Community

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 -- Vernon 4-H Program Back-Pack Food Drive

The Vernon 4-H program will be stuffing school back-packs and they need donations of snacks and food items that kids can enjoy after school. These back-packs will go to kids in the Vernon school system. Donations of food or money for the program may be brought to Ms. Leslie at the Special Education Center across from the school board office or to the 4-H office in the old courthouse. For more information, call Leslie at 239-1674 or Ms. Kem at 239-3231.

Through Nov. 20 -- Food Bank of Central Louisiana/Suddenlink food drive

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Suddenlink have combined again for their 8th annual food drive taking place now through Nov. 20. Eleven parishes will benefit from the items collected. Locally, you can drop off items at the Suddenlink office located on U.S. 171 North in Leesville.

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. 

Ongoing -- Laser Tag in DeRidder

BeauCARE and the City of DeRidder have made Laser Tag available to the local public. It features the latest in Laser Tag technology. Day-time fee is $2 per player for 30 minutes, and $5 per player for an hour. The cost is $25 for an unlimited day-time pass. Night-time fee is $5 per player for 30 minutes, and $10 per player for an hour. For more information, call BeauCARE at 462-2273.

November, December -- Toy, food drive

The "Vernon Parish Toys & Food for the Holidays," an effort to benefit Vernon Parish children and the food pantry at the First United Methodist Church of Leesville, is underway. Drop-off locations for donated items are at the Daiquiri Station, The Draft Bar, The Infirmary, Club Zydeco and Boose's Bunker. Monetary donations can be made at City Savings Bank. The deadline is Dec. 13 to assure that gifts are wrapped and distributed.

Ongoing, November through December

The Heritage Family Association will hold a series of turkey shoots on and off Fort Polk, raising money for "The Boot Campaign." Fort Polk will be the site of a shoot on Saturday, Dec. 6 and at the fairgrounds in Leesville on Sunday, Dec. 7. For more information, call Gene Haymon at 238-3788 or Vernon Smith at 713-723-0738.

November, December -- Gallery One Ellleven shows

Gallery One Ellleven, in downtown Leesville, will host two exhibits in the coming months. In November, the gallery will feature a two-man show from a pair of Northwestern State University professors. In December, two local artists will host a show. The work in this show is all brand new, created specifically for this exhibit.

Ongoing through November -- Hodges Gardens Evening Barge Tours

See the gardens and islands from a different perspective on a barge tour at Hodges Gardens State Park. This tour will be Nov. 22, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can meet up at the Willow Point Pier for a nice evening ride around the lake on a pontoon boat. Regular park admission applies. For more information, call 318-586-3523.

Nov. 21 -- Rebel State to "Turn on the Holidays"

Join Rebel State Historic Site’s staff and the Hallelujah Chorus and Ukulele Band of Glenview Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday, Nov. 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rebel State Historic Site to “Turn on the Holidays.” The Hallelujah Chorus and Ukulele Band will perform all of your favorite Christmas carols and songs in the pavilion. Rebel State Historic Site is located approximately 25 miles west of Natchitoches on La. Hwy. 1221 N. Admission is $4 for adults (ages 13 to 61). Seniors are admitted free. For more, information, call 888-677-3600.

Nov. 21 and 22 -- Free child safety fair in Leesville

The Keeping Kids Safe Project will be hosting a free child safety fair in Leesville on Nov. 21 and 22, to provide children with free fingerprints and photographs. The child safety organization will take a child’s fingerprints and send them home directly with parents. Parents can use the record to turn directly over to authorities anywhere in the world to instantly aid in an investigation. There will also be community organizations present to provide safety information and entertainment for families. Join them at the Hixson Autoplex of Leesville auto dealership at 11981 Lake Charles Hwy. in from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

Nov. 22 -- 'Cold Turkey Trot'

The Great American Smokeout will hold a "Cold Turkey Trot" fun run/walk at 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Warrior Hills Golf Course on Fort Polk. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. that morning. For more information, visit www.polk.amedd.army.mil.

Nov. 22 -- Leesville First UPC Christmas Bazaar

The Leesville First United Pentecostal Church's annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Bazaar will be Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Family Life Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Nov. 22 -- Gallery One Ellleven reception

An artist reception for the latest Gallery One Ellleven show will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22. The exhibit features the work of Matt DeFord and Clyde Downs. It's called "Explorations." Find more information at http://www.galleryoneellleven.org/. The reception is free and open to the public.

Nov. 22 -- "Stage Door Canteen" at Polk Outdoor Theatre

"Stage Door Canteen" will be shown at the Polk Outdoor Theatre in downtown Leesville on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. Refreshments and snacks will be available. There will also be hot cocoa.

Nov. 27 -- VFW Post 3619 Thanksgiving

All military spouses, veterans and their families are welcome to the VFW Post 3619 and Ladies Auxiliary in DeRidder from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27 for a Thanksgiving meal. If you plan to attend, please call ahead by Nov. 25 to let the cooks know you'll be coming. Call 463-3977 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Nov. 28-30 -- Big Buck Contest

The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk will host their annual "Big Buck Contest" on Oct. 25-26, and Nov. 28-30. Three prizes will be awarded on Dec. 10 -- one for the Biggest Buck Harvested Youth, ages 9-15; one for Biggest Buck Harvested Adult, ages 16 plus; and one Biggest Doe Harvested for any age group. For more information, call 531-1971.

Nov. 28 -- Fisher turns on the Christmas lights

The Christmas lights in the historic Village of Fisher, in Sabine Parish, will be turned on at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28. "The Faithful Giant Killers," a gospel group, will perform at the old Fisher opera house. After the lighting ceremony, Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit. There will be photo opportunities with them. The Ole Mill Store will be open late for some early Christmas shopping. There will also be hot chocolate and cookies. For more, click HERE -- https://www.facebook.com/events/831050780285024/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

Nov. 28 -- Christmas Tree Lighting in Pitkin

The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in the community of Pitkin will be held Friday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. in Pitkin, across from the fire department. Come early! There will be refreshments, entertainment, a visit from Santa and more. There will also be a chili cookoff. For more information on the event or entry in the cookoff, call 318-358-5426.

Nov. 29-30 -- "The Nutcracker Ballet" in Alexandria

The Red River Dance/Theatre Company will present the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker Ballet," on Saturday, Nov. 29 and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in Alexandria. Adult tickets are $15. Seniors are $12. Children and student tickets are $10. You may purchase the tickets at www.redriverdance.org or at Ticket Central.

Nov. 29-Dec. 30 -- Hodges Gardens Christmas lights

Hodges Gardens State Park Christmas lights will glitter and shine from Nov. 29 to 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.

Various dates in December -- "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the Showboat

The Showboat Theatre, at Fort Polk, will present "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a special family Christmas production, in the month of December. Dinner shows are Dec. 11 and 13. Cocktails will be at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $25. Tickets for children 12 and under are $20. Show-only dates are Dec. 5, 6 and 12. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $10. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5. For reservations, call 337-531-2337.

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 start Dec. 1 and 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

December -- Vernon Parish Community Orchestra concerts

The Vernon Parish Community Orchestra will hold a series of free concerts during the month of December. They are free and open to the public. Performances will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 at Pine Hill Baptist Church in Leesville; at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9 at the First Assembly of God in Leesville; and on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Jasper, Texas.

Dec. 1 -- SWLA Beekeepers Association meeting

The Southwest Louisiana Beekeepers Association will meet Monday, Dec. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder. There will be nomination of officers. The topic of discussion will be "Why pollinators matter" and "Getting started in beekeeping." Everyone is welcome. Experienced beekeepers will be on hand to give advice for those starting out. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at 463-7006.

Dec. 1 -- Benefit gumbo cookoff at Sabine State Bank

Sabine State Bank & Trust, in Leesville, will host a gumbo cookoff on Monday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To show your community support, simply make a $5 donation, test all the gumbos and vote for your favorite one. These proceeds will be deposited into the bank's Christmas fund which benefits local families in need during the holidays. Sabine State Bank & Trust, in Leesville, is located at 121 University Parkway. For more information, call Laura at 239-1000.

Dec. 2-20 -- 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. 5 -- Rosepine Christmas Parade

The Rosepine Christmas Parade will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5.

Dec. 5 -- "The Polar Express" movie at Hodges

"The Polar Express" will be shown on an outdoor screen at Hodges Gardens State Park. There will be reduced admission of $2 per person. The movie starts at 7 p.m.

Dec. 5 -- Fundraiser breakfast at VFW Post 3619

The VFW Post 3619 in DeRidder will host a fundraising breakfast on Friday, Dec. 5 from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. for cancer aid and research. Breakfast plates will be $6. They will have pancakes, bacon, eggs and drink, or biscuit, gravy, hashbrowns, eggs and drink. The post will deliver plate orders of five or more. Please call in orders by Dec. 4 at 463-3977.

Dec. 5 -- Jubilee Park lighting

The Jubilee Park Committee will be celebrating the annual Christmas lighting of the Jubilee Park in Leesville at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5. The community is invited. The park is located across the street from Vernon Middle School. For more information, call 337-392-0641.

Dec. 6 -- Beauregard Parish's "Miracle on Washington" Christmas festival

Beauregard Parish's "Miracle on Washington" Christmas festival, themed this year as "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 in downtown DeRidder. The event, organized annually by the Beauregard Tourist Commission, will feature music, food, shopping, carriage rides, horse and buggy rides, a petting zoo, a real snow slide, magic show, jump station and much more. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m., the same time the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Parade is set to roll. Much more HERE.
 

Dec. 6 -- Elegant Affair

The Museum of West Louisiana will host their annual "Elegant Affair" on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds Auditorium. The night will be filled with music, dancing and art. There will also be heavy hors d'oeuvres and Al's famous egg nog. For more information, call the museum at 239-0927.

Dec. 6 -- "Breakfast with Santa" at St. Michael's

St. Michael's Catholic Church, in Leesville, will host "Breakfast with Santa" on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Church Activity Center. Advance tickets are $7 per person, or $35 for the whole family. At the the door, tickets will be $8 per person, or $40 for the whole family. There will be an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, games, prizes and $1 photos with Santa. For more, call 239-2656.

Dec. 6 -- "Christmas in the Country" in Elizabeth

"Christmas in the Country" will be held in the Allen Parish community of Elizabeth on Saturday, Dec. 6. There will be arts, crafts, vendors, food and more. There will also be a 5K. Watch for updates on the festival's Facebook page HERE.

Dec. 7 -- Simpson Christmas Parade

The Simpson Village Christmas Parade will be Sunday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. Lineup will be at the Baptist Church, starting at 2:15 p.m.

Dec. 12-13 -- "The Nutcracker"

The Joan Kathey Dance Center stars and the West Louisiana Dance Theatre will present "The Nutcracker" on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Leesville High School Auditorium. For ticket information, call 337-424-8772 or 337-239-6690.

Dec. 13 -- "It's a Wonderful Christmas" festival

Leesville Main Street will host their third annual "It's a Wonderful Christmas" festival on Third Street in downtown Leesville. For more information, call 378-5055.

Dec. 13 -- Pitkin Christmas Parade

The Pitkin Christmas Parade will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

Dec. 13 -- Wreaths Across America

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a "Wreaths Across America" ceremony at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery at 3348 University Parkway in Leesville at 10:55 a.m. on Dec. 13. The ceremony is open to the public. For more information on parking or to sign on as a sponsor, call 238-6405.

Dec. 13 -- "Dashing for a Cure"

Sara's Hope for a Cure's "Dashing for a Cure" Fun Run and Walk, to be held on the streets of Merryville, is set for 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Those participating are encouraged to wear Christmas clothing and costumes. Come and support a good cause and honor your loved ones battling cancer, or who have battled cancer. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places, and also for best Christmas attire. For more information, call 396-2043 or email  sarashope@att.net.

Dec. 13 -- Annual Vernon Parish Christmas Parade

The Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas Parade will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 in downtown Leesville. The parade's theme is "Candy Canes and Christmas Carols." The entry deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11. All parade participants must be registered. The entry fee is $20 per entry.  Lineup will be from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 13. Marching units/drill teams, churches, civic organizations, non-profits, schools, clubs, automobiles, businesses and marching bands can participate. For more on rules, regulations and to obtain an official entry form, call the Chamber at 238-0349, or stop by the office at 1309 North 5th Street in Leesville.

Dec. 13 -- "Christmas Around The Cabin"

The Merryville Museum will be hosting "Christmas Around The Cabin" on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. There will be Christmas carols and music, games, activities, vendors, a quilt raffle and lighting of the Christmas trees. Christmas trees and memorial trees are welcome to placed on the museum grounds starting on Nov. 29. Vendors are welcome to set up for $10 a spot. For more information, call 337-825-0101. The museum is located at 628 North Railroad Street in Merryville.

Dec. 18 -- "Pajama Party and Family Movie Night"

The City of DeRidder will host a "Pajama Party and Family Movie Night" on Thursday, Dec. 18 at the War Memorial Civic Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The movie -- "The Polar Express" starts at 6:15 p.m. There will be fun activities announced, according to officials -- including a visit from Santa. Those attending are asked to wear their favorite pajamas and enjoy a little Christmas magic.

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.
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