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New Orleans Gets Ready for The 2021 Holidays Season

Holiday Season at New Orleans

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) proudly announces details regarding the 37th annual Holidays New Orleans Style (HNOS). HNOS, a collaboration between FQFI and New Orleans & Company, is a curation of the city’s most celebrated traditions.

Throughout the season, Holidays New Orleans Style will offer Réveillon feasts at over 25 of the city’s finest restaurants, nearly 40 special holiday events including the return of live, free concerts produced by FQFI, Papa Noël discounts providing affordable stays in the city’s finest hotels, and a shopping guide to navigate gift-givers through the many options of local shops. The festivities began November 10 with the decoration of Jackson Square and continue through Twelfth Night, January 6, 2022, when the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parades through the French Quarter. 

Just in time for the holidays, the City of New Orleans safely re-opens for all to gather in the holiday spirit. "We are really looking forward to ushering in this season in a big way in 2021.” Emily Madero, FQFI President and CEO said. “Last year, many of us were unable to celebrate together. This holiday season will be very special and we welcome our locals and visitors to make new memories by enjoying all that Holidays New Orleans Style has to offer.”

“We haven’t had a holiday season like this in several years, and I know everyone is excited to spend it with their friends and families,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Take this time to shop and eat local. All this time, our local economy has suffered throughout the pandemic, so now is the time to give back. I hope everyone enjoys this holiday season, spreads the spirit and stays safe!”

“No other city offers what New Orleans does during the holiday season, and it is our pleasure to partner with FQFI in presenting Holidays New Orleans Style,” says Mark Romig, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of New Orleans & Company.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for our hospitality industry – our partners in the restaurants, shops, the Convention Center, City Park, the Cathedral and St. Anna’s, and our hotels - more than 40 offering Papa Noel rates – to welcome locals and visitors alike, enjoying all they have to offer and regain business that we all have missed.”

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Dozens of activities are planned, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy dining, shopping, and culture throughout the season for all ages. Our youngest holiday-goers can enjoy events such as Santa’s Pajama Party, and Holiday Movies on the Mississippi. Welcomed newcomers like WinterJAM include a 12-room exhibition that promises a fun photo experience for all ages with over-the-top holiday decor while cherished traditional special events, like the Algiers Bonfire and Celebration in the Oaks, return to light up the nights. History-lovers will appreciate the new virtual and in-person art and garden tours that turn homes into a winter wonderland. The sounds of the season will fill St. Louis Cathedral and St.Anna’s Episcopal Church during FQFI’s concert series with nine free performances including The Zion Harmonizers, Susan Cowsill, Vivaz and more. As the weeks continue, the excitement builds with opportunities for Hotel Hopping for the Holidays and Big Night New Orleans on New Year’s Eve.

For more than 25 years, FQFI has decorated Jackson Square to brighten the spirits of locals and visitors. This year the Square re-opens to the public and will be illuminated and dressed for the holidays thanks to sponsorship support from French Market Corporation. FQFI welcomes all to safely enjoy the festive atmosphere of Jackson Square and the entire French Quarter neighborhood throughout December.

Free Concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and St. Anna’s Episcopal Church

Holidays New Orleans Style celebrates New Orleans’ rich musical heritage with jazz musicians, gospel choirs, classical ensembles, and others performing the sounds of the season with nearly three weeks of live concerts. While historically held at St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Church, due to continued repairs from Hurricane Ida, the 2021 lineup will take place at the Cathedral and for the first time, St. Anna’s Episcopal Church located in the historical Treme neighborhood (1313 Esplanade Ave.). Concerts at St. Louis Cathedral located in Jackson Square take place at 6pm on December 1, 5, 6 ,13 and 15 with a special Christmas Concert at 5:30pm on December 19. Concerts at St. Anna’s Episcopal Church take place at 4pm on Saturday, December 4, 11 and 18. All concerts are free and open to the public. Start planning your concert schedule here.

Holidays Concerts NYE21

Réveillon Dinners

Réveillon, an adaptation of a traditional Creole holiday dining custom, will be celebrated nightly in over 25 restaurants throughout the city. Réveillon menus are offered only once a year, making HNOS the only time guests can enjoy this authentic taste of New Orleans. Menus showcase the feasts of Christmas past with Traditional Réveillon menus at Arnaud’s and The Rib Room; present, and future with Contemporary Réveillon menus that encourage innovative ingredients and techniques at Commander’s Palace and The Bower. As an added treat, those hoping to grab a seat and enjoy the specialty menu during the day, restaurants like Criollo will offer B’Réveillon for Brunch and The Country Club curates a Petite Réveillon menu with smaller portions but all the same unforgettable flavor. Prepare your tastebuds with a full list of menus.

Réveillon on the Rocks

The Réveillon dinner has been celebrated in homes and restaurants all over New Orleans since the 1850s. Local bartenders also capture the spirit of Réveillon, one-sip-at-a-time, with festive cocktails. Beginning December 1st and continuing until the last toast on New Year’s Eve, and at some spots lasting through Twelfth Night (January 6th), bars and restaurants will say “Cheers to the Holiday Season!” Enjoy special crafted cocktails like the sweet and spicy Diable de Noël from Bar Marilou, the holiday spiced, Winter Old Fashion from The Sazerac Restaurant, an Aged Creole Eggnogg from the Rib room and many more.

Cooking Demonstrations

Holidays New Orleans Style serves up a series of cooking demonstrations from many of New Orleans’ finest chefs. FQFI, New Orleans & Company and WWL-TV team up to bring the “12 Days of Réveillon.” For three weeks, leading up to Christmas Eve, WWL-TV will showcase New Orleans’ great chefs, preparing items from their 2021 Réveillon menus each morning. Restaurants include: Commander’s Palace with Chef Megan “Meg” Bickford, Bourbon House with Chef Devan Giddix, Seaworthy with Chef Steven Green, Addis Nola and more.

Papa Noël Hotel Rates

Holidays New Orleans Style gives the gift of a memorable holiday encounter that can only be experienced in New Orleans. Travelers can take advantage of special offers at more than 40 of the city’s finest hotels and bed and breakfasts that feature attractive nightly Papa Noël discounted rates and luxurious value packages to visitors as their gift of the season. In 2021, new participants to HNOS and the City of New Orleans include: Hotel Fontenot, The Virgin Hotel and The Four Seasons.

Shopping Guide

Holidays New Orleans Style is the gift that keeps on giving. Returning for its second year, the guide provides locals and tourists an option to browse local shops online to curate their holiday shopping experiences with one-of-a-kind New Orleans antiques, souvenirs, art, clothing and more. 

Magazine Street is your go-to for holiday shopping, with shops offering locally-made items perfect for adding a touch of NOLA to your home. The French Market is filled with art prints, specialty food items, eclectic souvenirs, and trinkets you didn’t know you needed. Royal Street has your selection of antiques and fine art in the heart of the French Quarter. Throughout New Orleans, visit book stores, art galleries, clothing stores, and museums for other gifting ideas. 

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