Kiss a Frog at Christmas in the Sky

By Bill Forrester

hreveport’s most extravagant extravaganza, its glitziest gala, returns Dec. 10 at Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack for the biennial celebration that is Christmas in the Sky. Every Christmas in the Sky event is like a fairy tale. But with this year’s theme of “Kiss a Frog,” it promises to be even more over the top. “I want folks to expect fairy tales like they have never imagined,” said Heidi Kallenberg, event chair. “We’ve all been told fairy tales as children. But these are fairy tales from the minds of the most talented artists in our region. It’s going to be wild. It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be amazing.”

All three floors of Louisiana Downs will be transformed for “an evening of fairy tales, tall tales, and cocktails,” Kallenberg said. More than 100 costumed characters will entertain the crowd, and there will be multiple stages with dancers, singers, and bands. Food will be served throughout the event, and there will be bars serving a variety of fantastic, fairy-tale-themed cocktails.

Guests can navigate through 11 fairy tale sections that will be full of donated silent auction items up for bid. And the live auction will feature its own fairy tale items, Kallenberg said. “It is otherworldly,” she explained. “We have trips to other countries — they are experiences. We have trips to New York to see the most sought-after Broadway productions. We have the most exquisite jewelry. It’s all very spectacular.”

None of it would be possible, she said, without an army of volunteers, from the artists designing the sets to the performers, the hair and makeup artists, and those who pitch in to support the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and its mission for the biennial fundraiser. “Many of the volunteers don’t come to the party,” Kallenberg said. “But they work on it because they know the value of the Arts Council in this community.”

Kallenberg said she and others from all walks of life give so much to making Christmas in the Sky spectacular for SRAC because SRAC gives so much to the community.

“The face of our community would not be the same without SRAC,” she said. “Telling the people in our community about the arts organizations that are so essential to the betterment and the enjoyment of the people who are here. And to getting people to move here and work here. These organizations provide services that make people want to come here.”

This year marks the 19th Christmas in the Sky fundraiser for SRAC, and the first in-person event since 2018. The 2020 event was canceled because of COVID-19 and replaced with Club 365, a year-long online auction fundraiser. Kallenberg said Club 365 was a success.

“I was blown away by the community support for that yearlong project,” she said. “They wanted to have a positive, happy attitude about what we were going through. It was just spectacular.”

She said some people have asked about doing both fundraisers, but that it is time to return to Christmas in the Sky. “It means dancing all night,” she said. “It means getting ready for a serious party. I should be working out in the mountains to get ready for this. It’s intense. We are excited because our community is excited.”

For more information on Christmas in the Sky, please visit