St. Joseph Catholic Church's Winter Wonderland

Father Jason Palermo’s Christmas Village lights up, giving viewers a night-time scene.

St. Joseph Catholic Church will host its 10th annual “Food Festival - A Taste of French Settlement” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.

The food line is back and will feature a wide selection of local favorites, including chicken and andouille gumbo, seafood pistolettes and gumbo, fried fish, jambalaya and pastalaya, chicken tenders, hamburgers and more. There will also be a Sweet Shop with delectable options such as homemade candy, cookies, cakes and soft serve ice cream.

During the festival, attendees will be able to peruse a wide range of craft booths, where local artists and vendors will be selling paintings, jewelry, wreaths, LSU and Saints items, bows, gift baskets and more.

Other activities at the food festival include hay rides, visits with Santa Claus, a classic car and truck show, and the third annual Light Parade, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

But perhaps the biggest show-stopper will be Rev. Jason Palermo’s miniature Christmas Village, a now-legendary centerpiece of the yearly Christmas Festival that includes New York City, Disney World, London and other famous landmarks.

Beginning with one train set, a Christmas tree and three model houses his great aunt made for him in 1991, Palermo’s collection has grown to more than 700 individual pieces from across the globe — all powered by a mile’s worth of electrical wiring running underneath — and he adds to it every year.

The most notable addition last year was the Magic Kingdom’s “Happily Ever After” fireworks show, which Palermo projected on a dark blue felt sheet behind the miniature replica of Disney World.

For more information about the festival, call the church at (225) 698-3110. Church office hours are 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. - noon on Friday.

St. Joseph Catholic Church is located at 15710 La. Hwy. 16 in French Settlement.

(Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the date of the festival as Dec. 3). 

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