On Saturday, Dec. 3, it will be beginning to look a lot like Christmas along the waterfront as the city’s “Light Up the Lake” celebration kicks off the Yuletide season. In addition to the annual parades -- one on land and one on water – Santa himself will make several appearances as the city lights up the lakefront for the holidays. Fireworks will fill the sky, and music will fill the air. Want details on what’s on tap for the day?

  • 2 p.m. -- Gingerbread House Contest

    SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau

    Show off your baking skills! See if you can build the Lake Area's best gingerbread house and pit yourself against other locals! Good luck!

  • 2 p.m -- Street Parade

    Downtown Lake Charles

    Winding through downtown and passing by the Civic Center, the Street Parade is only the first of two parades the city hosts. Local groups, including schools, businesses, civic groups, performing groups and neighborhood kids will join Santa for a journey through Downtown Lake Charles. Trophies will be awarded in several categories including best decorated vehicles and floats, as well as the best marching bands and specialty groups. Everyone in the community is invited to be a parade participant or spectator.

  • 3-5 p.m. -- Santa's Workshop

    Civic Center Exhibition Hall

    Just how does Santa do it every year? Find out with tons of activities and entertainment for the kids! There will be games, prizes, food and good ol' St. Nick, himself!

  • 3:30 p.m. -- Community Band Christmas Concert

    Civic Center Second Floor Mezzanine

    Enjoy some of the Lake Area's finest musicians as they get you in the holiday spirit with beautiful Christmas melodies!

  • 5:15-6 p.m. -- Lighting Ceremony

    Civic Center Front Lawn

    Watch beautiful downtown Lake Charles explode with light as city officials light the Christmas tree, the Civic Center, the lakefront and several downtown buildings! A sight you shouldn't miss!

  • 6:30 p.m. -- Lighted Boat Parade

    Lakefront Promenade

    The second parade is arguably even more fun than the first. Watch the lake explode with light and color during the Lighted Boat Parade. Each boat will be judged on originality, creativity, decorations, presentation, and enthusiasm. Prizes will be awarded in 1st through 3rd places for boats in length of 21 feet and under, and 22 feet and over. Other categories include best of show, and best crew.

  • 7:15 p.m. -- Light Up The Lake Fireworks

    Over the Lake

    Wrap up your evening with the biggest and brightest fireworks display in Southwest Louisiana, all set to music from All Christmas 'Til Christmas 92.9 FM!