Christmas on the River Festival Weekend Guide
It’s the most wonderful weekend of the year…it’s festival weekend! From a redneck parade to a ballet gala, festival weekend is jam packed with lots of fun for the whole family. Keep reading to discover our guide to Festival Weekend (December 1-3) in Monroe-West Monroe.
The fun kicks off Thursday night with the December Downtown Gallery Crawl. The streets of Downtown Monroe and West Monroe will come alive with beautiful art, drinks, and live music. Discover artwork by local artists and makers, and find a gift for that special someone on your Christmas list!
After a day of traveling, you’re probably hungry! Dine in Downtown Monroe or West Monroe and treat yourself to delicious eats. Try Trapp’s in West Monroe for their famous seafood nachos (so good) or Planter's in Monroe for delectable pizzas and oysters.
Start a new family tradition at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens Christmas Open House. Santa, festive decorations, bright lights, trees, shopping, Coca-Cola galore, and history can be found at this local favorite event.
Call it a night early to rest for a fun filled Friday or check out our calendar of events for fun happening around the Twin Cities.
Start your morning with coffee or a sweet treat from one of our local coffee shops. Fuel up for what’s about to be a day of holiday cheer!
First stop is Santa’s Christmas Village at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum! Snow shows, cookie decorating, a light show, rides down Mount Sneaux, and photo ops are on the agenda. Santa Claus will be there to hear what’s on everyone’s Christmas list, so come prepared!
Already seen Santa this year? Lucky you! You can head to one of our many attractions for a fun afternoon. Take a walk on the wild side at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo or step into history at the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum.
It’s time to eat! With over 100 locally owned restaurants in Monroe-West Monroe, you’re sure to find something to please everyone in your group. Try Catfish Charlie’s for thin & crispy catfish that will have you coming back for more or Flying Heart Brewing & Pub for pizza, pretzels, wings, and more!
Rest up! It’s a big night.
Christmas lights take over the Twin Cities and are not to be missed! The City of Monroe is hosting their Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00! Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a movie following the lighting.
Candy Cane Lane will open at 6:00 PM with over one million Christmas lights to drive through. This mile-wooded drive, decorated with beautiful lights, is not to be missed!
Make the night bright at Christmas at Kiroli! Drive through a wonderland of lights and instantly feel holiday cheer.
Want to park your car? No worries! Head to Downtown West Monroe and hop on a Wagon Ride through the lights. See all the magical lights in Monroe-West Monroe in an open-air wagon.
That’s not all! There are more lights around Monroe-West Monroe waiting to be discovered.
Time to fuel up food and caffeine! It’s a BIG day. Try Delta Biscuit Company for some of the best biscuits around or Lea’s of LeCompte for a classic feel-good breakfast.
If you’re feeling brave, enter the Christmas on the River 5K! Start your day off with a fun run through Historic Antique Alley in West Monroe.
It’s time to celebrate Christmas redneck style at the Bawcomville Redneck Christmas Parade! Enjoy floats with fun-loving redneck themes and throws that range from beads and toilet paper to ramen noodles and other surprises. The fun kicks off at 10:00 AM.
Head to Downtown West Monroe for a day of holiday fun. Food trucks, festivities, and shopping galore can be found starting in Downtown starting at 11:00 AM.
Why go to just one parade when you can go to two?! The Kiwanis Christmas Parade rolls through Downtown Monroe AND West Monroe starting at 3:30 PM. Catch throws and stick around for Santa’s grand entrance.
Hear live music from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM from the funk brass band Hot Grits! Venture off for dinner or stay close because the night is just getting started.
The Christmas on the River Fireworks will decorate the sky starting at 6:00 PM. These are best viewed in either Downtown Monroe or West Monroe.
It’s been a busy day, but there’s more fun to be had. The Twin City Ballet Company will present a performance of Santa’s Spy at the Monroe Civic Center at 7:00 PM.