Arts and Culture

Elaborate gingerbread project at L'Auberge

L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles celebrates the holiday season with an elaborate gingerbread house designed by its award winning pastry team. Pastry Chef Bill Foltz and his team of elves designed and constructed the sugary sculpture after months of planning and sevens days of preparation and assembly. It is now on display at the casino entrance in front of Ember Grille & Wine Bar.

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Mellie Bevilacqua presents a check of $45,000 to Scott Doss of Nehemia's Vision

The Foundation for Southeast Texas announced the recipients of the grants from its Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at a check presentation Friday, Dec. 8. Thirty local organizations received over $250,000 to support hurricane relief efforts in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties.

The grants ranged from $1,770 to $45,000. The foundation’s grants committee reviewed each application from 60 organizations and made recommendations to the board of directors for final approval, said Mellie Bevilacqua, executive director of the Foundation for Southeast Texas.

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"Murf the Surf" Jack Murphy and Julie Simpson

Middle-aged and retired women walk single-file down the narrow sidewalk between barbed wire fences on a cold December morning. Headed to prison.

But only for a visit.

The Winning Edge’s biggest annual volunteer-based prison ministry event kicked off Friday, Dec. 1, at several prisons, including the Gist State Jail and the LeBlanc State Jail in Beaumont and the Lucile Plane State Jail in Dayton, about an hour outside of Beaumont. Only male volunteers entered men’s prisons while the women headed to the Plane Unit. 

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Downtown Beaumont holiday tree lighting

Join the Downtown Museum District on the grounds of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) and Texas Energy Museum at 500 Main Street for the Holiday Tree Lighting Party on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 4-7 p.m. with Santa Claus lighting the tree promptly at 6 p.m. At this holiday event, families will participate in ornament making for their tree at home and the downtown tree, take pictures with Santa Claus, make and send letters to the North Pole, enjoy holiday music, and much more.  Free cookies and hot cider will be available.  

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Santa at Calder Woods

Calder Woods is working to make sure the magic of the season extends to all ages, as the senior living community invites its Beaumont friends and neighbors to get into the holiday spirit by stopping in for an afternoon with Santa. Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7080 Calder Ave. Seniors age 60 and up are invited to come take a free photo by themselves or with their families with Beaumont’s very own Santa Claus, as well as enjoy festive treats and refreshments. This event is indoors, welcoming guests to come and go from 3-5 p.m.

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Be a Santa to a Senior

While many seniors enjoy being able to live independently, the holidays can be a difficult time for those who are unable to spend them with friends or loved ones and isolated seniors are at great risk for loneliness, anxiety and depression.

This is why the local Home Instead Senior Care office serving Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties is inviting the community to come together to bring some comfort and holiday cheer to area seniors through its Be a Santa to a Senior program.

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Tom Jenkins

When Harvey rained 28 inches on Jefferson County in one day, the staff at Green Acres Grocery near Fannett was pushing water away from the store’s doors with brooms and squeegees, store owner Tom Jenkins remembers.

“We were open every day, and we ended up selling everything on the shelves,” Jenkins said, explaining that his store was almost an island during Harvey’s floods — people couldn’t get to Hamshire or Beaumont after I-10 and Highway 124 closed, and the channel locks on Highway 365 going into Port Arthur were shut.

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Spindletop Gusher producing water

Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, on the Lamar University campus, will mark the 117th anniversary of the Lucas Gusher at Spindletop with a day packed with re-enactments, activities, craft demonstrations and entertainment.

“Every year the volunteers and museum staff work hard to bring new things to this annual event along with making it fun,” said museum director Troy Gray. “Discussions usually center on how to bring visitors back in time to 1901.”

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actors during a performance of The Nutcracker ballet

The Beaumont Civic Ballet’s landmark performance of The Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition for the last 45 years, and the 46th year will be even more spectacular as those in attendance experience breathtaking dance and see young Clara’s fascinating adventure unfold through the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets in two separate performances – Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10 – at 2:30 p.m. at the Julie Rogers Theatre (765 Pearl) in downtown Beaumont.

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Festival of Lights decorated trees

No need to book a trip to the North Pole to embrace Christmas festivities when you can make the short trip to Moody Gardens on Galveston Island to experience the 15th annual Festival of Lights and Ice Sculptures: A Caribbean Christmas now through Jan. 8, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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