Mandatory Merriment: A New Holiday Musical
Southern Rep Theatre
November 28 - December 23
The Southern Rep Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of Mandatory Merriment. You will not want to miss this fun and unique take on the holidays in New Orleans. Six strangers stranded in a French Quarter bar, amidst the city’s first blizzard, must find a way to celebrate the holidays, even if that means getting creative. Hilarity and harmony ensue and make for a fun holiday story that the whole family is sure to love (but do note that Southern Rep recommends the show for ages 13+ because of mild language).
Kermit Ruffins’ Kickoff to Christmas
Washington Artillery Park: 700 Decatur St.
Friday, November 30: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Celebrate the Christmas season with Kermit Ruffins and the Roots of Music Fireworks Show and get your holidays started on the right foot. Enjoy music, food, and the French Market District Tree Lighting Ceremony. Come relax and bring the family to enjoy great entertainment and holiday cheer.
Krewe of Jingle Parade
Downtown New Orleans
Saturday, December 1: 1:00 p.m.
Join the Downtown Development District and the Roosevelt Hotel to ring in the holiday season New Orleans-style with the Krewe of Jingle Parade. The parade will start at Lee Circle, go down Canal Street, and end on Howard Avenue. With marching bands, floats, and Santa and friends, this parade is the perfect family-friendly way to kick off Christmas in New Orleans. Anytime is parade time! Plus, Mardi Gras is right around the corner.
Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival
Fort Jackson, Buras
Friday, November 30 - Sunday, December 2
Head on down to Buras for good food, music, fun, and, of course, oranges. The event features a Civil War reenactment, carnival rides, and music from Aaron Foret, Junior and Sumtin Sneaky, and many more. Try your luck at the orange-eating, catfish-skinning, duck-calling, or shrimp-peeling contests. Participate in the 5K run/walk, or if you want a faster way to get around, take a helicopter ride. The Orange Festival provides endless fun for the whole family in a beautiful, historic setting.
Latkes with a Twist
Press Street Station: 5 Homer Plessy Way
Thursday, December 6: 7:00 p.m.
Join the Jewish Children’s Regional Service for what has been dubbed one of the top Hanukkah parties in the country. An evening of fun, food, music, and auctions awaits. Join “Latke Master” Adam Biderman, chef and owner of Company Burger, at the Latke Bar. Or, sit back and have a Hannukkah-themed cocktail at the bar. The Joe Gelini Trio will provide the entertainment and set the mood for the evening. The event will also feature a silent auction with countless great items. Come enjoy food, drinks, and Jewish culture at this fifth annual celebration of the Festival of Lights.
The Amazing Acro-Cats: Meowy Catmas
Allways Lounge & Cabaret: 2240 St. Claude Ave.
December 7 - December 23:
If you love furry felines and Christmas time, then this is the event for you. Head on over to the Allways Lounge to see the coolest cats in town. Come join the Amazing Acro-Cats and see them do some amazing holiday-themed tricks, including jumping through wreaths. And don’t miss a special performance by the Rock Cats. All of the cats are rescues, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Jefferson SPCA. Kick off the holidays in a fun and furrocious way and help a great cause.
Running of the Santas
Manning’s: 519 Fulton St.
Generations Hall: 310 Andrew Higgins Blvd.
Saturday, December 8: 3:00 p.m - late
How long does it take a group of Santas to get from the South Pole (Manning’s) to the North Pole (Generations Hall)? Well, that probably depends on how many libations they’ve had. While speed is not required for the Running of the Santas, having fun is. With so many drink specials, food options, contests, and live music, you’ll think it’s Christmas morning. Partial ticket sales will benefit That Others May Live Foundation, while the rest of your ticket goes to food and drinks and enters you in some pretty cool contests. Grab your best Santa costume and head out to the largest gathering of Santas in New Orleans.
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Spectacular
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts: 1419 Basin St.
Saturday, December 8: 7:30 p.m.
Santa came down to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and decided not to leave (can you blame him?), and now the 610 Stompers and special guests must find Santa and save Christmas. Join the LPO for this hilarious and breathtaking musical mystery. New Orleans’s favorite dancing men are the stars of this show, but will dancing be able to help them solve this problem? You’ll just have to wait and see. Bring the family and get your holiday season started on a fun and funky foot at this truly unique musical.
Festival of the Bonfires
Lutcher Recreational Park: Lutcher Avenue–LA HWY 3193, Lutcher
December 14-16: Times vary
The Festival of the Bonfires is held the second week of December each year in Lutcher. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts, and carnival rides throughout the weekend and expect a visit from Santa himself! Each night of the festival will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting. Money raised will help offset the cost of insurance, which is now required to build the bonfires. Come out and feel the burn.
Art Against AIDS
Club XLIV at the Superdome
Saturday, December 1: 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Art Against AIDS began in 1986 and has since grown into one of the largest galas in New Orleans. This year, Art Against AIDS will take place on World AIDS Day, which is quite fitting for the occasion. This year's event will feature food from local restaurants, a juried art auction, a holiday boutique, and live entertainment. It will focus on how far we’ve come in the fight against HIV/AIDS and how far we still have to go. Join a great group of people and support a worthwhile cause.
New Orleans Jazz Museum Gala
New Orleans Jazz Museum: 400 Esplanade Ave.
Saturday, December 8: Patron Party, 7:00 p.m.; Gala, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see some truly breathtaking works of art at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The event will feature cocktails provided by Sazerac Rye, delicious food from the area's top chefs, a silent auction, and a chance to see the Luna Fete Celebration of Light and Music, which combines art, technology, and film to make a truly one-of-a-kind display. Digital sculptures, video-mapping projections, and illuminated art will all be showcased, transforming the museum into a playground for the senses. All proceeds from the gala will directly help the Jazz Museum to promote jazz globally.
SKYY Vodka Best Bartender in New Orleans Finals Party
Manning’s: 519 Fulton St.
Monday, December 3: 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
The highly anticipated finale of the Best Bartender of New Orleans Contest will be held at Manning’s in early December. Out of 48 nominees, all of whom submitted their best SKYY Vodka cocktail creations for consideration, the list has been narrowed down to seven bartenders, representing bars all over the city, from Metairie to the French Quarter. The finalists are Victoria Pisarello of Felipe's Mexican Taqueria (Uptown), Ryan Mears of The Bulldog Mid-City, Ashley Loetzerich of Chateau Pub, Abraham Thacker of Embassy Suites by Hilton, Lindsy Lebrun of Shenanigan's, David Naser of Martine's, and Amy Downey of World of Beer. Be sure to check out whereyat.com for more details.