How else do you expect Papa Noel to find his way through the swamps?

By Meghan Overdeep
December 20, 2019
Alligator Bonfire
Credit: Josh Weidert/Blood, Sweat, and Bonfires

When Santa Claus makes his journey through southern Louisiana this year, he’ll be guided by a flaming 500-pound, 60-foot alligator.

Only in Louisiana, right?

Per Cajun tradition, every year on Christmas Eve, bonfires light the way for Papa Noel’s trip through St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. This year, Blood, Sweat, and Bonfires, the group behind last year’s brown pelican and 2017’s famous snapping turtle, have created a giant wooden alligator to light the way for Father Christmas.

According to The Advocate, the show-stopping structure is made up of trees salvaged from the swamp behind the levee near Garyville. On Christmas Eve, it will go up in flames along with dozens of traditional bonfires along the Mississippi River to be enjoyed by thousands of spectators.

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The impressive gator is already on display near the corner of LA-44 and South Church Street in Garyville.

Weather permitting, the lighting will take place at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.