(CNN) - A community along the Mississippi river is preparing for a true Cajun Christmas tradition.
Long before the holiday season in Garyville, Joshua Weidert and his crew “Blood, Sweat and Bonfires,” began working on their massive alligator structure, a piece-by-pierce work that they burn on Christmas Eve.
"Just like I tell a lot of people: wedding cake designers build beautiful wedding cakes and what happens to them in the end? They get cut up and eaten,” Weidert said.
The group began planning the structure in July and started work on it in October. Weidert said it took about 15 people three weeks to built it.
The 60-foot gator will soon go up in flames, leading Santa, better known in their community as Papa Noel, through Cajun Country.
“Whenever we burn it, it’s a celebration of our creation ... all of our hard work,” Weidert said.