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Gambit's 2013 Guide to Fairs & Festivals: December 

December

All month — Celebration in the Oaks (New Orleans City Park, 1 Palm Drive, 504-483-9415; www.neworleanscitypark.com) — The park becomes a Yuletide wonderland with light displays, live music, amusement rides, tour of the Botanical Garden and Storyland, food and hot buttered rum. (Closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 31). Hours 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission $7, children 2 and younger free.

1 and 7-8, — Louisiana Renaissance Festival (46468 River Road, Hammond, 800-542-7520; www.larf.org) — See Nov. 2-3 listing for description.

6-8 — Christmas in the Country (Various locations, St. Francisville, 225-635-3873; www.stfrancisvillefestivals.com) — There's a range of Yuletide activities including concerts, a live nativity, a range of celebrations, shopping, home tour and more. Hours 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission varies.

6-8 — Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival (Fort Jackson, Hwy. 23, Buras; www.orangefestival.com) — It's the 67th annual festival celebrating native citrus as well as other Southern foods, music, carnival rides, arts and crafts, educational citrus displays — and helicopter rides. Hours 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission free.

7 — Christmas Bonfire Party (Oak Alley Plantation, 3645 Hwy. 18, Vacherie, 225-265-2151; www.oakalleyplantation.com) — The 37th annual celebration includes a Cajun/Creole food, an open bar, dance band, spirits, a party in the plantation, which is decorated in traditional Christmas style, and a band-led procession to the levee for the lighting of a bonfire. Hours 7 p.m.-midnight. Admission $125.

7 — Christmas Festival Gumbo Cook-off (Louisiana Oil and Gas Park, I-10 and Hwy. 26, Jennings, 337-821-5532; www.cityofjennings.com) — The holidays kick off in Jennings with a gumbo competition, parade (at 6 p.m. downtown) and festival with live music, gumbo and other food, caroling and fireworks. Hours 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission free.

7 — Le Feu et L'Eau (Fire and Water) Festival (NUNU Arts and Culture Collective, 1510 Bayou Courtableau Hwy., Arnaudville, 337-523-5832 or 337-754-9898; www.fireandwaterfestival.org or www.nunucollective.org) — It's the ninth year for this one-day event that showcases the work of artists, performers and cultural workers in a variety of genres. Hours 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Admission free.

14 — Delcambre Boat Parade (North Pier Marina, 307 Isadore St., Lafayette, 337-658-2422; www.delcambreboatparade.com) — Christmas music accompanies a parade of lighted boats. Hours 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission free.

22 — Caroling in Jackson Square and Home Tour (Various locations, 504-523-7047; www.patioplanters.org) — Join hundreds of citizens in singing Christmas carols by candlelight on Jackson Square. Before the singing, take the Patio Planters tour of French Quarter homes dressed for the holiday season. Hours 1 p.m.-4 p.m. tour, 7 p.m. caroling. Admission $20, children 11 and younger free (tour).

24 — Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee (Various locations around Lutcher and Gramercy; www.stjamesparish.com) — Teams build large wooden structures on the levee — some done artistically — then set them on fire after dark to light the way for Papa Noel (Cajun Santa Claus). Hours after dark. Admission free.

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