Wednesday, 23 November 2011 23:56

New Orleans Events: Thanksgiving and December Fun

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Before I start sharing with you all my memorable events and the upcoming ones, I would like to wish  a healthy, peaceful and bountiful Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Last week was full of exciting events that included some of my all time favorite events such as the re-opening of the Louis Armstrong Park. Beautiful sunny sky shined upon us for the festivities. On Thursday, I attended   "A Bounty of Bubbles" tasting presented by the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and Dorignac's. More than 65 different bottles from Champagne to Prosecco were poured accompanied by hors d'oeuvres, artisan cheeses and great entertainment by the Yat Pack.

That evening I also attended Friends of Jefferson the Beautiful’s 2011 Autumn Affair....An Affair to Remember, at the exquisite residence of Beth and Keith DePass in Old Metairie.

On Friday, I attended the beautiful opening of the Celebration on the Oaks. The evening was just perfect for admiring the beautiful lighted decorations, the magnificent sculptures by Enrique Alferez under the ancient oaks, the delicious food and the decadent libations.

I could not stay long because that evening, the New Orleans Opera Association was staging the exquisite presentation of Giuseppe Verdi's A Masked Ball at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre.

The entire cast was terrific but the highlight of the evening to me was to seeing our very own soprano Angela Mannino blossom into an opera star as she sang the role of Oscar, the lead tenor’s page. Her proud parents Sal and Bobbie Mannino were beaming with pride. Congratulations Angela and keep it up!

On Saturday, I did my very best to be present at all three of the fabulous events that were scheduled: The Beaujolais Festival, the All Saints Soiree and the “Azucar Ball” – Perlas del Caribe (Pearls of the Caribbean). My highlight of the night was the Azucar Ball but you all knew that. It was superb. The chairs, Elena Countiss & Carmen Duncan and the committee did an outstanding job.

The elegant black tie annual fundraising benefiting the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation Scholarship Fund included a patron party catered by Chef Adolfo Garcia from 7 to 8 p.m. and nonstop music By Julio and Cesar followed by Rumba Buena from 8 to 11 p.m. There was a silent auction, fabulous food from New Orleans' legendary chefs and the presentation of the Galvez Cup Award to Rafael Goyeneche, III at the Hotel Intercontinental New Orleans Hotel.

In between, I stopped briefly at the fun-loving 2011 Beaujolais Festival at the JW Mariott  Hotel. Guests were able to sample wines from the famous Beaujolais region along with tempting treats from over 20 local restaurants at the annual Beaujolais Festival that benefits the French American Chamber of Commerce - Gulf Coast Chapter. Fortunately for me the 2011 All Saints Soiree... A Masked Gala, benefiting Save Our Cemeteries was the magnificent lobby of the FNBC Bank. It was lovely.

On Sunday, I did not want to miss the St Catherine's Day Hat Parade. The lovely autumn day made it very special as many single girls and married women showed up with their creative hats. Lots of bubbly was served as we paraded and were entertained by French accordion player Norbert Slama, who played for Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker and many other world-renowned celebrities over a long musical career.

This week, I am going to start my week by strolling along Canal Street on Tuesday, November 22 and watch as the Downtown Development District and the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel “flip the switch,” turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights on New Orleans’ grand corridor. The public is invited to stop by the Astor’s St. Charles Ballroom just off the lobby from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and decorate your own holiday cookie while enjoying complimentary hot cocoa or apple cider. Santa will be there to hear your wish list for the holidays. Bring an unwrapped, new toy for Children’s Hospital and receive a free picture with Santa!

Wow, I think after that treat, I am going to take it easy for Thanksgiving. I want to take advantage of the new Rouses, which is such a welcome addition to the Warehouse District and Downtown area, and have them prepare a Cajun Turkey with all the trimmings,  which I will serve as I entertain a few close friends at home!



Next week will be a different story so I am posting all the fun events starting on November 29- Dec. 7 Enjoy it. Have a great one!

Thursday- November 24 -Happy Thanksgiving!


Come out to the historic French Market District for weekly events during the holidays, starting with this Thursday's first annual "My Bayou -Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade"
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November 29- December 4
Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific

This breathtaking new production of South Pacific is based on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theatre production, directed by Bartlett Sher.Based on James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Tales of the South Pacific, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan.For more information on tickets, visit or the Mahalia Jackson Box Office.


December 01 – 31

Christmas Celebration New Orleans Style

There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans Style, a celebration of uniquely New Orleans holiday activities taking place throughout December. More than 100 festivities are planned during the month-long event, showcasing the cultural diversity that adds spice to the gumbo of New Orleans' heritage.

December 1

6th Annual Lighting of the Balconies

The Royal Sonesta Hotel formerly kicks-off the season in the French Quarter at the 6th Annual Lighting of the Balconies at 6 p.m. With a ceremonial flip of the switch, thousands of twinkling lights will illuminate the hotel’s elaborate wrought-iron balconies. Gospel choir performances will lift your spirit as your favorite holiday characters come to life. Members of the New Orleans Saintsations lead this uniquely local celebration that is free and open to the public.

December 1- 21


Christmas New Orleans Style Concerts

All concerts are free and open to the public and take place at St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, in the French Quarter. Concerts begin at 6 pm and last approximately one hour. Visit

December 1-January 8

Holiday Musical with the Victory Belles
Enjoy the Victory Belles singing trio rings in the holiday with a Winter Wonderland of the most treasured songs of the seasons in this unforgettable musical at the Stage Door Canteen at the National WWII Museum. Matinees and evening include delightful dining by Chef John Besh. 504-528-1943

December 1
“You Can Ring Our Bell” Christmas Kettle Kick-off Party
With the help of Dickie Brennan and his Bourbon House Seafood and Oyster Bar, The Salvation Army will be hosting a benefit to raise money for the Christmas Emerge program. The benefit will feature live and silent auctions, food, cocktails and music at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House Seafood and Oyster Bar. $70 per ticket. (504) 899-4569 extension 317

Video: Louisiana SPCA Gala Another Howling Success

Email Bayoubuzz if you would like Bayoubuzz to cover your event and/or if you would want Bayoubuzz to create a Bayoubuzz Event Video.

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Louisiana Center for Women And Government Inducts, Honors And Inspires

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Hats Off To New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild’s Mad Hatter Masquerade

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December 1 -24

Singing Santa and the Riverwalk Jazz Band

Singing Santa and the Riverwalk Jazz Band stroll the the Riverwalk Marketplace playing holiday favorites and Dixieland jazz.504.522.1555 Visit website for more information on performance

December 2-23

Cooking Demonstrations


Chef’s Holiday Cooking Demonstrations take place at the French Market Stage(between Ursuline and Gov. Nicholls) Cooking Demonstrations are free and open to the public and begin at 2pm and last approximately 45 minutes.

Learn the secrets of the local cuisine from the chefs who make New Orleans the culinary capital of the world! Acclaimed chefs from throughout the area share their favorite recipes at free cooking demonstrations and samplings that are guaranteed to spice up your holidays. Space is limited.

December 2-9
Downtown Development District Presents - Holiday Movie on the Mississippi
The Downtown Development District and the Riverwalk Marketplace present movies . Enjoy hot chocolate, tasty treats and the beautiful Mississippi River with your family, friends, and neighbors. The first 100 guests will receive free fleece blankets!6:30 pm at Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza, (504) 561-8927

December 3-23

Celebration in the Oaks

City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of the most beautiful holiday light exhibits in the country. A New Orleans family tradition featuring ‘Cajun Night Before Christmas,’ dancing lights, a new nativity scene, photo with Santa,

musical laser show, and more! : Friday and Saturday 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Sunday - Thursday 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm. - New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park. (504)483-9415. Admission: $7 per person, children under 3 and Friends of City Park enter free.

Dec 3,10 17

Christmas Concert Series at St. Augustine Church

new this year is a series of concerts at St. Augustine, the oldest African-American Catholic Church in the United States. The free concerts start 4 p.m. Free parking at Henriette Delille St(formelly St. Claude Avenue.

December 3

Algiers Holiday Festival and Bonfire

This year's festivities include burning of the the giant art installation, The Floodwall to commemorate the events of Hurricane Katrina. 5 to 9 p.m. at 200 Morgan Street. Free and open to the public

December 3

Art Against AIDS Gala

NO/AIDS Task Force will present the 25th annual Art Against AIDS art auction and holiday gala at The New Orleans Museum of Art with the theme 25 years of Art, 25 Years of Hope from 8:00 pm to midnight. The Patron Party and Auction Preview will be from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on November 30th, at Arthur Roger Gallery. Tickets to Art Against AIDS can be purchased online or by calling 504-821-2601 ext. 216 or at the door, the night of the event. Gala tickets are $60 and Patron tickets begin at $200.
December 3

French Market Annual Christmas Parade & St. Nicolas Day Fair

Enjoy an afternoon of free kids activities and crafts, retail specials, live music, and pictures with Saint Nicholas at the French Market. The annual Christmas parade, sponsored by Downtown Development District, goes down Canal Street, with a special French Market parade heading down Decatur Street to the French Market afterwards. 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm; - Dutch Alley at the French Market, between Decatur and the River, (504) 522-2621. Free and open to the public

December 3
Krewe of Jingle Parade

Back for it’s third year, New Orleans’ official holiday parade, the “Krewe of Jingle,” will once again delight locals and visitors alike with authentic parade floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, Christmas characters and many more magical surprises! After the parade, all are invited to join in the merriment at The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel’s Baronne Street entrance for the “Jingle Mingle”—this block party will transform the block into a wonderful wintery wonderland with music, games, food, crafts and more!

December 3

Annual Christmas Bonfire Party at Oak Alley Plantation

This event is held in an open house outdoor format. Arrive to a brass quintet leading to the Bonfire, with a main Creole buffet set in a formal dining room and chef style stations around the veranda,premium bars, live band for dancing on the veranda, ending the evening with hot chocolate, coffee and beignets. 7pm – midnight.Oak Alley Plantation, 3645 Hwy 18, Vacherie; 225-265-2151;$125 per person.

December 3


The enchanting book, The Cajun Night Before Christmas, will come to life this Holiday Season aboard the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler at a very special Cajun Children’s Holiday Tea Saturday December 3, 10 and 17 featuring Papa Noel, the Cajun Gingerbread Boy, Gaston the Gator and other jolly holiday characters. Enjoy storytelling, children’s activities, and the opportunity to hold a real live alligator! Additionally, each child will receive a stuffed gator to take home. Guests board the Creole Queen at 1:30pm at the foot of Poydras Street at Riverwalk and cruise the mighty Mississippi River from 2-3:30pm. Cost is $49 for adults and $34 for children under 12 years of age. Reservations are required by calling 504.529.4567 or at

December 5

Galatoire's 6th Annual Christmas Auction

Join Galatoire's for its auction benefiting the Galatoire Foundation, Crimestoppers and Raintree Children's Service at 6:30 p.m. The bid is to reserve a table for Friday, December 23. Cocktails and Hors d' oeuvres by Chef Michael Sichel. RSVP required at Chris Broussard at 504-525-6022

December 7

Round Table Luncheon

My annual festive holiday Royal Sonesta Round Table Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at noon at the Evangeline Suite.

The holiday luncheon will feature a champagne and sparkling wine tasting by Lisa Tull of Republic Beverages; a talk about the new restaurants and trends by Food Goddess Lorin Gaudin, a brief talk about keeping pounds off during the holiday by Ochsner Nutritionist Elesha Kelleher and entertainment by talented cabaret singer Suzaunne Yee Mckamey. It is the perfect time to bring your family or gentleman friend.

Executive Chef Peter Page has planned a three-course gourmet menu with wine pairing. The luncheon is $42 inclusive. Parking will be validated. Reservations are required. Please call Noel Scallan at 504-553-2220 or email [email protected].


                        Celebration of the Oaks at City Park

Happy Thankgiving ! Memorables and fun events




This online album has 20 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 02/20/2012.

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Cutting the Ribbon to the re-opening of Louis Armstrong Park




This online album has 40 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 02/20/2012.

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Bobbi and Al Mannino beam with pride with daughter soprano Angela

Happy Thankgiving ! Memorables and fun events (3)




This online album has 45 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 02/20/2012.

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George Fowler and Rene Gruas presenting the Galvez Cup to Rafael C. Goyeneche III at Azucar Ball 2011




This online album has 54 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 02/20/2012.

by Margarita Bergen

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