Christmas bonfire traditon to take place in New Orleans - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Christmas bonfire traditon to take place in New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Mark Anderson built a painstaking replica of the plantation home where he grew up just so he can burn it down. It's among 125 bonfires to be set ablaze in a Christmas Eve tradition in the river parishes between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Most of the fires along the 12-mile stretch from Convent to Gramercy are the traditional teepee shape. Folks say they light the way for Papa Noel.

Only four "specials" like Anderson's are allowed each year. Lutcher Fire Department Chief Jason Amato says the others this year are the letters LSU, a manger scene and a tank.

Lighting time is 7 p.m. CST. Amato expects the spectacle to bring 50,000 viewers, most of them in cars creeping along at 5 mph.

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