Only one Lake Charles holiday event offers gifts from more than 85 vendors under one roof, plenty of easy parking, food and drink, holiday arts and crafts activities for kids, helps food insecure youth and a local educator.
The Junior League of Lake Charles with Navarre Auto Group is kicking off the holiday season with its annual Mistletoe & Moss Holiday Market this weekend. Join in the fun Friday, Nov. 19-Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Hours are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are $12 per person. Children 8 and under get in free. Premiere shopping is Friday morning, 9 – 11 a.m. and presented by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. Admission is $25.
“This is our grand opening shopping event,” said Jordan Smith, chair for this year’s Mistletoe & Moss. “This includes entrance to the market, a complimentary glass of champagne and the opportunity to be among the first to see and shop vendors on opening day.”
Santa’s Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. The Children’s Museum, Niche and others will present fun arts and crafts opportunities for $5 per child. Children under the age of 2 will be allowed to participate for free. However, these children must receive an official “free” ticket in order to monitor COVID capacity. Parents and guardians of Santa’s Workshop participants must pay the general admission cost.
Cookies with Santa, sponsored by Baggett McCall, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Admission is $25 per person to decorate cookies with Santa. Children under 2 who participate must also have an official “free” ticket as outlined above.
The Junior League of Lake Charles will play the role of Santa in the life of one educator by awarding a $5,000 Taking Education and Children Higher (TEACH) grant.
“The applicant whose presentation receives the most votes during Mistletoe & Moss will be awarded the TEACH Grant,” Smith said. “We’ve narrowed down the finalists to three teachers.”
Smith is excited about all the vendors who bring unique wares to Lake Area shoppers, items not found in large chain stores, items that can be personalized. Vendors are from around the country, but many are local business owners who depend on holiday revenue every year and particularly this year after the impact of the pandemic and hurricanes. In 2019, Mistletoe & Moss brought 6,000 customers to vendors.
“You never know what the hottest selling item will be,” Smith said. “One year it was a box and suction arrows toy.”
Gifts for children, Junior League cookbooks and items, including clothing, not readily found anywhere else, are generally the most popular.
Smith is equally excited about involving more of the community in “Pack a Snack Sack.” This opportunity, usually handled internally by the league, makes its debut at Mistletoe & Moss this year. Snacks will help food insecure youngsters have plenty to eat over the Christmas holidays. Shoppers can make a small donation to fund the program and pack a snack that will be distributed to Ralph Wilson Elementary.
Smith said the JLLC has been hosting the holiday market, the group’s major fundraising event, for 28 years and in that 28 years, Mistletoe & Moss has only been cancelled twice: In 2005, after Hurricane Rita and last year because of the pandemic and hurricanes. Smith has been involved with the event for the last six years.
Tickets are available for both general admission and special events at jllc.net. Advance purchase is required, and only digital ticketing is available. CDC and state Covid-19 protocols will be followed. The Junior League of Lake Charles is located at 1019 Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles. To find out more go to the web page at www.jllc.net, email headquarters@jllc. net or call 337.436.4025.
Tickets are available for both general admission and special events at www. jllc.net. Advance purchase is required, and only digital ticketing is available. For more info email email@example.com or call 337.436.4025.
Written by Rita Lebleu