The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) recently honored the Southwest Louisiana Christmas Lighting Festival as a 2013 Top 20 Event for the month of December.

Enjoy the Light Up the Lake Christmas Festival in Lake Charles on Dec. 7 with twinkling lights and carriage rides, voting on homemade gingerbread houses, to parades by land and by sea and a spectacular fireworks display over beautiful Lake Charles.

Visit Sulphur, Dec. 5-7, for the 12th Annual Christmas Under the Oaks celebration at the Brimstone Museum and Henning Cultural Center for festivities including carnival rides, holiday market, live music, balloon parade, the Spectacle of Lights, and snow.

Head down to Vinton, Dec. 6 for a Cajun Christmas celebration with a street parade and pictures with Santa. Or, drive over to DeQuincy on Dec. 6 for the arrival of the KCS Holiday Train, and stick around on Dec. 7 for the annual Christmas Parade, the community choir and fireworks. After, join the town of Starks, Westlake, and Iowa on Dec. 7 and Moss Bluff on Dec. 14 for their annual Christmas Parades.

The Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau is a member of STS, an organization that promotes travel to and within the southeastern part of the United States. The bureau nominates all area fairs, festivals and events quarterly. The STS Top 20 Events marketing program highlights the "best of the best" from submitted entries. Events are selected from each of the following STS member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Top 20 Events publication is sent to over 1,600 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, AAA publications and others. The combined circulation of organizations using the publication is well into the millions. The potential media coverage of these events has made the Top 20 Events list a coveted honor.

For more information, contact the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau at (337) 436-9588, or visit www.visitlakecharles.org.

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