Lutcher, Lousiana (population 3,600) is home to one of the state’s most visually arresting traditions: the festival of the bonfire. This weekend, 18-foot tall log pyres will rise alongside the Mississippi levee, and each night, a different one will be set ablaze. This is a prelude to Christmas Eve, when 100 such bonfires will illuminate the levees throughout St. James Parish, a tradition that local legend says grew out of a need to light Santa’s way through the Bayou. The festival period actually started two weeks ago with Bonfire pageant day, when visiting festival queens (including Fur, Cotton, and Cattle, pictured) came from around the state to kick things off.
Photos left and right from Nola.com and Dawn Childs, respectively.