The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro is one of the most popular Christmas displays in Massachusetts. It is said to be the largest light display in New England, featuring 300,000 lights that illuminate more than 10 acres of land. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the largest Nativity scene in the world.

Over the years, visiting La Salette has become a beloved Christmas tradition for people across the Boston and Providence area, especially among devout Catholics. Visitors can expect to see lots of lights, of course, but there’s also a gift shop with items like holy water, crystal rosary beads, and postcards.

There’s a room with Nativity scenes from around the world on display. The collection of crèches includes scenes from places such as Senegal, Mexico, India, and Canada. And in what may feel the most gimmicky of all, there is a vending machine with votive remembrance candles for sale.

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Reviews for La Salette average above a 4.5 rating, meaning most people have been thrilled with the "beautiful," "family-friendly," and "inspiring" experience.

But...

The low-star reviews that are dragging down La Salette's ratings average are what we’re here for, amiright?

Before we dive into the comments and concerns from patrons of years past, notice that most of the complaints you'll see on review sites are about the live donkey on site.

Clopper the Jerusalem burro donkey has been part of the live display for years but was briefly removed in 2016 after receiving backlash over his living conditions. He returned in 2017 to the delight of La Salette fans everywhere.

There are also a lot of remarks about how the church has turned this beloved attraction into a carnival to make money. A reminder to anyone who agrees with those concerns: since 1953, La Salette continues to be free to attend. Churches as of late are having a hard time making money and are closing left and right. Kudos to them for figuring out how to continue to offer a free event that still raises funds to support their mission.

Will it be crowded when you go? Yes. Will it be cold? It might be, so dress for the weather. Will you have strong opinions about the cost of hot chocolate? Possibly. No one is making you buy one, though.

The point is, it's free. The organizers are free to add whatever elements they want to it, be it a Santa here, a popcorn machine there, Clopper the real, living Donkey, so on and so forth.

La Salette's 2021 Love is Born Festival of Lights opens for the season on November 25 and will be open to the public (and the critics) every night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Best of the Worst: La Salette Shrine's Festival of Lights Reviews

There is a reason that hundreds of people keep going back to Attleboro's popular La Salette Festival of Lights year after year. But not everything in life can be great all the time and some La Salette visitor experiences are no different. Here are the best of the worst comments from various review sites on the famed Festival of Lights.

La Salette reviewers must have also visited King Richard's Faire during the Fall

The SouthCoast loves King Richard's Faire and most of us go each year, which is how the faire has been able to successfully operate out of 80 acres of Carver forest for four decades. Yet not everyone was enchanted by the 16th-century themed festival. Here's what people have found fault with over the past 10 years after a trip to the renaissance faire.