CHRISTMAS NEW ORLEANS STYLE PRESS CONFERENCE
Commander’s Palace- November 21
Attend the press conference or CLICK HERE to find out more about Christmas New Orleans Style.
ST. LOUIS CATHEDRAL CONCERT SERIES
St. Louis Cathedral- November 19- December 20
Fronting on Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, the historic St. Louis Cathedral and Basilica plays host to an annual holiday tradition of staging free concerts by prominent New Orleans musicians, church choirs and singers in the jazz, classical, gospel and pop genres.
Within the Gothic splendor of one of America’s oldest, most historic and most architecturally significant churches, the acoustics lend an air of reverence to the songs being sung and the music being played. The present structure, the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, dates from 1794.
The St. Louis Cathedral concerts, produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. as part of Christmas New Orleans Style, generally run for an hour, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The concerts are open to the public and donations are welcome to help fund the cost of the series.
For more information about the St. Louis Cathedral Holiday Concerts call 504-522-5730 or go to www.fqfi.org.
MID-CITY PREPARES FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH VINEAUX ON DA BAYOU
New Orleans- November 21
The Greater Mid-City Business Association today announced plans to host Vineaux on da Bayou, a wine tasting event at the Pearl Wine Co. located at 3700 Orleans Avenue. Vineaux on da Bayou will prepare visitors for the upcoming holiday season by embracing this magical time of the year on Saturday, November 21 from 2 to 5 p.m.
Mid-City will be stomping the grapes to the sounds of a jazz band in preparation for the holiday season when Vineaux on da Bayou offers small production wineries for tasting and purchasing in a casual, outdoor setting near Bayou St. John. The Whitney Bank VIP Tasting Room will offer premium wine tastings and catering, and a portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Greater Mid-City Business Association (www.midcitybiz.com).
Tickets are now available online at www.vineauxondabayou.com for $35, and they include wine tastings from seven local wine distributors and food by Katie’s, Treo’s, Parkway Bakery, St. James Cheese Co. and Toulouse Gourmet. Vineaux on da Bayou will offer visitors an opportunity to sample and purchase the season’s best wines at discounted prices to prepare individuals for the holiday season.
JINGLE BELLS AND BEER
City Park- November 21
CLICK HERE to buy tickets! They are $40 in advance and $45, day of event. For Friends of City Park members, tickets are $35 in advance and $45, day of event.
Tickets for this event tend to sell out before the event. Don't wait to get yours. Only a certain number of tickets will be sold, and once sold out, no tickets will be sold at the door. Must be 21 or over to attend.
Guests can experience all the rides within City Park’s Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, under the beautiful lights of Celebration in the Oaks. Craft beers will be available to sample throughout the Amusement Park, and “munchies” will be provided from local food vendors. Dancing to live music from Hazy Ray will make your bells jingle!
CANAL STREET LIGHTING CEREMONY
Astor Crowne Plaza- November 24
Stroll along Canal Street and watch as the Downtown Development District and the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel join Santa to "flip the switch," turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights on New Orleans' grand corridor. Stop by the hotel's St Charles Ballroom just off the lobby from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and decorate your own holiday cookie while enjoying complimentary hot cocoa or apple cider. Santa will be there to hear your wish list for the holidays. Bring an unwrapped, new toy for local charities and receive a free picture with Santa.
CELEBRATION IN THE OAKS
City Park- November 27- January 3
This special, month-long light show in City Park hosts hundreds of thousands of colorful lights and illuminated outdoor displays to showcase the holiday season in New Orleans. An annual tradition that began in the late 1980s, Celebration in the Oaks is a family-friendly event that only happens after dark. Over the years it has become one of the most beautiful and popular holiday lighting displays in the country, attracting hundreds of thousands of people annually.
During this glittering extravaganza, festive lights and colorful, imaginative holiday decorations are strung across City Park’s centuries-old live oak trees and elsewhere throughout the section of the park closest to the major attractions, including Storyland, the Botanical Gardens and the Carousel Gardens amusement ride area. Children and their parents are invited to take a two-mile ride on the miniature train that circles the park, passing underneath lit-up holiday displays and other special effects.
Visitors are treated to a wide range of attractions, from light displays to the walkways lined with dozens of Christmas trees decorated by local school groups. Perennial favorites include the animated “Cajun Night Before Christmas” display and the “Who Dat Tree,” imaginatively adorned in New Orleans Saints black and gold and related football themes. Another favorite is New Orleans’ iconic snowman, Mr. Bingle, a holiday character beloved by generations of New Orleanians when he adorned the window of the old D.H. Holmes department store on Canal Street during the holiday season.
In Carousel Gardens, you can ride beautiful hand-carved flying horses on the same historic Carousel that New Orleanians have been enjoying for over 100 years. Or delight in breathtaking views of the park, its holiday lights, and the New Orleans skyline from the ferris wheel. There are more than a dozen rides to enjoy, as well as nightly entertainment and a full-service café.
The Celebration in the Oaks tour can only be taken on foot; vehicles are no longer allowed to drive through it. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, 6:00-10:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6:00-11:00 p.m. (closed December 1-4, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).
There is a small admission charge for Celebration in the Oaks and children under three are admitted free. Rides are each charged separately and money-saving unlimited ride wristbands can be purchased. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets ahead of time to see these spectacular Christmas lights in New Orleans. You’ll need to print your online tickets and bring them with you.
GrayLine Tours offers transportation packages that include express admission to Celebration in the Oaks and other park attractions. Buses depart at 6pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from Dec 5-22 and Dec 26-29 from their French Quarter ticket office at the foot of Toulouse St. on the Mississippi River. More information is available here.
HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY HOLIDAY PARTY
Messina’s at the Terminal- New Orleans Lakefront- December 10
ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH HOLIDAY CONCERT SERIES
St. Augustine- December 5- December 19
St. Augustine is the oldest African-American Catholic church in the United States and is located at 1210 Gov. Nicholls Street in the historic Treme neighborhood. Free secure parking is available in the church’s parking lot – enter from Henriette Delille Street (formerly St. Claude Avenue).
The St. Augustine Church holiday concerts, produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. as part of Christmas New Orleans Style, generally run for an hour, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. The concerts are free and open to the public and donations are welcome to help fund the cost of the series. CLICK HERE for more details.
NOMCC- December 18-27
The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center today announced that NOLA ChristmasFest tickets are available online at www.nolachristmasfest.com. The third annual NOLA ChristmasFest will kick off on Friday, December 18 and continue through Sunday, December 27.
NOLA ChristmasFest 2015 will feature the only indoor ice-skating rink in New Orleans as well as an amazing walk-through maze, themed inflatables and rides such as the Kringle Carousel, Winter Whirl, Snowball Fight and Snowy Summit Climbing Wall. NOLA ChristmasFest visitors will have the opportunity to take photos with Santa and several of his North Pole friends. The Christmas festival will take place inside Hall B at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and will be open from noon to 8 p.m. each day during the 10-day holiday celebration. Special hours on Christmas Eve are from noon to 5 p.m. and on Christmas Day from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
NOLA ChristmasFest will display thousands of dazzling lights and more than 70 Christmas trees decorated by New Orleans businesses. Additionally, Convention Center Boulevard will once again be draped in holiday décor and mesmerizing lights synced to traditional and contemporary Christmas music.
Dozens of businesses and organizations are already getting involved with NOLA ChristmasFest. Anyone looking to participate in this year’s Christmas Festival can visit the sponsor tab on the website where sponsorships are still available for the ice skating rink, carnival rides and the signature Christmas trees. Businesses can also host their corporate holiday parties and events at NOLA ChristmasFest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUNNING OF THE SANTAS
New Orleans- December 12
Thousands of costumed revelers will celebrate Christmastime festivities when the “Running of the Santas” returns to the New Orleans Warehouse District for a fifth year on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The annual extravaganza kicks off at 2 p.m. from the “South Pole” located at The Rusty Nail where revelers will experience live music and special holiday drinks. The crowd of Santas will then depart for the four block “Fun Run” at 5:45 p.m. to the “North Pole” located at Generations Hall. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Rusty Nail.
This holiday tradition calls for participants to dress up in their most creative Christmas attire for a chance to win the treasured “Best Holiday Costume” award. Event organizers predict more than 4,000 costumed participants this year donned as Santa, Mrs. Claus, Scrooge, Jingle Bells, Jack Frost, Old Man Winter and so many more. Last year’s “Running of the Santas” attracted more than 3,000 revelers from across the Gulf Coast to the streets of downtown New Orleans to participate in Christmastime merrymaking.
Flow Tribe will headline this year’s “Running of the Santas.” The renowned New Orleans funk band will rock the Christmas event at Generations Hall from 8:30 – 10 p.m., and Category 6 will ignite the crowd from 6:30 – 8 p.m. This year’s “South Pole” will offer food by Rock-n-Sake Bar and Sushi and musical entertainment by DJ Scott Satchfield.
Tickets to the “Running of the Santas” are now available at www.runningofthesantas.com ― advanced tickets are $25 and VIP tickets are $75. New details concerning the New Orleans “Running of the Santas” will be released via Facebook at www.facebook.com/runningsantas and on Twitter @RunningSantas.
PRESERVATION RESOURCE CENTER HOLIDAY HOME TOUR
New Orleans- December 12-13
Every year, during the holidays, many New Orleanians decorate their homes in colorful, tasteful and imaginative seasonal décor, and then they open their homes to the public for limited viewing.
Local organization, the Preservation Resource Center, conducts New Orleans holiday home tours on the second weekend during the month of December.
The PRC home tour is self-guided, originating at Trinity Epsicopal Church, 1329 Jackson Avenue. As many as half a dozen Garden District homes may be included on the tour. Visitors can view and marvel at these homes’ holiday decorations, chat with the homeowners and, either before or after their tours, they can enjoy a holiday boutique and cafe at tour headquarters in the church.
The tours last from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days. Advance tickets are available prior to the event and the price increases on the day of the event.
For more detailed information call (504) 581-7032 or go to www.prcno.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the PRC office, 923 Tchoupitoulas Street in the Warehouse Arts District of New Orleans. Proceeds from the tour help support the mission of the Preservation Resource Center, which is dedicated to preserving New Orleans’ unique architectural inventory.