The 25th Algiers Bonfire will light up the New Orleans skyline and Mississippi River, and provide the background for a holiday concert on the river.
It's part of daylong 'Super Saturday' events of the Algiers Point Home Tour and Holidays on the Point.
The Ferry Foundation joins the Algiers Economic Development Foundation in presenting this year's bonfire and concert.
"It's not the '25th annual event'," says Fay Faron, the Ferry Foundation's 'Ferry Godmother'. "More like quasi-annual. We lost the bonfire after Katrina. It was one of the casualties and the city just didn't have the resources to put it on."
Still, this year's theme is the '25th Anniversary of the Bonfire in New Orleans.' And, to commemorate the occasion, members of the New Orleans Fire Department have constructed a 25' tall 'birthday cake' to burn.
"The New Orleans Fire Department is pleased to volunteer for such a joyous occasion, participating in building and monitoring the bonfire has become a tradition we look forward to each holiday season," said Fire Chief Charles Parent.
This year's event features the music of New Orleans' piano man John Autin, the Marine Band New Orleans, a reading of 'The Cajun Night Before Christmas,' and the JMB Brass Band. The band will lead Santa's second-line to the bonfire site.
"And Jackie Clarkson will announce Santa coming down the river in the riverboat parade and we will light the bonfire," Faron says.
There'll be food for every palate, soft drinks, beer and wine for purchase.
But, the bonfire and concert are just the icing on the cake. Beginning at 11 a.m., Algiers Point will welcome their neighbors from across the river and across the region to the daylong events of the Algiers Point Home Tour and Holidays on the Point.
"There'll be something going on all day long, from 11 a.m. until 9 o'clock at night," says Faron. "We're calling this 'Algiers gift to the community' this holiday season.
Those who take the ferry to the event might just encounter the Christmas music of Hazel & the Delta Ramblers or Girl Scouts in reindeer ears handing out candy canes.
Bonfires up and down Louisiana levees have long been a Cajun tradition designed to guide Papa Noel as he delivered his goodies to children on Christmas Eve.
Some 30 years ago, The City of New Orleans adopted the tradition, locating the Bonfire alongside the Algiers ferry landing and using the event to kick the Christmas Season into high gear.
In 2010, the Algiers Economic Development Foundation picked up the torch and produced the event to record crowds. This year, The Ferry Foundation joins AEDF in continuing the beloved tradition.