Media Contact:

Viola T. Johnson, Communications/Public Relations
(504) 813-9008 or

(NEW ORLEANS, LA) Ashé Cultural Arts Center presents the 17th Annual Holiday on the Boulevard, Friday, December 9, 2016, from 10 AM - 6:00 PM; and December 10, 2016, from 11 AM - 7:00 PM, at Ashé, 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The event brings with it a hefty variety of great entertainment, unique gift items, great food and lots of fun.

On Friday, Dec. 9, the annual Imagination Tour student field trip signals the beginning of the festivities. Youngsters participate in a Kwanzaa demonstration where they learn about the principles of Kwanzaa, the meaning behind its terminology and the significance of the lighting of the Kinara. Then, they travel the Continent of Africa, using only their imagination. Some will be dressed in African attire and become dancers, led by Mama Jamilah, while others take to the drums to play rhythms taught by master drummer Luther Gray of Bamboula 2000. The field trip fee is $7 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Drena S. Clay at (504) 569-9070.

Afterwards, the community is invited to learn more about Ashé and its programming at the annual Open House and Holiday Luncheon, which is free and open to the public. This year, the open house will be kicked off by the marching band from James M. Singleton Charter School, where Rosemary Martin is the principal.

Meanwhile, the community is invited to sign up for complimentary guided tours of Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., led by Worldwide Concepts, Inc. Learn about the bustling changes on the boulevard, its history, and the businesses that have made it their home. Space is limited. Reserve by calling (504) 613-6655.

Then, stick around for the Ribbon Cutting and Launch of the Ashé Visitors Center. We've partnered with Worldwide Concepts, Inc. to bring a full-service tour & travel company to the Boulevard, and under our roof. The launch includes a preview of "Gumbo Nation," Worldwide's cultural extravaganza which speaks to the history and heritage of the peoples of New Orleans and South Louisiana through a narrated tribute in dance, song and rhythm. "Gumbo Nation," also free to the public, features Bamboula 2000, Big Chief Honey and Free Agents Brass Band.

But that's not all. On Saturday, Dec. 10, festival goers will be treated to live concerts, featuring world music by Rudy Mills & the Caribbean Funk Band, old favorites and dance music by Sharon Martin, gospel by The Blessings Community Choir, and the sounds of Ray Wimley & Cool Nasty, a band that literally crosses all genres. There will be a variety of one-of-a-kind gift items and delicious food from an array of talented vendors at the Holiday Marketplace.

With the exception of the Imagination Tour, all entertainment is indoors, free and opened to the public.
Those interested in vending opportunities should contact Luther Gray at (504) 495-0463. Individuals who want to help out by volunteering should call Gwendolyn Richardson at (504) 569-9070.