Jace Paul Fanguy Staff
In 1978, South Lafourche High School students were still mourning the loss of one of the greatest clubs on the bayou, the Safari. But then The Lights Fantastic opened its doors, becoming the new hot spot for high schoolers to show off their dance moves.
The club, located between Larose and Golden Meadow, was complete with a disco ball and the first light-up floor on the bayou, just like in the movies.
Elizabeth Perque showed off her moves, winning a dance competition at the Lights on her first try.
“They asked ‘If anyone wants to participate in the dance contest, get on the floor,” says Perque. “Me and my partner were very good at the jitter-bug and other disco dances, and we were the last ones left and won.”
Although the Lights Fantastic was fun, it was crowded from wall to wall on most nights. The crowd also made the Lights a hot place, literally.
Martha Mouton learned how hot it was the hard way, passing out at the Lights due to the heat.
“It was New Year’s Eve and it was packed, probably over capacity,” says Mouton. “I was squeezing through the people while fighting the heat. Someone tapped me on the shoulders and as I turned around I fainted. I didn’t even have a sip of alcohol that night, it was just that hot.”
The Lights changed its theme after the Big Apple, a much larger club, opened a few minutes down the bayou, attracting more people.
Gone were the disco days of the Lights, as the club transformed into a hub for live music. The dance floor was taken out and replaced with a stage, and the walls were carpeted for better acoustics.
Popular bands on the bayou like The Producers, Halifax, and Zebra would rock the night away.
Unfortunately, this change also attracted the wrong crowd. Biker gangs, at the time, began to cause a lot of trouble at the Lights, turning away crowds.
“There was nothing fantastic about it anymore,” says Buddy Miller. “The wheelers (bikers) just commanded the place, they would bully everyone in there. It made everyone uncomfortable, so I took my money and spent it elsewhere.”
It is not certain if the bikers were the reason the Lights closed, but the rise in popularity of live music clubs like The Greenhouse certainly didn’t help. The club changed its name to Windjammers in the late 1980s, but would close soon after, turning into a flower shop.
All that remains is a concrete slab where the building once sat, and the memories of those who attended.