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Group Wants Crescent City Christmas To Mean a Little Bit More

Sandwiched between two holidays that are heavy on costumes and implanted in the local DNA, Christmas and New Orleans are not necessarily synonymous. Heck, we don't even have snow.


But for a group responsible for putting on a pair of the city's largest festivals, there's plenty of opportunity in the pagan ritual to showcase local flare.


“I’m really looking forward to Walter “Wolfman” Washington play our Cathedral Concert on Monday, December 20 at 6 p.m.  This will be his first time playing the Christmas New Orleans Style cathedral concert,” says Dawn Edwards, French Quarter Festival, Inc.’s marketing manager. 


She is speaking about one of the many events in the corporation’s new holiday celebration “Christmas New Orleans Style.”


By packaging the events together, the group hopes to attract visitors around the Christmas season, and prove that N'awlins and Joyeux Noel are compatible after all. And if a few tourists take advantage of the deals, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, either.


That’s right, the veteran festival planners who have brought forth French Quarter Fest since 1982 now also host “Christmas New Orleans Style."  They have organized countless concerts and cooking demonstrations, and compiled a complete guide of the best events, discounts, and activities New Orleans has to offer this holiday season.


The picturesque Hotel Monteloeone will host a bevy of youth choir concerts, where the carols will be a perfect complement to obligatory warm winter spirits from the Carousel bar. 


The annual Baroque Christmas will take place in the St. Louis Cathedral on Friday, which is worth every penny of the $15 ticket price.  The Cathedral will also offer the musical stylings of Danny O’Flaherty, Tom McDermott and Connie Jones.


On Christmas Eve, the group is sponsoring an event that cuts back to the city's Victorian roots, complete with a jazz band and concoctions from the city’s best mixologists on the Steamboat Natchez.


And how could it be the Christmas season without chestnuts roasting on an open fire, or sugarplums dancing in your head?  Christmas New Orleans style will feature numerous free cooking demonstrations at Le Petit Theatre, located on Jackson Square at 616 St. Peter Street.


Chefs from Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, The Gumbo Shop, Broussard's, and The Court of Two Sisters (among many others) will lead various cooking demonstrations. The chefs will dish the secrets to their revered recipes at 2 p.m. on numerous days, with the demos expected to last about 45 minutes. 


Guests are warned to arrive early, since seating is limited and this could be the best chance to outdo that sister who thinks she’s the best cook in the family.


Also, December marks the arrival of Reveillon. The French tradition of drawn-out pre-Christmas dinner parties manifests itself in various menus at such restaurants as 5 on Fifty, Toujagues, Upperline, Antoine’s, and many others.


Other discounts in the name of the season include “Papa Noel Hotel Deals,” which just might tempt the rest of the family to come to the Crescent City for the season.


Other events still ahead also include cathedral concerts by Philip Manuel and Shades of Praise, the gospel group who has drawn you into their tent at jazz fest since 2000 (Dec.16), Irvin Mayfield’s trumpeting prowess (December 21), and a smattering of Baroque favorites (this one will cost you $15, on December 17).


On Sunday, a group will gather to sing caroling in Jackson Square the Sunday before Christmas (December 19) provides a chance for everyone to participate in the merriment, and a little opportunity to showcase singing ability beyond the walls of your shower.


For  more information, visit

Where's the xmas caroling?

Where's the xmas caroling?

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