OWL Center’s Christmas on the Farm event set for Saturday

By T. Scott Boatright

Many children want a pony for Christmas.

And while that’s not possible for most parents, maybe the next best thing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as the Louisiana Methodist Children Home’s Outdoor Wilderness Learning (OWL) Center plays host to its third annual “Christmas on the Farm.”

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but 700-800 people attended each of the first two events at the OWL Center, located at 1523 Louisiana Hwy. 563 in Dubach.

The family friendly event will feature pony rides, a petting zoo,the ropes course, maze activities, games and more, with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting from the North Pole and available for pictures, and a zip line ready for thrill-seekers as well a rock wall that will be open for climbing.

Christmas on the Farm will also feature a bounce house, food, a silent auction, and vendors. Food being sold will include fish plates, gumbo, shrimp and grits, and nachos and hot dogs.

Entry fee will be $10 per car or $20 for a church van or a bus.

Percussionist LadyChops will also be performing during the event.

The event will also feature a ropes course for an additional $5. Ropes activities focus on problem solving, leadership skills, effective communication, and trust.

All proceeds directly support the OWL Center’s Therapeutic Riding Program.

The Center’s Equine Facility features:

  • 100’ by 200’ covered arena, with fans and lights

  • 70’ by 130’ outdoor arena

  • Covered and outdoor round-pens

  • Handicap accessible parking and mounting ramp

  • Climate controlled classroom

  • 12 stall barn

  • Miles of trails

  • Horses are turned out in small groups in one of 6 large pastures, with access to run in sheds, large shade trees and ponds.

OWL Center Equine Director Samantha Luttrell has been with the Equine Program since 2005

“This is one of our principal fundraisers for therapeutic horse services,” Lutrell said. “It’s a family-friendly event for the whole community. We want to bring awareness to the program. We want the whole family to come out and spend quality time together.

“We serve about 75 to 100 clients weekly. We have everyone from children and adults with disabilities to at risk youth to veterans. We also do a lot of work with schools and the at risk youth at those schools. We try to keep our costs as low as possible for them and offer scholarships when we can.”

The OWL Center receives no state funding.

“We want people to come out and consider buying salsa and jelly or bidding on the silent auction — anything they can do will help support the Center,” Luttrell said.

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