Back in 1940, a Christmas tradition was born in the Lake area. It was that year that the Lake Charles Messiah Chorus and Orchestra first performed The Messiah, by George Frederick Handel. The performance was so well received that it has been repeated every year since then. It's a long-standing tradition, but it hasn't always been easy.

Founded by Dr. Francis G. Bulber at then John McNeese Junior College in 1940, the annual performance of Handel's Messiah has been a holiday tradition marking the start of the Christmas season in the Lake area on the first Sunday of December for 77 years.

There have been a few dicey years for this annual event. Most of us remember when Rita blew through. Well, that year, the Bulber Auditorium was so damaged that the concert had to be moved to First Methodist Church. There were years when the money just wasn't there, but the community rallied behind the project to see that it went on.

2017 marks the 77th year that The Messiah has been performed by the Lake Charles Messiah Chorus and Orchestra. This really is a must-see on any Christmas event list. You can enjoy the over 100 voice choir singing the most popular selections from this moving work. Soloists from McNeese’s music program and renowned musicians will participate in the performance.

This year's performance of The Messiah is coming up this Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese Campus.

The Messiah is a free event, and a sure-fire winner for you and your family.