Theres so many great opportunities to shop for holidays gifts in Acadiana, from original artwork to unique cultural creations. And you can save on sales tax! The State of Louisiana designated Downtown Lafayette as a Cultural ProductsDistrict in March 2010 so all state sales tax is exempt from purchased original artwork. Be sure and like the Facebook page of ShopLafayette, which promotes shopping along with overnight stays at hotels and motels in Lafayette Parish. Once they reach 7,000 fans they will be giving away a Worlds Best Chicken Cooker from Bruce Foods!
Here is a list of special activities where great shopping can be had during the holiday season. Cest Jolie Flowers, Gifts, and Christmas Store, 203 E. Bridge St. in St. Martinville will be selling trees, decorations, wreaths and more from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. Lake Arthur Merchants Association presents Glitter & Garland, holiday shopping with photos with Mrs. Claus and more from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 16 on Lake Arthurs Arthur Avenue. Free. (337) 774-5101.
Holiday Magic among the Jeff Davis Parish retail stores will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16-17. Free. (337) 824-0933. Christmas in Vermilion offers a variety of holiday activities Nov. 23-Jan. 1 throughout Vermilion Parish. (337) 898-6600. Le Grand Noel, with musical performances, demonstrations, holiday refreshments and horse and carriage rides, will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 24 throughout the shops of historic Grand Coteau. 337-662-1032. Christmas Shoppe, featuring local crafters displaying handcrafted jewelry, beauty products, handmade candles & soap, food products and much more, will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Willow Wood Park Recreation Center in New Iberia. (337) 229-1982. Christmas at Coteau, featuring vendors and a gourmet luncheon, will be Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, 1821 Academy Road in Grand Coteau. Admission $7. (337) 662-5275
The 20th Annual Christmas Shopping Extravaganza with 48 booths of crafters from throughout the area, will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at the corner of S. Avenue East and Elm Street in Crowley. Admission $1 per person; 12 years and younger free. (337) 783-9076. Carencro Country Christmas, an event that features a parade and music in addition to arts and crafts booths, will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Carencro Community Center in Carencro. Free. Noel Acadien au Village is 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly Dec. 1-23 at LARCs Acadian Village in Lafayette. There will be more than a half million lights, nightly entertainment, local cuisine, photo Christmas in CrowleyA Holiday Affair will include local merchants as part of its varied holiday event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 in historic downtown Crowley. Free.s with Santa, carnival rides and items for sale. (337) 981-2364.   Abbeville's 14th Annual Christmas Stroll, where merchants open their businesses for holiday shopping, is 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 in downtown Abbeville. (337) 898-6600. Kaplan Area Spirit of Christmas, where merchants open their businesses for holiday shopping in addition to other activities, will be Dec. 6-8 in downtown Kaplan. (337) 898-6600 The 18th Annual Festival of Light, with shopping, Santa, music, food and real snow, will be 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Oil Center of Lafayette. (337) 232-1267. AMerry Marketplace, Lafayette's newest Holiday shopping event, will be Dec. 7 at Top Shelf Sports Arena in Youngsville. Le Vieux Villages 11th Annual Christmas Lighting will also feature local merchants, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.Dec. 7 in Opelousas. In addition there will be Christmas music, carols sung by a choir, refreshments, a horse-drawn buggy ride and Santa. Free. (337) 948-5227.
Lafayette Art Association Gift Shop
The 2nd Saturday ArtWalk, featuring more than a dozen galleries in downtown Lafayette and artwork in area businesses and restaurants, will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8. Free. (337) 291-5566. The Lafayette Art Associations Christmas Exhibit begins Dec. 10 with a 6 p.m. opening party at their gallery at 1008 St. Mary St. and the artwork will remain up until Jan. 8, 2013. Be sure and check out the associations gift shop and the wonderful creations for sale from participating artists. This is only a tip of the holiday iceberg. Be sure and check out the full schedule at http://www.lafayettetravel.com/play/festivalsevents/cajun-creole-christmas.