Two-time Grammy Award–winner Rita Coolidge brandishes her dulcet tones and musical pedigree to celebrate the Wonderland of Lights Festival's 25th anniversary with a collaborative holiday-music performance. Under the direction of Stephen L. Hayes, Assistant Professor and Director of Music at Wiley College, the school's a cappella choir blends its melodious harmonies with Rita Coolidge's lead vocalizations as they collectively croon Christmas standards, holiday classics, and famous ballads penned by prodigious reindeer. Marshall Visual Art Center welcomes up to 350 concert-goers in the venue's large, open room with twinkle lights dotting the ceiling at night and unemployed flashlights during eclipses.
Clint Mace Sr.'s design of the The Challenge at Cypress Hills' golf course has earned its fair share of praise. Texas Outside called the 6,762-yard, par 71 course "clearly one of the best layouts in East Texas." The article highlights the designer's use of the local terrain to add additional difficulty to the holes. That's particularly true on the back nine, where each hole presents a unique challenge, be it up-hill blind shots, big ponds that bisect the fairway, or sharp dog legs that require precise drives.
Kiddie Mia's Family Fun Center entertains children of all ages in two joy-filled facilities. High ceilings loom jealously above the bright blue floors where games twinkle happily. One building houses the center's coin-operated arcade, which rewards youngsters with tickets that, unlike an armored piñata, actually yield prizes. Alongside the redemption games, families can quell appetites with pizzas, burgers, and a spaghetti buffet, all awaiting charged up maws at the onsite snack bar. In the adjacent all-you-can-play game room, dozens of kiddie rides occupy young children, who can scamper between Disney-themed attractions such as Mickey's truck and Barney's tractor as parents shout parallel-parking instructions from nearby red and blue picnic tables. Older kids can blast computerized foes on a number of arcade games or coordinate hands and eyes with turns at basketball hoops or air-hockey tables.
Howard Malpass enjoys sharing the sport of fly fishing with others, whether teaching a course on the subject at Bossier Parish Community College or showing a child how to tie their first fly. At his shop, Gray Wolf Fly Shop, he draws on this passion for teaching during three-hour introductory courses that include hands-on casting practice and basic tips on how to use flies to attract fish rather than attempt to prove spontaneous generation. His expertise also helps him match patrons with Wapsi fly-tying products, sturdy casting rods, and all-terrain gear, such as durable Korkers fishing boots.
Typically, when someone walks into a restaurant and leaves with a piece of artwork it's a misdemeanor. But at café @ artspace it's not just legal, but encouraged—as long as you pay for it. Since the café is attached to artspace—a hub for art exhibitions, poetry readings, and live concerts—there's always a selection of original artworks by regional artists on hand in the gift shop. These creations occupy diners as they wait for one of the café's golf-themed sandwiches or housemade desserts, which they can order from the menu or a chalkboard scrawled with the day's specials. Meals may be prepared to go or enjoyed in the café, where free WiFi allows diners to tweet photos of their silverware.
The friendly staff at Martha's Hallmark equips visitors to disperse season's greetings to friends and families with a rotating collection of heartwarming cards, thoughtful gifts, and oodles of LSU-themed merchandise. Their treasure trove of greeting cards takes on a variety of motifs inspired by the holidays and life's momentous occasions, such as high-school graduation or the first time successfully licking one's own elbow. Customers can woo olfactory senses with a perfumed candle from the Tyler Candle Company ($7) or entertain tykes with the Jingle All the Way book accompanied by a dog stuffed animal that barks out the words of the story ($29.95). Patrons can celebrate unwavering school pride with a Louisiana State University picture frame that can proudly display snapshots taken at an LSU football game or engagement portraits with the game-winning football ($32.98).