NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre is pleased to bring the beloved Caroling in Jackson Square back to its rightful place on Sunday, Dec. 19, from 7-8 p.m., after being displaced in 2020 due to the pandemic. The free community sing-along gathers thousands of visitors and locals alike together for a festive hour of holiday merriment, with carols led by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archbishop Alfred Hughes, St. Louis Cathedral Rector Philip Landry and Dean David Allard duPlantier of Christ Church Cathedral, along with other special guests. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with Patio Planters volunteers stationed there to distribute complimentary song books and candles to participants in the non-denominational community celebration.
This year, Good King Wenceslas will be brought back to the list of carols, along with a new addition, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Organizers feel the lyrics of this song are especially appropriate at a time when ‘faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more’. Mark Romig, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer for New Orleans and Company, will return as master of ceremonies, along with local favorites Harry Mayronne, Chris Wecklein and Amy Alvarez leading carols.
Patio Planters President Joey DiFatta cites 2021 Caroling in Jackson Square as a momentous occasion. “Our nonprofit organization has sponsored the event as our gift to the community since 1946 without interruption, even though the pandemic necessitated that we move to a smaller venue in a modified fashion last year,” said DiFatta. “But now we are back where we belong and with an outpouring of support that makes us financially stable and able to broadcast on WLAE and livestream Caroling for those who cannot attend.” The Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism are providing funding and marketing support, along with the Galatoire’s Foundation that has chosen Caroling in Jackson Square as one of three recipients for its Christmas Eve and Mardi Gras table auction.
Caroling in Jackson Square may be viewed virtually on WLAE via Cox Ch. 1014, Spectrum Ch. 711, Satellite Ch. 32, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 1032, and Over the Air Ch. 32.1. The event will also be live streamed on www.nola.com and www.patioplanters.net where songbooks may be downloaded.
Prior to the annual Caroling in Jackson Square, Patio Planters offers a French Quarter Holiday Home Tour featuring five private residences with varying architectural styles and home furnishings, festively decorated for the season. The self-guided walking tour takes place from 1- 4 p.m., allowing plenty of time to enjoy Reveillon dining or Holiday cocktails prior to Caroling.
Tickets to the tour, which supports the annual Caroling in Jackson Square, are $20 each if preordered online at www.patioplanters.net and $25 the day of the event. Children 12 and under are free. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase from 12noon-2:30 pm the day of at Creole Delicacies, 533 St. Ann Street at Jackson Square. This annual event often sells out in advance. Advance online ticket purchases are your best (and only) way to guarantee a ticket.