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Sunday, November 18, 2018



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The bayou's first Holiday Tour of Homes

The bayou's first Holiday Tour of Homes

Boo Legendre, owner of The Lafourche Gazette, and his wife Addy are preparing their home to be featured on this year's tour.

The practice of decorating for Christmas is nearly as old as the Christmas tradition itself. Decorated trees are recorded as far back as the 16th Century in Germany. In the past, fresh evergreens such as pine and cedar were typically brought to houses during Yuletide, which ranges from December 24 – January 6.

Modern advances have made way for larger-than-life seasonal decorations. Today’s trimmings are still heavily based upon many old traditions, including elegantly decorated trees, images of Christ’s birth, gifts, heavenly hosts and a modern-day Santa Claus.

In the fourth century, Saint Nicholas’s generosity inspired seasonal character Santa Claus (though the jolly, bearded version didn’t appear until the 1800s).

With the holiday season just around the corner, the New Life Counseling Center has put together the first ever Bayou Christmas Holiday Home Tour. This self-guided tour will take place on Sunday, December 9th and includes six beautiful homes in the South Lafourche area adorned in the splendor of Christmas. Each home has a unique take on Santa Claus, Christmas Trees and traditional Christmas décor. From nativity scenes to light-up spectacles, each home has feature attractions for all ages.

"This is a first for the bayou! The Tour of Homes is an opportunity for everyone to get into the spirit of the holidays by being saturated with the colors, sounds, smells and tastes of Christmas,” said New Life Board Member Marlene Williams.

Just north of the Intracoastal Canal in Larose sits Boo and Addy Legendre’s 5700-square-foot Creole style cottage. The couple spent four years remodeling the interior and exterior of their estate and the family enjoys decorating all corners of their chic abode for the holidays. The highlight of the Legendre’s home is their sprawling staircase in the two-story family room, which houses an impressive 15-foot Christmas tree.

A short drive up the road is the home of Wayne and Donna Estay. The Estay’s spent two years renovating everything from moldings to woodworks to cabinets. Some will say the crown jewel of the house is the open kitchen made for entertaining and featuring Brazilian mahogany wood, while others will argue Wayne’s LSU man-cave is the area of most interest.

 Hidden beyond the 40 Arpents, just a street south of their Cut Off home, is Paul and Becky Dufrene’s cabin. The cabin is just beyond the levee and sits under magnificent oak trees. This unique rustic abode, which was built to lodge hunters, is a splendidly decorated refuge.

Situated beneath huge oak and magnolia trees is the home of Reed and Sheila Danos. This French colonial home built in 1975 includes lovely furnishings and décor, featuring original artwork from Sheila herself and French Impressionist Gisele Pascal. Sheila has included a “Healing Garden” filled with cuttings and various herbs. Serenity abounds at this rustic home set beneath branches of aromatic magnolias.

Buddy and Robin Bagala bought their home on West Main in Cut Off in 1995, though it was built in 1917. The nearly 100-year-old home still features many of the original windows, doors, mantles, fireplaces and woodwork. Robin, an interior decorator, has furnished the home in antique and classic pieces. Though updated, the house has kept true to its historical roots. Their home won the 2011 Preservation Award from the Lafourche Heritage Society.

Another well-known historical home in the area featured on the tour is that of Kirk St. Pierre. This iconic landmark is thought to be the second oldest home in the Bayou Lafourche area. Built in the late 1800’s, Kirk has restored this home to its original grandeur, filling it with original antiques. St. Pierre has made the home a main attraction, especially during the holidays. His house was also awarded the Lafourche Heritage Society’s Heritage Award several years ago.

The unique and inviting tour of homes is brought to the public courtesy of New Life Counseling Center, formerly known as Casa Hope. The organization offers counseling for a wide range of challenges including but not limited to depression and anxiety, divorce recovery, grief and loss and academic problems.

Director Kristyn Carver oversees all aspects of the center, which also offers programs on substance abuse counseling and anger management. Their mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults in the South Lafourche community by providing faith-based counseling and resources for other life challenges.

According to Carver, the homeowners have started sprucing up their homes for the tour in order to extravagantly capture the holiday spirit. Tour attendees can expect a plethora of decorations, Christmas music and mouth-watering refreshments at each stop.

The Bayou Christmas Holiday Home Tour will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 9th. Tickets can be purchased for $30 per person at all South Lafourche Bank locations, the Larose Civic Center, Dufrene Building Supplies, Callais Office Supplies and the Lafourche Heritage Society in downtown Lockport.