Each year, the Boom or Bust Byway offers its visitors the ultimate, free Christmas experience. On the first weekend in December, the byway kicks off the holiday season in Vivian and ends in Oil City with a bang. You can warm up with organic coffees and homemade chili, witness more than 100 biblically themed Christmas trees, and attend two highly anticipated Christmas festivals. You can pick and choose which events to attend, but honestly, there’s enough time to enjoy it all in one weekend.
Cool Beans Coffee Shop is located in downtown Vivian. Their drinks are made with organic coffee beans from local brands such as Louisiana Roasting Coffee and Mooringsport’s Plantation Gourmet Coffee. It is home to many popular holiday flavors such as mint chocolate, s’mores, maple, and gingerbread. You can have it served hot, on ice or frozen. Being the only coffee shop in Vivian, Amanda Beard, owner, wanted to put her own personal stamp on a signature drink, the Cambonesian.
“The Cambonesian drink is the local favorite. I first discovered it on my mission trip to Cambodia. It’s made of only three ingredients, a shot of espresso, two percent milk and sweetened condensed milk,” said Beard.
The flavors blend so well, and the taste is refreshing. Along with their specialty drinks, Cool Beans offers a lunch menu, pastries, pie slices, chips and soft drinks. The affordable lunch menu consists of sandwiches and various soups and chilis to warm you up for the holidays.
After filling up with a light lunch and coffee, walk right next door to The Light House Mission Thrift Store to experience their annual Tour of Trees event. This event begins on the first Friday of December and continues on each Friday leading up to Christmas Day. The Tour of Trees consists of more than 100 Christian-inspired Christmas trees that twinkle throughout the second floor of the thrift shop. The decorations represent biblical stories, verses and ministry themes.
The tour began with a sweet shop filled with baked goods for purchase which then leads to a princess themed room complete with pinks, purples and sparkly decorations that highlight the importance of all the King’s daughters. There was also a cluster of trees in this particular room that are dedicated to Disney’s popular, multi-award winning movie, Frozen. Leading further into the store, a mermaid themed room artistically showcased the well-known Bible verse, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” The level of creativity captured in each tree will steal your heart and stimulate Christmas joy inside of everyone.
“Last year, we had over 300 visitors. We put a lot into these Christmas trees so that everyone who visits can experience a connection to Jesus,” said Donna Allen, executive director of The Light House Mission Thrift Store.
On Saturday morning, visitors can wake up to Christmas in the country. The town of Vivian will start up their Country Christmas Festival in downtown Vivian. Activities include food booths, pictures with Santa, and ends with a parade traveling through downtown Vivian. The parade is filled with the town’s quaint flair. Attendees will witness young dancers with undeniable musicality, modest floats accompanied by Vivian’s organizations, companies and authorities as they throw candy, stuffed animals and more into an excited crowd of families.
After the Country Christmas Festival, continue to spread the holiday cheer by attending the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival with only a 10-15 minute drive from Vivian. The festival takes place at Earl Williamson Park in Oil City from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every year. Families can enjoy live music, children’s activities, food booths, arts and crafts, clowns, a giant snow globe, fireworks show and photos with Santa. There are vendors that offer everything from cake pops, fried gator and pickled jalapenos to homemade soaps, glow sticks, jewelry and local artwork. Watching the fireworks burst over Caddo Lake is a tranquilizing experience that you don’t want to miss.
To learn more about Cool Beans Coffee Shop visit www.facebook.com/coolbeansvivian or call 318-936-9947. For more information on The Tour of Trees or The Light House Thrift Store please call 318-422-3622 or visit www.facebook.com/lighthousemissionthrift. As for the Country Christmas Festival, please visit www.holidaytrailoflights.com/event/country-christmas-festival or call 318-375-5300 for information, and you can learn more about the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival by visiting www.christmasoncaddofireworks.com or call 318-631-0182. To explore overnight accommodations along the Boom or Bust Byway, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org/hotels or call 1-800-551-8682.