News + Notes
Celebration in the Oaks Driving Tour
Celebration in the Oaks has become one of the Crescent City’s most cherished holiday traditions. Now in its 34th year, its walking tour will be unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, City Park will be bringing back the driving tour.
Event organizers say there will still be more than a million lights for visitors to enjoy. Walking tour mainstays like Mister Bingle, the Who Dat Tree, the pirate ship, Flamingo Island, Buggin’ Out, and more will all be featured on the driving tour. A new exhibit saluting our medical personnel will debut this year. The route is expected to take 30 minutes on less crowded nights and 45-50 minutes on high-traffic nights.
The driving tour will be from Nov. 26 through Jan. 3, and will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The route will take visitors 2.25 miles around City Park with entrance on Friedrichs Avenue and exit on Dreyfous Avenue. Proceeds from the event will go towards the maintenance, care and beautification of City Park. Every car will need a ticket purchased in advance at NewOrleansCityPark.com/Celebration-In-The-Oaks.
Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower in the Botanical Garden
For one last month, world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower will be on display in front of City Park’s Botanical Garden. Rose Crystal Tower stands 22 feet tall and is composed of Polyvitro and steel. The tower will be taken down after New Year’s Day, so go check it out!
The Prytania Theatres at Canal Place
The Canal Place hosted two cinemas since 1988: an art house venue from 1988-2011 and a dine-in theater from 2012-19. Local cinephiles will be happy to hear the Brunet family, owners of the Prytania Theatre in Uptown, has opened a second location for the Prytania at Canal Place. Classics, first-run films, local movies, and family films will play there.
A Long Way From the Strawberry Patch: The Life of Leah Chase
Leah Chase, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 96, remained active until the end of her life. One of her final projects was a collaboration with her biographer, Carol Allen, on a book for middle schoolers titled “A Long Way From the Strawberry Patch: The Life of Leah Chase.” The novel is written in the form of a series of letters from Leah to God. The final letter is an inspirational message from Leah to readers.
The book covers the various stages of Leah’s life, starting with her humble childhood in Madisonville as the oldest of 11 siblings. She moved to New Orleans in 1935 to attend St. Mary’s Academy. Among her other adventures chronicled in the book include waving to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he dined at Antoine’s Restaurant. The book emphasizes how Leah’s Catholic faith led her to choose what’s right and to persevere in times of adversity.
A few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of Veterans Boulevard in Metairie is an oasis of tranquility at Lafreniere Park. Located at 3000 Downs Blvd., it features a two-mile walking and jogging track, plentiful green space, a lagoon with benches nearby, and even a little bit of wildlife with ducks and roosters. There is also a man-made ecological marsh environment featuring walking trails within. If you need a break from exercising, there is a Plum Street Snoballs stand with snacks and treats for sale. Frisbee golfers can enjoy the park’s disc golf course. During the holiday season, Lafreniere Park hosts a drive-thru Christmas lights display. Details for this year’s event can be found at LafrenierePark.org.
LIVE MUSIC IS BACK
As of press time, we do not have info on any scheduled live music events in December. However, limited live music is allowed in phase 3.2, so be sure to check out the websites of your favorite venues for updates.