Free Christmas concerts highlight this holiday weekend in New Orleans

Don Ames
December 15, 2017 - 8:00 am

Christmas continues to dominate activities in the New Orleans area this weekend. And, you're invited to be a part of it. 

St. Louis Cathedral presents its annual Cathedral Basilica Holiday Concert, Sunday at 6:30 p.m. 

"It's their annual Holiday Concert with their choir and it's just absolutely festive," says Rebecca Sells, with French Quarter Festivals, Inc. 

And, right after that, you can join in Jackson Square's 'Caroling in the Square.'

"If you've never been to it, it's just a beautiful event where the community comes together, tourists join in singing carols, it's gorgeous," Sells says. "Everyone will be given song sheets and candles. We make it as beautiful and easy as possible."

The weekend's first free concert is Saturday at 4 o'clock, when St. Augustine Catholic Church presents a holiday jazz performance featuring Don Vappie. 

"And, there are going to be Holiday Home Tours throughout the French Quarter that the Historic New Orleans Collection is putting on," says Sells. "Christmas in New Orleans is like Christmas no where else...packed with events."

The Downtown Development District and the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk will present a free outdoor screening tonight (Friday) of the holiday movie 'Elf' at Convention Center Plaza (corner of Julia Street and Convention Center Blvd.). The movie will be shown on a 26-ft. screen starting at 6:30 p.m., and popcorn and hot chocolate will be available. The first 75 families to arrive will receive a free fleece blanket.

Ongoing events this weekend include City Park's Celebration in the Oaks, one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country. City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays are scattered throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

Jefferson Parish continues to celebrate the season with a beautiful light display throughout Lafreniere Park. The Christmas in the Park exhibit features LED lights with fantastic displays such as a lighted 60-foot Sea Serpent in the lagoon, a princess and her magical castle & the gingerbread man!  Old favorites include holiday characters, the beloved Lombardi Trophy between two Saints Players, the Teddy Bear Factory, and Snowman Island!  The park sparkles for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights and displays. $5.00 per vehicle - entrance on West Napoleon Avenue access gate of the park. The Children's Carousel will also be open nightly - $1.00 per child.  Open Sunday through Thursday Dusk 'til 9:45 p.m. and Friday & Saturday Dusk 'til 11:45 p.m. Lights come on at 5:30 p.m. each night

Kenner’s Christmas Village continues at its new location this year in Kenner City Park through December. Transformed into a festive holiday village with beautiful Christmas lights and animated scenery, the Annual Christmas Village will light up Kenner again this holiday season. It features ice skating, Santa's Workshop, food and shopping, a Christmas tree lot, performances and Biergarten!

Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra present a Holiday Celebration this Sunday at 5 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans. Marsalis and the group present a free concert of holiday favorites, including Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn's jazzy Nutcracker Suite, followed by a second line exit.

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