Just because we don’t get snow down in Louisiana doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Christmas in style. Here are some local events to get you in the Christmas spirit!
63rd Annual Downtown Christmas Parade (Baton Rouge)
The Downtown Christmas Parade will roll through the streets of downtown Baton Rouge, Saturday, December 14 starting at 5:30pm. Head down early and grab your spot to see Santa, Children’s Grand Marshall Super Why and nearly 80 others spread the magic of the holiday spirit. For more information, visit ChristmasinBR.com.
19th Century Christmas at Rosedown Plantation (St. Francisville)
Take a step back in time and visit this historic plantation, Rosedown Plantation & Gardens. You’ll have a chance to view the Main House and Nina’s Wing all decked out in historic, early-to-mid 19th century-style Christmas décor, consisting of natural greenery garlands, fruit and nut displays, cypress and cedar wreaths, and potted poinsettia blooms. 19th Century Christmas lasts the entire month of December. For more information, visit visitbatonrouge.com/event/19th-Century-Christmas-at-Rosedown-Plantation/13451.
The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou (Baton Rouge)
Possibly the largest production in the city all year, Baton Rouge Ballet’s take on the classic Russian story featured 310 performers last year, including 34 professional and pre-professional dancers. Pyrotechnics, falling snow, lavish costumes and gorgeous backdrops ensure that the production doesn’t skimp on spectacle for the packed houses at the Baton Rouge River Center. The show is set for four productions—2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22. Find out more at batonrougeballet.org.
Holiday Skating on the River (Baton Rouge)
It’s not often you get a chance to skate on a frozen lake in the South, but at the Baton Rouge River Center, you can try out your ice skating skills. Sessions are 90 minutes and happen various times every day between December 19 and January 5, except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Find out more at brrivercenter.com.
Caroling at Jackson Square (New Orleans)
Sponsored by Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré since 1946, Caroling in Jackson Square is a truly moving holiday tradition held by candlelight on the Sunday before Christmas. Jackson Square brims with candle-lit faces and song-lit spirits as high as the spires of the Cathedral. Candles and song sheets provided. The event will take place on December 22 at 7 p.m. For more information, visit https://holiday.neworleansonline.com/?mcm_event=caroling-in-jackson-square.
Revellion Dinners (New Orleans)
Derived from the French word for ‘awakening,’ Reveillon (REH-vee-on) originally was a meal served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Early New Orleans was almost entirely Catholic, and virtually the entire community would participate in these ceremonies. Two a.m. might seem like a strange time to eat a feast, but hungry families would return from the late-night service to gather around the table and eat a delicious meal that had been prepared ahead of time.
A typical early Reveillon menu might closely resemble breakfast, with egg dishes, breads and puddings. However, the dinners also frequently included dishes like turtle soup, oysters and grillades of veal. The Creoles accompanied these dishes with wines, cordials and other alcoholic drinks. The dinners could last for many hours — sometimes until dawn!
Today, Reveillon dinners are served at more conventional dining times rather than in the middle of the night, and have become more common in top-tier restaurants rather than in family homes. This year, forty eight different New Orleans eateries will offer Reveillon dinners during the holiday season. For a complete list of this year’s Reveillon dinners, including menus and dates on which the meals will be available, visit http://www.fqfi.org.