Dreaming of a Bayou Christmas?

Melissa Amato

Where are you Christmas?  Why can’t I find you?  The spirit of Christmas can be hard to catch each year especially with rushing around shopping, parties and family functions but this year, Bayou Christmas will inject Slidell with so much Christmas joy that there will be no Grinch left standing.  Bayou Christmas partnered with the Boys and Girls club to bring Slidell a seven day event starting this Thursday at 6pm in Heritage Park.  Bayou Christmas will last from 12/18 – 12/24.  Entertainment, Winterland Café, photo opportunities and arts and crafts village are just the tip of this holiday iceberg. 

Tommy Benasco and Danny Blackburn have patiently been planning this event for years.  Mr. Benasco has been patiently pressing the City of Slidell with his ideas of sparkling lights and children’s laughter.  The City saw great potential once Bayou Christmas partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana.  There will be 20 animated light displays with shows at the top of each hour.  There is a 25 foot Digital Christmas tree over the main stage.  The entertainment changes each hour that Bayou Christmas is open.  From Slidell High School Choir to Missi Spinosa (of Witness) and Victoria Hickman, the songs of the season will be sung. 

Winterland Café will feature Nathan’s Restaurant, Brown Sugar Barbeque, The Snack Shack, Popeye’s, Greens & Beans and Any Occasion Catering.  Everything from charbroiled oysters from Nathan’s to chicken nuggets from the Snack Shack will be served.   

Who doesn’t want a Selfie with Santa?  After Santa arrives by boat each night at 7pm, there are free photos with Santa each night that Bayou Christmas is open.  Free photo booth along with free photo taken with the Toy Soldier with instant sharing capability onto Facebook to show all your friends and family the fun you had at Bayou Christmas.  The only cost associated with this is event is the cost of your food or drink and any purchase from the Arts and Crafts Village.  There will be an ATM on site in case you forget to grab cash beforehand. 

The arts and crafts village is sponsored by Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store.  There will be an area for children to build a free craft.  The various vendors that are listed are Personalized Treasures, Hair Bows by Madi, J & E Creations, DD Designs, CSM Creations in Clay, Rejoice Jewelry, Krazy Kettle, Crescent City Lockets, Designs by Sarah, Bad Nola Jewelry, Miguel Curiel and many more.  This is the perfect opportunity to shop local even at the last minute!    

Saturday will be the favorite night to attend for most because of the Princess Holiday Movie being shown sponsored by Slidell Movie Nights.  There will also be a costume contest for children for the Most Noble Prince and Most Elegant Princess.  So, come dressed as your favorite!  All children will receive a prize and there will be a parade of princesses and princes on the park’s grounds at 7pm.   Holiday movie showing at 7:30. 

There are still opportunities for you to help out if you have felt the call of volunteerism.  Sponsorships are still available as well.  If you or your group would like to volunteer, please contact Danny Blackburn at 985-640-7112 or email at  If you are interested in sponsorship of this inaugural event, please contact Tommy Benasco at 985-960-1241 or email at


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