Forty one years ago, a wonderful supporter of the Shreveport Opera, Delton Harrison, decided on a whim to check out an advertised Christmas sale in a New York City hotel. What he found inspired him. The hotel had been transformed into a series of little shops sponsored by various stores in New York City. Harrison knew that the idea was too good to pass up and presented it to the Shreveport Opera as a way to raise money. What he didn’t know was that he along with our first chairman, Dorsey Bronson, were writing the first chapter of “Les Boutiques de Noel,” or the little shops of Christmas. This event has been held every year but one and continues to grow each year.
The event began rather modestly in 1974 with just a mere 20 exhibitors but has since evolved into a market of over 100 shops from a nine-state area. It is well attended by over 10,000 shoppers and it has now become recognized as one of the single largest fund-raising events put on by an Opera Guild.
All proceeds from Les Boutiques de Noel are dedicated directly to the Shreveport Opera. Also, the Shreveport Opera Express (SOX), a touring group of the Shreveport Opera, would not be able to conduct each year nearly 100 educational performance for over 50,000 school children in Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto and Webster Parishes. Many of these schools in these Parishes have little or no music programs and the Shreveport Opera Express will be their rare taste of a live musical performance.
Les Boutiques de Noel has become the signature event that signals the start of the Holiday shopping season throughout the ArkLaTex. This holiday extravaganza continues to attract generous supports, unique merchants and thousand of enthusiastic shoppers. Throughout the years, dedicated Opera Guild volunteers have spent countless hours planning, organizing, and working out every detail of the market. This year is no exception!