The entire community comes together every year to pull off the tree lighting. Arceneaux said plenty of local business contributed money for the event. He said he can't thank the local partners enough for making it all possible.

The City of Gonzales kicked off the most wonderful time of the year with the 26th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Jambalaya Park. The weather outside was frightful, but that didn’t keep families from turning out to celebrate the onset of the Christmas season.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux greeted families and parents ushered their children through the line to Santa. Children skipped up to Santa’s lap, posing for pictures and detailing the top items on their wish lists. Christmas carolers sang from above as elves handed out bags to each child in the amphitheater behind City Hall.

Frigid temperatures and a light drizzle hurt turnout for the annual event, but Arceneaux was still encouraged by the number of families who braved the winter weather to come join in the fun.

“Some people said we should have cancelled, but this is what Christmas is all about. You don’t wait on sunshine and beautiful weather, you just go with it,” said Arceneaux.

The mayor said it meant a lot to everyone that the show go on, rain or shine. He said the event is for the kids, and Santa isn’t afraid of a little bad weather.

“What we love is seeing these young children come up here and get with Santa Claus,” said Arceneaux, “and we make sure that every child leaves here with a present.”

The entire community comes together every year to pull off the tree lighting. Arceneaux said plenty of local business contributed money for the event. He said he can’t thank the local partners enough for making it all possible. The Gonzales Police Department, he added, was a huge help in making sure the celebration ran smoothly and safely. The Gonzales City Council also played a huge role in getting everything approved.

The annual celebration would not be possible without the hard work of the city staff and the event committee that got the annual event started more than two decades ago. Administrative Secretary Lisa Babin and her team of hardworking people put the event together.

“We start setting up lights in October, and it’s down to the wire, minutes before, to make everything come together,” said Babin.

Babin has been the one behind the madness for the past eleven years. She has plenty of dedicated helpers who make sure the tradition is carried on for years to come. She said seeing it all come together makes everything worth it.

“It’s awesome, a great feeling, because everybody really enjoys it,” said Babin.

Mayor Arceneaux and the City of Gonzales wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

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