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Papa Noel

Papa Noel

When most Americans think of the jolly, rotund, bearded fellow who brings merriment to kids around the world on December 25th each year, they think Santa Clause.  For many New Orleans and Louisiana residents though, this man is known as Papa Noel.    Papa Noel will be spreading the joy this Christmas 2008  New Orlean’s style- with jazz caroling, southern belle dancers, and creole-style egg nog.

From Nola.com:

Happy Holidays. It’s time to hit the road.

The road(s) being St. Charles Avenue, Claiborne Avenue, Chef Menteur Highway, Veterans Memorial Boulevard, the Causeway, the twin spans, Interstate 10 . . . December is perhaps the best time of year to move into a hotel in the French Quarter — or anywhere around town you want — and play tourist.

The weather can be mild or delightfully brisk, but rarely is it freezing (or summer hot). There are few tourists this time of year, which means hotels are offering discounted rates and restaurants are touting special holiday menus. Everything is decorated in red, green, silver and gold, and historical characters stroll through the Quarter on Thursdays through Sunday afternoons.

Christmas New Orleans Style, sponsored by New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. and produced by French Quarter Festivals Inc., has a 22-page booklet detailing everything. Check it out online at http://www.fqfi.org/christmas or call 504.522.5730 or 800.673.5725.

Among musical programs are 13 free evening concerts in St. Louis Cathedral (participants include Irvin Mayfield, Ellis Marsalis, Philip Manuel, Mahalia Jackson Gospel Choir, Shades of Praise, Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir, the Rev. Lois J. Dejean and Mary Queen of Vietnam Church Choir).

Cooking demonstrations at Canal Place range from Arnaud’s Chef Tommy Digiovanni preparing grilled duck sausage with jalapeno grit cake and Dijon cream sauce this Tuesday to the Audubon Insectarium’s cooking with bugs program Dec. 20.

Other highlights include the Downtown Development District’s holiday parade down Canal Street next Saturday at 10 a.m. and the French Quarter Holiday Home and Patio tour followed by caroling by candlelight in Jackson Square Dec. 21.

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