear Avenue. The display will be on board the Spirit of Morgan City until January.
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