Contributed by St. Bernard Parish Government
The Covid 19 Pandemic continues to change the ordinary rhythm of life in St. Bernard Parish as it does globally. Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society, with significant support from St. Bernard Parish Government and involvement of Santa on the Bayou, has succeeded in decorating the structures and grounds of Los Isleños Museum Complex.
All buildings are decorated and hung with Christmas lights, many trees are illuminated and there are free-standing decorations throughout the grounds. Society President Ben Crowe and Parish President Guy S. McInnis both agreed that an effort had to be made to celebrate Christmas publicly in eastern St. Bernard Parish, particularly in a year which has been so difficult for people everywhere.
Society board members Kathy Serpas Ziegler, Catherine Serpas Ybarzabal and Melanie Ybarzabal Koons have chaired the Isleño Society’s Christmas committee since 2012. Under the diligent stewardship of these three ladies acting in a selfless community spirit, the collection of decorations and lighting has grown significantly over eight years.
Funds to purchase these decorations come from the profit realized in the annual Los Islenos Fiesta held in March. The extended Ziegler – Serpas – Ybarzabal – Koons families turn out to volunteer every year to enhance the community and give the gift of Christmas to all who visit the museum complex. Volunteers have included Ralph Ziegler, Paul and Jeanne Lagarde, Lacye Lulei, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Kathy Ziegler. Kathy Ziegler and Melanie Koons largely are responsible for the design/layout of the decorations.
“The partnership between Parish Government and Los Isleños Society continues to benefit the people of St. Bernard Parish” said Parish President McInnis.
Society President Crowe observed “our dedicated volunteers are still working against all odds in this pandemic to brighten the 2021 Christmas holiday!” Los Isleños Museum Complex is located at 1345 – 1357 Bayou Road, St. Bernard.
The drive through will begin at the Highway 46 (Judge Perez Extension) access road entrance to Los Isleños Museum Complex, past a cypress swamp nature area which will have Christmas lighting, through the field and connecting to the access road running in front of the historic village buildings. Automobiles will be directed to the road running along the side of the Isleño Museum and will exit on Bayou Road. Units of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Department will be present to direct traffic on Highway 46 and the property. The Museum Complex access road gates at Highway 46 will open at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 22 and 29 and close on those nights at 7:30 p.m.
The Christmas drive through program at Los Isleños Museum Complex is free of charge and opened to the public.
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Department is also a sponsor of Los Isleños Museum Complex Christmas Drive Through.