🎄 ‘Twas the week before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town, there were few reasons for anyone to wear a frown.

by Mary Staes
December 19, 2019

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town, there were few reasons for anyone to be wearing a frown. Parades were marching and the Saints won again, leaving the Who Dat Nation with nothing but a grin. Then all of a sudden, the temperatures dropped, but Very Local NOLA stepped in to make your nights pop. We have ways to keep your “spirits” warm and tales of local people who show good form. From artistry to gardening, these people are a delight. Their stories are pure and sure to make your night. And now in this newsletter we have events you can pick. They come just in time – ahead of Saint Nick. 🎅


Baby, it’s cold outside!

One day it’s 70 degrees, the next, it’s 40 degrees outside! The New Orleans weather is unpredictable and sometimes you might want to take a shot (or two) to deal with the weather and warm up! Well we’ve got a DIY guide curated by some of the city’s favorite bartenders to help cure the chills with a few cocktails. But beware, this isn’t your grandma’s hot toddy; these drinks have kick!


These are a few of O’s favorite things!

Looking for a local gift vetted by the media mogul Oprah herself? Look no further — one Metairie store has collectible ornaments that appear on Oprah’s 2019 Favorite Things list. The hand-blown glass ornaments featured at Gitter Gallery showcase artwork from late Louisiana folk artist Clementine Hunter, and they’re based on her brightly colored paintings. Click here to read more about how Gitter brought new life to Hunter’s work.


Less than a green thumb?

Let’s be honest: it’s hard enough keeping the Christmas tree alive for some of us (raises hand). But for Gloria Ward (affectionately known as Ms. Gloria), her green thumb came naturally. She’s the head of an educational community garden in Treme and shared her wisdom on all things gardening, like how to get rid of pesky pests and what to plant for the fall.


What To Do This Weekend

Fri. Dec. 20, 2019

NOLA Christmasfest | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Morial Convention Center | $20

A skating rink in New Orleans? Yep! Of course we have a fest for Christmas, and this one features rides, an ice slide, spacewalks, a rock wall, gingerbread houses and a huge snow globe for those Instagram posts!

Dashing Through the Dome | 6 to 8 p.m. | Mercedes-Benz Superdome | $35 for adults, $30 for kids

This unique 2-mile race runs participants into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, up and around the Dome’s ground, plaza and terrace levels, then down the ramps finishing on the field! This event is fun for competitive runners looking for a new challenge, kids & football fans alike.

Sat. Dec. 21, 2019

Dee-1 x PUMA: Kicks for Christmas | Noon to 4 p.m. | Digby Park | Free

Rapper Dee-1, who hails from New Orleans East, has teamed up with Puma to give 500 pairs of shoes to those in need. There will be food, music and a free pair of tennis shoes!

The Nutcracker with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra | 7 p.m. | The Mahalia Jackson Theater | Tickets start at $50

This is the longest running production of The Nutcracker in New Orleans and the only one accompanied by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Experience the magic of snowflakes, bon bons and sugarplums in this family friendly ballet danced by internationally acclaimed ballet stars, local artists and the youth corps of over 100 local dancers.

Sun. Dec. 22, 2019

Caroling in Jackson Square | 7 p .m. | Jackson Square | Free

A holiday tradition that has been going on since 1946, Christmas Caroling in Jackson Square is a joyful, fun experience that thousands of people participate in every year. Jackson Square will be illuminated by hundreds of candles held by singers, both amateur and professional, crooning Christmas favorites that everyone is familiar with. The event is free and open to all who wish to participate, regardless of religious affiliation. Candles and song sheets are provided at this free and open to the public event. The gates to Jackson Square open at 6:30 p.m. and the caroling begins at 7 p.m. Those who plan to attend and participate are strongly advised to arrive early. This is a very popular event that sometimes exceeds the capacity of the square.

DJ Soul Sister’s 13th Annual Holiday Crate Dig | 3 to 5 p.m. | Domino Sound Record Shack | Free to attend

Dig through the record crates with one of the city’s favorite DJs while she spins selections entirely from the Domino Sound store stock! She’ll also help you with recommendations for your music and gift purchases so you can find the favorite Christmas gift.


What Else You Should Know

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

new orleans parks

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

black owned brunch spots new orleans 14 parishes

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

From the Ivory Coast to Gentilly Woods – Eburnieya brings West African flavors to New Orleans

Owner Ashley NDakpri’s endeavor is the only restaurant in New Orleans that serves Ivorian cuisine.

Queen Trini Lisa’s Ascension to New Orleans’ Caribbean Soul Food Throne

Lisa Nelson didn’t plan on being a chef. She didn’t anticipate becoming a queen either, but true to the most beloved of royalty, the people made her one.