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50-Foot Wooden Alligator.

50-Foot Wooden Alligator

Field review by the editors.

LaPlace, Louisiana

At the end of every year, the river parishes of LaPlace build large wooden effigies atop the levee and, on Christmas Eve, set them on fire. Not, they say, for the pyromaniacal thrill of it, but to guide "Papa Noel" to the homes of good boys and girls.

The one-night-a-year event seemed inefficient as a tourist draw, so in 2020 LaPlace built a permanent wooden effigy, an alligator named Saint, next to the town Visitor Center. At 50 feet long, Saint is second in size only to a 78-foot-long gator that the town set on fire in 2019.

A sign in front of the alligator warns, "Do Not Climb in Mouth," although visitors will find it difficult to resist the temptation to snap gator-chomps-tourist gag photos.

50-Foot Wooden Alligator

671 Belle Terre Blvd, LaPlace, LA
I-10 exit 206. Drive south on Belle Terre Blvd less than a mile. You'll see the gator on the right, on the lawn outside the visitor center.
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In the region:
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