Jackson Square gets spruced up for another Christmas New Orleans Style
Don Ames Reporting
The 28th Christmas New Orleans Style, a December-long holiday celebration designed to bring tourists to New Orleans, officially kicks off this Saturday.
But, the center of the celebration is a busy spot today.
"Today's the day our French Quarter Festivals' staff gets together in Jackson Square and redecorates it for the holidays," says Executive Director Marci Schramm.
"It's a very, very minimal and tasteful decoration," she says. "We just do beautiful red velvet bows and white lights. That's pretty much the extent of it. We're going for something really simple and really elegant, and that's what we do every single year."
Every lamppost in the square gets a giant red bow and the white lights are strung on all the Azalea bushes.
But, the lights won't be turned on for a few days yet.
"On December first, we'll invite people to join us in Jackson Square when we officially turn on the lights," says Schramm.
But, you'll be able to enjoy the decorated square by this evening.
"People can still enjoy the square and enjoy the beauty of it, but we don't actually turn the lights on until December first."
December 2 is when they'll have the first of the 17 free concerts in St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Church in Treme, a record number for the event.
The premiere concert will feature performances from Theresa Andersson, John Fohl, and David Doucet.
There'll also be a record number of Chef's Holiday Cooking Demonstrations this year.
Through citywide holiday events, Reveillon dinners at New Orleans' finest restaurants, and discounted nightly rooms rates at the most luxurious hotels the city has to offer, Christmas New Orleans Style has grown from a local event to a thriving national holiday success.
But, today, the focus is dressing up the square in its holiday best.
"We've got a really efficient program," says Schramm. "We get the whole thing done in one day."