In 1972 when Rochester merchants placed signs in their windows announcing the first Lagniappe, customers would walk in off the streets asking, “What’s Lagniappe?”
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary it has undeniably become a Rochester holiday tradition. This year’s festivities will take place on Monday, Nov. 26th from 6:00 – 9:00pm to kick-off the downtown holiday shopping season.
Join the merchants of downtown Rochester they offer their customers Lagniappe (Creole for “a little something extra”) in appreciation for their support throughout the year. The Rochester Downtown Development Authority (DDA) also will offer some Lagniappe with the debut of The Big, Bright Light Show.
“Lagniappe is the official kickoff of the holiday season in downtown Rochester”, said Stephanie Hellebuyck, Rochester Downtown Development Authority events coordinator. “And to think that it’s been going on for 40 years, the history is what makes it so special!
The program will begin at 6:45 pm on E. Fourth Street with help from the Mayor, Channel 7’s Dave LewAllen and a special appearance by the man in red, Santa Claus himself, sponsored by Studio One Salon. The lights will officially light-up downtown Rochester at 7:00 pm. Make sure to bring your cameras because kids will then have the opportunity to share their Christmas lists with Santa from 7:15 – 9:00 pm.
As part of Lagniappe, the DDA is partnering with Rochester Area Neighborhood House on “Kicks for a Cause,” to help the kids in our community with a basic need many take for granted – shoes and socks. Please bring new shoes or socks to the corner of E. Fourth & Main from 5 – 9 pm. Help us “kick” off the season by making the holidays merry & bright for the kids in our community. All types of shoes and socks are needed – athletic, casual and dress.
In addition, free horse-drawn carriage rides will be available at E. Third and Walnut Street. The rides will run from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
There will be a number of free holiday music performances to help visitors get into the holiday spirit; the Meadow Brook Carolers, Heart of the Hills Barbershop Chorus and more!
Following Lagniappe, The Big, Bright Light Show will run nightly from 6:00 pm – midnight through Jan. 6, 2013. Also, don’t forget the Kris Kringle Market, an open-air holiday market, Nov 30- December 1.