The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation welcomed more than 2,000 people to its Docville Farm campus on Saturday for St. Bernard Parish Public School’s annual Children’s Christmas Festival. The holiday event welcomed the community to celebrate the season with art and performances by elementary and middle school children.
“I’m so proud of the students who worked hard to make the Children’s Christmas Festival a great success,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation. “The festival represents precisely what my Aunt Arlene, who founded our charity, envisioned for Docville.”
Spearheaded by Charles Cassar, the director of cultural arts for St. Bernard Parish Schools, in partnership with teachers and staff, the festival put the talents of local students center stage.
The festival featured musical concerts, dance and cheer performances, art, and decorated Christmas trees. Students also ran the production under the supervision of teachers, which gave them hands-on professional experience.
“Parents love the festival and seeing their kids perform,” said Cassar.
In addition to hosting the festival, the Meraux Foundation also underwrote all of the costs to produce it.
“I am so grateful for the Meraux Foundation’s support. The Children’s Christmas Festival would not have been possible without them,” said Cassar. “Docville is the perfect location for this festival. It has a nostalgia about it.”
The Foundation designated over 130 acres of Docville for charitable purposes. The campus features the Main House, a turn-of-the-century structure the Foundation resurrected after the hurricanes of 2005; the Dave Thompson Event Barn; the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center (AMROC); a greenhouse for plants used in coastal restoration; working stables with livestock; and a number of educational installations. The Foundation hosts many educational and cultural events at Docville throughout the year.