Joan Smith, Bobby Dufrene, Scott Melancon, and Barry Dufrene have helped decorate the Lawrence Park gazebo for the Christmas season annually since 2007. In the middle photo are Bobby Dufrene, Melancon and Barry Dufrene. Above is Smith.
CHRISTMAS TIME IN THE PARK
Not all of Santa’s helpers are elves.
Some are just your friendly neighbors, who want to bring joy to the holiday season.
Barry and Bobby Dufrene, Scott Melancon and Joan Simon have been decorating the gazebo in Lawrence Park for Christmas every year since 2007.
“I enjoy the Christmas season, and I enjoy watching people enjoy the lights,” said Barry Dufrene.
He said the Christmas-decorated gazebo is a tradition he inherited from his neighbor, Mario Manfre.
“Mario showed me how to do it for about two years, and then I just have been doing it ever since,” said Barry Dufrene.
He said the Christmas gazebo has become a staple of the holiday season in Morgan City and that several of his neighbors look forward to the lighting.
“I have seen marriage proposals, people taking tons of pictures, but the best part is when you see the frost early in the morning,” said Barry Dufrene.
He said the group started decorating the gazebo two weekends before Thanksgiving to have it finished for the start of the holiday season. The group used donations and bought other decorations and lights to decorate the gazebo.
“The tree that is currently there was donated by Lee Arcement of Thibodaux,” said Barry Dufrene. “We buy lights every year since they will be lit for a very long time.”
The gazebo has been lit since Thanksgiving and will remain lit until Jan. 6 for Epiphany 2018.
Barry Dufrene said he will keep the tradition going as a way to keep paying it forward to his community during the holiday season and will continue to do so as long as people “just enjoy the lights.”