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December Events, Festivals, and Things to Do in New Orleans


It's Christmas-time in New Orleans. Get your shopping done so you can catch some of these December events in New Orleans.

Be sure to click on the Christmas/Holiday and New Year's Eve Listings for many more events in New Orleans this month.

List of Christmas & Holiday Events

Here's a big list of Christmas parades, bonfires, parties, festivals, teas, caroling, and other holiday events in metro New Orleans.

Dec. 31st List - New Year's Eve in New Orleans

Check out this list of New Year's Eve options in New Orleans. Some restaurants and clubs have special one-price parties. The French Quarter is an obvious party spot. Fireworks are shot over the river, so the levees are popular. The local version of NYC's Times Square is outside Jackson Brewery where the New Year Baby drops. But the party just begins in New Orleans at midnight. Downtown is just the beginning of the options in and around New Orleans. And there are even New Year's Eve celebrations for kids with early daytime countdown toasts.

Joy Theater Events

Check the renovated Joy theater for special holiday events . The theater and its restored iconic marque, reopened the end of December with three nights of music, including a big New Year's Eve Party, in 2011. The old movie palace is now an upscale mufti-purpose music and entertainment venue, that will hopefully lead the way for the other shuttered theaters on Canal Street.

World War II Conference

This International World War II Conference in New Orleans is a 3-day event that started in last year on December 7, the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tickets for the event at the National World War II Museum, which features scholars, authors, experts, and veterans, sold out in 2011. However, there was also a virtual experience with real-time and archived interneet viewing. The 2011 Conference was just the first in a series of annual WW II conferences - Check out the 2012 plans.

Chanukah at the River

Chanukah is celebrated with the public lighting ceremony of a 12-foot menorah on the Mississippi River front downtown New Orleans at the Riverwalk. The free event also includes food and traditional Israeli music. All on a late afternoon in December on the Riverwalk at the Mississippi River bank. Call 504.522.1555 for details.

Celebration in the Oaks

Click on the Christmas and Holiday Events link for more details about big Celebration in the Oaks event which is open throughout December.

Holiday Football in New Orleans

From Thanksgiving to early January, New Orleans and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome typically hosts football games with special importance to Louisiana fans. This year, football frenzy will keep building. Hold on for the 2013 Superbowl also in the New Orleans Superdome!!

Winter on the Water & More in Mandeville

NOTE: No word yet on whether this North Shore celebration will be held in 2012.

Old Mandeville - from the Lakefront, down Girard Street, to the Mandevile Trailhead, has been a center for a weekend of holiday fun - Winter on the Water and Noel - a perfect December day trip.

Based on past celebrations, expect live music, the lighting of the oaks, a wild Reindeer Run, with "reindeer" roller derby members, a historic homes tour and more, including multiple parades: a traditional Christmas Parade, a boat parade, and a pet parade. A free Ellis Marselis concert capped the weekend in 2011.

Bonfires on the Levee

At various locations on the Mississippi River levee especially in Lutcher and Gramercy, a short road trip from New Orleans, the Cajuns light huge specially created wood tower bonfires to light the way for Papa Noel, aka Santa Claus, on Christmas Eve. Check out the other New Orleans Christmas events on the Christmas and Holiday event link above.

Revillion Dinners

Here's a clickable list of many of the New Orleans restaurants that offer special holiday meals throughout December inspired by the traditional Creole Revellion dinner. Revellion was a big meal eaten at home on Christmas Eve after midnight mass in New Orleans in the past. These modern Revellion meals not only keep alive a cool and historic New Orleans tradition, they are also often great bargains at some of the best restaurants in town.

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