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New Orleans Christmas events, Sandy NOLA, Thanksgiving Parade

margaritaA Toast to New Orleans

 

 


Darlings,

Once again, New Orleanians have reasons to celebrate. The Saints scored their 4th straight victory bringing us hope of another Super Bowl participation. The weather has been seasonally warm and sunny and we are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our loved ones.

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The exquisite Longue Vue Home and Gardens was the setting for the kickoff of the Christmas New Orleans Style. New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) are starting earlier than ever this year to promote the month-long Christmas New Orleans Style festivities. NOTMC launched the multimedia Christmas New Orleans Style marketing campaign to convince visitors to spend their holidays experiencing New Orleans. The 28-year-old seasonal celebration, in 2012, features a diverse program produced and executed by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. and sponsored by NOTMC. More than 50 mostly free events and activities are planned throughout the city over more than a month of festivities, from December 1 through Twelfth Night, January 6, 2013.“To take advantage of all that Christmas New Orleans Style (CNOS) has to offer, you should pick up our guidebook,” said Marci Schramm, Executive Director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

 

To learn more about Christmas New Orleans Style, and to see the 2012 CNOS guide book listing all scheduled events, visit New Orleans’ official tourism site, www.NewOrleansOnline.com/holiday  or www.FQFI.org. Hotel reservations, including special citywide rates, can also be booked via www.NewOrleansOnline.com. You can also call (504) 522-5730.

A CNOS campaign video featuring New Orleans native Bryan Batt, a veteran stage and Emmy-award-winning TV actor, can be viewed on YouTube. The campaign is also supported across NOTMC’s social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and their www.GoNola.com blog. Additionally, visitors and locals can share personal holiday scenes on Instagram by tagging their photos with #NOLAChristmas for the chance to win prizes or become a featured photo throughout the season. You know I will submit a photo of Duchess Chiquita and I.

 

And, as evidence that the Christmas New Orleans Style is working as it should, AOL Travel just listed New Orleans as the nation’s #1 travel destination during the Holiday Season. NOTMC President and CEO Mark Romig made the announcement at the CNOS kickoff and was given an enthusiastic round of applause. We’ve always known that our city is tops in all fun categories and this reaffirmed it for us. This is why most of us choose to live here instead of somewhere else.


I started my week by attending Dijon's Celebrity Bartender Bash to benefit the SPCA The Celebrity Bartenders were Tim McNally and Marshall Harris. It was lot of fun and I am scheduled to be a celebrity bartender on Tuesday, December 11, along with my darling friend Sheri Michelle Bleuler McKee. So put it in your calendar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Dijon Restaurant. 1379 Annunciation Street.


On Wednesday, I went to a very special Tasting of Champagne hosted by Republic Beverages at the CAC. Bubbles, Bubbles and Bubbles was a wonderful opportunity to sample various types of champagne. This event was followed by a delicious preview party of the Hyatt Regency's new offsite catering company, 1718 (the year New Orleans was founded) at the Ogden Museum of Art’s Patrick Taylor Library. Immediately after that soiree, I attended the conclusion of Tastings at the Track with a holiday extravaganza entitled “A Bounty of Bubbles: From Champagne to Prosecco.”

That night was also the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, which celebrated the Grand Reopening of the Rodrigue Gallery, featuring his exquisite Rodrigue Steinway Grand Piano. The LSU School of Music and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) are making music together. The GRFA will auction the one-of-a-kind Steinway piano, featuring the latest in piano technology, and George Rodrigue's artwork, to raise funds to help the School of Music replace an aging fleet of 106 pianos used to teach nearly 600 music students.

Thursday was a busy night since the French Market Corporation lit its beautiful Christmas Tree at the Washington Artillery Park across from Jackson Square. That night I also attended the patron party for the 2nd Annual Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (CADA) Carnivale at the lovely residence of Paul and Donna Flower. I did not miss the annual Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Festival at the JW Marriott Hotel. The food was delicious as well as the new Beaujolais. The live music by the Yat Pack on the Main Stage and Armand St. Martin on the Grand Piano at the JW Marriott kept everyone very happy!

The annual Azucar Ball (Sugar Ball), hosted by the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, was just like I expected -- the best ever at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World (East Bank). This year’s theme was “Noche de Carnaval” (“Night at the Carnival”) and everyone looked very elegant.

The Gala, benefiting the NOHHF Scholarship Fund included a Patron Party, fabulous food from New Orleans's legendary chefs and the presentation of the Galvez Cup Award to Dr. Patrick Quinlan, head of the Ochsner Hospitals group. The fundraiser also featured nonstop music by Julio and Cesar, followed by Rumba Buena and a mini parade from which celebrities were throwing masks and beads. I was very honored to be one of the celebrities in the parade.

On Sunday morning, my darling Chiquita and I donned our sombreros and chapeaux for the annual St. Catherine’s Day Hat Parade. It was well attended and Mother Nature blessed us with the perfect day for the parade.

I attended and saw the fabulous performance of Rossini's Barber of Seville at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. That evening, I attended the superb presentation of Monologues & Musings.... for Money, Honey by talented Nell Nolan and Ashley W. Nolan and directed by Fred Nuccio of Mid-City Theater.

Darlings, this week I am looking very much to the Thanksgiving weekend but most of all to the monthly Round Table Luncheon on Tuesday, November 20. “A Peek Inside New Orleans’ Theatre Scene” is the theme, and you can become the first to get the inside scoop on this season’s hottest plays and theatrical productions in New Orleans. The Round Table Luncheon will again be in the Fleur de Lis Suite of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon Street.

Starting at noon, the featured speakers will include Karl Lengel, General Manager of Le Petit Theater and Board Member Michael Mitchell, associated as well with Broadway Across America. They will be joined by Aimee Hayes, Director of Southern Repertory Theater, and Fred Nuccio, owner of Mid-City Theater. Live entertainment by vocalist Cari Roy and pianist Jim Walpole. Executive Chef Peter Page is planning a three-course gourmet menu with wine pairing. The luncheon is $45 inclusive and $50 at the door. Parking will be validated. For reservations, contact Noel Scallan at 504-553-2220, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

That evening the Canal Street Lighting Ceremony will take place. The Downtown Development District and the Astor Crowne Plaza, invite you to join in as they “flip the switch” at 5:30 p.m., turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights on historic Canal Street. Enjoy entertainment by Voices from Fannie C. Williams Charter School Choir and a special visit from Santa Claus.

Immediately afterward, you can come to “Miracle on Fulton Street,” a holiday attraction in the heart of downtown New Orleans that brings the magic of the season alive for locals and visitors of all ages. It will start with a lighting ceremony featuring Steve Gleason on from 6 to 8 p.m. This free and open to the public celebration will kick off the “Miracle on Fulton Street” festivities running November 20-January 2. Santa will be available for photos in the brand new glistening gazebo. A roaming caroler chorus will greet and entertain guests, singing all the holiday favorites at each of the restaurant venues lining Fulton Street.

Whether naughty or nice this holiday season, “Miracle on Fulton Street” is sure to enchant guests with French Quarter façade balconies, dancing lights and snow synchronized to holiday music, complete with Santa and his reindeer. The tremendous 30-foot Holiday Tree between Manning’s and Grand Isle will complete the tradition. Located in the Harrah’s Hotel lobby is the newest design for this year’s house, a hand-crafted gingerbread paddleboat. Bringing full holiday cheer to all, Rising Sun will have their traditional wagon offering holiday treats, including hot chocolate, cotton candy and more.

Official Team Gleason merchandise will be for sale during Miracle on Fulton Street programming, November 30–December 22. All proceeds will be donated to benefit The Gleason Initiative Foundation. For more information about Harrah’s New Orleans, visit www.harrahsneworleans.com.  

Right after Thanksgiving on November 24, The Cutting Edge presents two activities for the Bayou Classic weekend, Cutting Edge Live at the Mint, featuring Jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan and the rescheduled NOLA Downtown Festival "Cruisin' New Orleans Car Show" under the lights at the French Market's Flea Market. The evening of Saturday, November 24 will begin with a pre-show at 5:00 pm with a special performance by Greer Mendy, Choreographer and Director of the Tekrema Dance Center; and the group Collage performing contemporary gospel from their new CD, “Under Construction.” The pre-shows are free and open to the public.

The "Jazz at the Mint” concert with Stephanie Jordan will take place at 8:00 p.m. in the recently renovated performance venue in the Old U.S. Mint Jazz Theater on the 3rd Floor at 400 Esplanade Avenue. Admission to the jazz concert is only $15.

Later that evening, Cutting Edge will present the rescheduled NOLA Downtown Festival "Cruisin' New Orleans Car Show" at the French Market's Flea Market (where it meets the Old U.S. Mint) from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The Cruisin' New Orleans Car Show is a celebration of antique, classic and hot rod vehicles presented by Cutting Edge Music Business Institute, Sylvain Solutions, and Verges Vintage Vehicles, LLC. A select number of these vehicles will also be on display during the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 22, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in front of the Louisiana Superdome and ending at the edge of the French Market.

Enjoy your week and have a great Thanksgiving and save some energy for next week.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, November 20.

 “A Peek Inside New Orleans’ Theatre Scene” Round Table Luncheon

The theater scene is the theme, and you can become the first to get the inside scoop on this season’s hottest plays and theatrical productions in New Orleans. The Round Table Luncheon will again be in the Fleur de Lis Suite of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon Street. Starting at noon, the featured speakers will include Karl Lengel, General Manager of Le Petit Theater and Board Member Michael Mitchell, associated as well with Broadway Across America. They will be joined by Aimee Hayes, Director of Southern Repertory Theater, and Fred Nuccio, owner of Mid-City Theater. Live entertainment by vocalist Cari Roy and pianist Jim Walpole. Executive Chef Peter Page is planning a three-course gourmet menu with wine pairing. The luncheon is $45 inclusive and $50 at the door. Parking will be validated. For reservations, contact Noel Scallan at 504-553-2220, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

November 20

 Canal Street Lighting Ceremony

. The Downtown Development District and the Astor Crowne Plaza, invite you to join in as they “flip the switch” at 5:30 p.m., turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights on historic Canal Street. Enjoy entertainment by Voices from Fannie C. Williams Charter School Choir and a special visit from Santa Claus.

November 20

 Miracle on Fulton Street

A  holiday attraction in the heart of downtown New Orleans that brings the magic of the season alive for locals and visitors of all ages. It will start with a lighting ceremony featuring Steve Gleason on from 6 to 8 p.m. This free and open to the public celebration will kick off the “Miracle on Fulton Street” festivities running November 20-January 2

Miracle on Fulton Street” is sure to enchant guests with French Quarter façade balconies, dancing lights and snow synchronized to holiday music, complete with Santa and his reindeer. The tremendous 30-foot Holiday Tree between Manning’s and Grand Isle will complete the tradition. Located in the Harrah’s Hotel lobby is the newest design for this year’s house, a hand-crafted gingerbread paddleboat. Bringing full holiday cheer to all, Rising Sun will have their traditional wagon offering holiday treats, including hot chocolate, cotton candy and more. Official Team Gleason merchandise will be for sale during Miracle on Fulton Street

Tuesday, November 20

 Hurricane Sandy NOLA Pay It Forward Benefit Concert

 Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced an all-star line-up of musicians for the NOLA Pay It Forward Concert to benefit Hurricane Sandy recovery and relief efforts. The event will take place at 7PM on November 20, 2012 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Performers on the bill include Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville, Amanda Shaw, Stephanie Jordan, James Andrews, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Mia Borders, Khris Royal, Sasha Masakowski, the Stooges Brass Band, and the Wild Magnolias with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.


Money raised with the concert will go to the NOLA Pay it Forward Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF). It will be used to support non-profit organizations assisting in Hurricane relief and recovery efforts.Tickets for the event are $50 per person and are available at Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. On every ticket sold, Ticketmaster will donate $3.90 of its service fee to the NOLA Pay it Forward Fund.Those interested in donating to the fund can go online to http://www.gnof.org/donors/give-now, or contact Allie Betts, manager of donor relations at GNOF, at (504) 598-4663 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 November 20
Morning Call Grand Opening at New Orleans City Park

The café au lait will be steaming and the powdered sugar flowing when Morning Call celebrates its grand opening in New Orleans City Park Since opening 142 years ago, Morning Call has become entwined in the fabric of New Orleans. . Mayor Mitch Landrieu is a confirmed speaker. Between 11 am and 1 pm on Tuesday, November 20th, customers will receive a free order of beignets when they purchase an additional item.

Appealing to an eclectic and colorful clientele, Morning Call offers a unique and traditional experience. The Casino building inside the park.
Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 22, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in front of the Louisiana Superdome and ending at the edge of the French Market.  
"Cruisin' New Orleans Car Show" at the French Market's Flea Market (where it meets the Old U.S. Mint) from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The Cruisin' New Orleans Car Show is a celebration of antique, classic and hot rod vehicles presented by Cutting Edge Music Business Institute, Sylvain Solutions, and Verges Vintage Vehicles, LLC. A select number of these vehicles will also be on display during the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 22, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in front of the Louisiana Superdome and ending at the edge of the French Market.

Enjoy your week and have a great Thanksgiving and save some energy for next week.


 


HAPPY THANKSGIVING !  

Thanksgiving at the Track

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will once again renew a beloved New Orleans tradition dating back to 1898 when the 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season opens on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. First post (the first race of the day) for the 10-race holiday program is 11 a.m. CST.. Enjoy the excitement of viewing the races from the grandstand, or the elegance of the Fair Grounds' Clubhouse. Opening Day features a full slate of races, including the "Mr. Sulu Stakes" and the Thanksgiving Handicap. Can't make it to Opening Day? There are some excellent stakes races on Friday and Saturday as well.

Opening Weekend
The 10-race card on Opening Day Presented by East Jefferson General Hospital features the 87th running of the Thanksgiving Handicap. The six-furlong sprint for the fastest older horses on the grounds carries a six-figure purse of $100,000 for the first time ever. First post is earlier than usual, at 11 a.m. CST. Grandstand General Admission is free and Clubhouse General Admission is $10.
The traditional Thanksgiving buffet in the Clubhouse Dining Room starts at $65/person for tables of four or six with the most enviable tables going for up to $125/person. New options this year include four exclusive premium tables with the best views in the house – right by the finish line in the Clubhouse’s front row – for $1,300 (President’s Table for four) to $2,500 (Chairman’s Table for six) per table. The VIP tables include Thanksgiving buffet, champagne, bar tab, tax and gratuity, a visit to the announcer’s booth to watch John G. Dooley call a race, a visit to the paddock for a race preview with Katie Mikolay and a trophy presentation. Arrive early on Opening Day to catch the national anthem performed by Covington OTB Manager Theora Hunt with a colors presentation by the New Orleans Police Department’s mounted patrol.Thanksgiving Day seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can only be made by phone weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at (504) 943-2200.
November 23

SOUTHERN REP THEATRE KICKS OFF CAC RESIDENCY WITH CHARLES DICKENS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL


Southern Rep Theatre presents the second installment of the LAGNIAPPE SERIES with its production of CHARLES DICKENS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL,
A Play with Music, adapted by DORIS BAIZLEY. Directed by Ann Mahoney Kadar. Don't miss John "Spud" McConnell starring as SCROOGE with Donald Lewis, Julian Simmons, Laura Friedmann, Mia Frost, Glenna Broderick, William McGovern, Burton Tedesco, Zach Rogers, and Michael Martin in this delightful Dickens Holiday tale featuring a traveling troupe of actors who enact this unforgettable classic with music, dance, clowns and visual effects. A CHRISTMAS CAROL previews November 23 with a "Pay What You Can" performance; opens November 24; and runs through December 16; with a Military Family Discount Night November 27. Contact: Southern Rep Theatre Box Office (504) 522 - 6545 or book online at www.southernrep.com.
 


Friday Nov 23
Obituary Cocktail

Obers will gather as usual from 6 to 7 p.m. at popular neighborhood bar: Harry's Corner,900 Chartres St. Cash only!

Friday, November 23

Ricky and Becky are back with pre-holiday fun!

Ricky Graham and Becky Allen are back for an encore performance of their original New Orleans comedy! Together they recreate some of their most outrageous, comic, and melodic performances going back to the Dawn Marie of time -- the 1980s! Joined by Music Director, Jefferson Turner, Brian Albus on percussion, and Su Gonczy -- who was with them when the whole thing began -- doing pretty lights, and singing those astounding harmonies! 8:00 pm at The Mid City Theatre is located at 3540 Toulouse Street. There's plenty of free parking, and a well-stocked bar! Tickets may be purchased by calling Su at 504-488-1460, or clicking on the link below. Get your tickets now!http://www.eventbrite.com/org/1522203354

November 24,
Cutting Edge Live at the Mint
 The Cutting Edge presents two activities for the Bayou Classic weekend, Cutting Edge Live at the Mint, featuring Jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan and the rescheduled NOLA Downtown Festival "Cruisin' New Orleans Car Show" under the lights at the French Market's Flea Market. The evening of Saturday, November 24 will begin with a pre-show at 5:00 pm with a special performance by Greer Mendy, Choreographer and Director of the Tekrema Dance Center; and the group Collage performing contemporary gospel from their new CD, “Under Construction.” The pre-shows are free and open to the public.

The "Jazz at the Mint” concert with Stephanie Jordan will take place at  8:00 p.m. in the recently renovated performance venue in the Old U.S. Mint Jazz Theater on the 3rd Floor at 400 Esplanade Avenue. Admission to the jazz concert is only $15.

Enjoy your week!

 

Cocktailly yoursCocktail
Margarita Bergen,M.Ed.
Society Editor - New Orleans Living Magazine
Hostess of the Royal Sonesta's Round Table Luncheon
Social/Cultural Columnist - www.bayoubuzz.com
811 Marigny Street, Unit C
New Orleans, Louisiana 70117
Tel/ Cell
504-495-9181

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Metairie, Louisiana

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