21-year-old Miss Louisiana USA 2016, Maaliyah Papillion will serve as the Grand Marshal for the annual 'Light up the Lake Christmas Parade.” The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 5, and travel from Mill Street, south on Ryan, and draw to a close at Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive.

Maaliyah, a native of Lake Charles, is a junior at McNeese State University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. She plans to pursue a PhD in Psychology and eventually open her own practice. She is the only daughter of parents Kristen Ned & Shawn Papillion and says her goal in life is to help others.

Maaliyah is a board member of the Southwest Louisiana International Club, an organization which specializes in helping new citizens get acclimated with their new surroundings. She is also passionate about the issue of safe and responsible driving, having lost both a close friend as well as a family member to drunk drivers. During her reign as Miss Louisiana USA, she plans to partner with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), while working with other charities. An avid traveler, Maaliyah enjoys visiting exotic locales and considers herself an environmental enthusiast and a yogi.

Reigning Miss Louisiana Teen USA, Ellie Picone, of Covington, Louisiana will also be present during the festivities.

The Light up the Lake festivities will span Saturday and Sunday, in support of the McNeese Cowboys first playoff game against Sam Houston State. Get more details and a full list of events by contacting the City of Lake Charles at 337-491-9159, or by visiting cityoflakecharles.com.