St. James Parish’s annual lighting of the bonfires canceled

Local News

ST. JAMES PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – St. James Parish officials canceled the centuries old ‘Lighting of the Bonfires.’

Along the leveee in Lutcher, some structures are complete and others are at the halfway mark. Parish officials say, whether they’re finished or not, they must come down.

“It’s hard to do, it’s hard to let go because I’ve been doing it all my life” said Kevin Vicknair a St. James resident who has been building bonfires his entire life.

Vicknair’s structure was decked out with red, white and blue paint. He said, although its hard to accept, he knows canceling the annual lighting of the bonfireswas the right decision.

“I understand we have a situation going on with the pandemic” said Vicknair.

Saint James Parish President, Pete Dufresne, said the positivity rate reached 16.9% going above the mark that automatically triggered the event’s cancelation.

“We had a good plan that we put together that we presented to the State’s Fire Marshal’s office. The plan was approved and had our posititivy rate not spiked above 15 percent, we would be lighting the bonfires” said Dufresne.

St. James resident, Rodrigo Franco said, although it took him three weekends to complete his structure, he agrees with Dufresne.

“I think it was the right decision you know a bunch of people coming around here, you don’t know how many people sick out here” said Franco.

This year, there won’t be a blazing trail for Papa Noel, but people are holding to the old saying, there’s always next year.

“We getting older, we’re all in our 60’s building this thing so hopefully we have another year in us” said Vicknair.

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