Community

Ongoing -- Leesville Area Ministerial Alliance (LAMA) Christmas effort

Churches, schools, civic groups and citizens are encouraged to donate food items for distribution to the needy at Christmas time. LAMA is working with Suddenlink Cable on this food drive. Donated food will be sorted the week of Dec. 15-17. Forms for food baskets may be picked up at the First United Methodist Church in Leesville. Complete them and bring them back to the church, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Distribution will be at the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds on Thursday. Dec. 18. Boxes must be picked up by 10 a.m. For more information, call Les at 239-6025 or Jennifer at 378-4319.

Various dates through December -- Santa's hours at Hodges Gardens

Santa will be visiting the gift shop at Hodges Gardens State Park this Christmas season through Dec. 21. Santa's hours are on Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturdays, from noon to 3 p.m., and from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. And on Sundays, from noon to 3 p.m., and from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be reduced admission of $2 per person.

Ongoing -- NSU Child and Family Network referral service

If you need help finding childcare during the holidays, contact the Northwestern State University Child and Family Network at 318-464-1817, ext. 107. This is a free referral service that can help you find a program that meets your child's needs.

Ongoing through Dec. 17 -- Christmas "angels" for adoption in Merryville

The Town of Merryville has Christmas "angels" for adoption. You can adopt them from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and on Friday until 1:30 p.m. All gifts must be back to the Town Hall office no later than Dec. 17.

Ongoing through fall -- Main Street Market

The Main Street Market, on Leesville's 3rd Street, where you can buy fresh, local produce, will be open every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Main Street Market will also begin accepting credit cards and the Louisiana Purchase Card, thanks to Market Umbrella Corporation, the Rapides Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. In addition, in order to encourage healthy eating and to support local farmers, the Main Street Market will now match up to $20 in cash for those who use their Louisiana Purchase Card, while supplies last. 

Various days in December, January -- BeauCARE Christmas camps

BeauCARE, in DeRidder, will host "Christmas Camp Days" on Dec. 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30 and 31 (half day) as well as Jan. 2 and 5. Cost is $18 a day for all ages. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be provided. Activities will include outdoor events, games, arts and crafts, video games, a movie day, air hockey and much more. Children must be pre-registered by Dec. 17. For more information, call 462-2273 or go online at beaucares.org.

Through Dec. 30 -- Hodges Gardens Christmas lights

Hodges Gardens State Park Christmas lights will glitter and shine through Dec. 30 at the park from 5:30 p.m to 10 p.m. Admission is $2 per person. For more information, call 318-586-3523.

Through December -- "DeRidder Christmas Light Show"

The "DeRidder Christmas Light Show," a dazzling light show at a private residence on Maul Road, just south of DeRidder, will last through the month. This is a free event. Each year, the show gets bigger and brighter. For more information and directions, visit the light show's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DeRidder-Christmas-Light-Show/285271221489748?fref=ts

Through Dec. 20 -- 13th annual "Country Christmas" lights display at Rebel State

Guests are invited to Rebel State Historic Site and the Louisiana Country Music Museum, during the month of December, to see over 75,000 Christmas lights and displays, hear the sounds of traditional Christmas music and visit with Santa Claus. More, plus Santa's schedule, HERE.

Dec. 19 -- New Llano "Candy Run"

The New Llano Fire Department will host their annual Candy Run on Friday, Dec. 19 starting at  6 p.m. Santa Claus will join the New Llano Fire Department firefighters on their trucks as they parade through the neighborhoods of New Llano, tossing candy to the children all along the way.

Dec. 22 -- "Blue Christmas" service at FUMC in Leesville

The First United Methodist Church of Leesville is planning its annual "Blue Christmas" service for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22. "Blue Christmas," or "Longest Night," is a service of worship designed for people suffering with pain, loss, isolation and grief during the holiday season. The service will be one of hope for the holidays, according to organizers. For more information, call the church at 239-3828. The church is located at 202 North 5th Street in Leesville.

Dec. 22 -- Vitter Town Hall

U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., will hold a town hall meeting in Rosepine on Monday, Dec. 22 from 1  p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rosepine Town Hall. The public is invited.

Dec. 25 -- New Llano community gumbo dinner

The Town of New Llano is hosting a community Christmas gumbo dinner on Christmas Day from noon to 4 p.m. at the old New Llano Town Hall building. Everyone is welcome. This is a free event. For more information, call Carolyn Todd at 378-7607 or email her at todd94@bellsouth.net.

Jan. 5 -- SWLA Beekeepers Association meeting

The SWLA Beekeepers Association will meet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 5 at the War Memorial Civic Center at 250 West 7th Street in DeRidder. The topic will be "Bee Biology and Identification." The group will also elect officers for the new year. New beekeepers are welcome. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at 337-463-7006.

Jan. 6 -- Beauregard Master Gardeners' final class enrollment

The final day to sign up for Beauregard Master Gardeners' classes will be on Jan. 6. Members will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6 at the War Memorial Civic Center, at 250 West 7th Street, in DeRidder.  The Master Gardeners of Beauregard will start new Master Gardener classes, and this event is the last opportunity to enroll. Master Gardeners are AgCenter volunteers who receive horticultural training in weeds, insects, plant diseases, turf, vegetables, ornamentals and other related topics. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at   337-463-7006.

Jan. 26 -- Beauregard Parish private pesticide applicator recertification traini

Beauregard Parish private pesticide applicator recertification training will be held Monday, Jan. 26 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the War Memorial Civic Center at 250 West 7th Street in DeRidder. If your applicator's license will be expiring after March 31, then you need to attend recertification training. The LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) will hold two applicator training classes at the War Memorial Civic Center at 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. Cost is $25. Only checks will be accepted. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at  337-463-7006.

Feb. 2 -- SWLA Beekeepers Association meeting

The SWLA Beekeepers Association will meet Monday, Feb. 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the War Memorial Civic Center at 250 West 7th Street in DeRidder. The topics will be "Gardening for Pollinators" and "Louisiana Honey Plants." New beekeepers are welcome. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at 337-463-7006.
 

Ongoing -- Central Louisiana Orchid Society meetings

The Central Louisiana Orchid Society meets on the third Sunday of each month at 2:30 p.m. in Alexandria. If you would like to learn how to grow orchids or you need orchid questions answered, you are invited. Those interested in knowing more can visit www.centrallouisianaorchidsociety.org.

Ongoing -- Beauregard Parish Library story times

The Beauregard Parish Library hosts story time every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in DeRidder. It's also held on the first Saturday at the Merryville branch and on the second Saturday at the East Beauregard branch.

Ongoing -- LHS Diamond Club

A booster club has been formed to support the Leesville High School Baseball Program. The LHS Diamond Club charges $25 for a yearly membership and $500 for a Lifetime Membership. For information, call Heath at 353-8879 or Kimberly at 210-275-1362

Ongoing -- LA Poultry Fanciers swap meet, sale

Louisiana Poultry Fanciers holds its meeting, swap meet and sale every third Saturday of each month -- rain or shine -- at the Sabine Parish Fairgrounds in Many from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.louisianapoultryfanciers.com or email nanachicken@wildblue.net.

Ongoing -- Mother Goose story hour

Mother Goose story hour is held at the Vernon Parish Library from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. each Wednesday.

Ongoing -- "Freegal" music service at Vernon Parish Library

The Vernon Parish Library now has access to "Freegal" Music Service, offering patrons a chance to download free MP3 files from over 28,000 music labels from 85 different countries. Libraries all over the world use this service and it includes access to the Sony Music Entertainment catalog. Visit the library for more information.

How to send us your community events

All community events are welcome. E-mail announcements to elonaboggs@aol.com or fax us at 337-537-4152.

Dec. 16 -- Southwest Jazz Ensemble concert

The DeRidder USO Civic Center will present the Southwest Jazz Ensemble live in concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16. You  will enjoy a night of Christmas music and a little swing dancing. All donations will benefit the Wounded Warrior Foundation.
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