Posts Tagged ‘Christmas festivals’

New Orleans Hosts 200 Holiday Events for 29th Annual Christmas Festival

December 2, 2013

The 2013 Christmas New Orleans Style celebration features over 200 quality holiday events, coordinated by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. Activities include free concerts and cooking demonstrations, as well as tours, Reveillon dinners, custom attractions, and great shopping. The joy is spread over more than a month of festivities from November 16 through Twelfth Night, January 5, 2014.

“Once again, this year’s calendar is filled with magical events, events,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “From the Preservation Resource Center’s annual home tours, to a new light display along Convention Center Boulevard coordinated by the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center, visitor and locals alike will find even more joy to the holidays.” 

Seasonal celebration highlights include:

  • Papa Noel hotel rates discounted up to 30% at 53 area hotels and 5 bed and breakfast establishments
  • Christmas Caroling by Candlelight in Jackson Square
  • 15 Free Concerts at St. Louis Cathedral
  • New ‘Christmas in the District’ light display
  • Great Christmas Shopping with Many Discounts Around the City
  • Carriage Rides through the French Quarter
  • Preservation Resource Center ‘Holiday Home Tour’
  • 48 Restaurants Serving Reveillon Dinners starting at $34
  • 12 Holiday Cooking Demonstrations at the French Market
  • Entertaining Historic Characters from ‘Louisiana History Alive’

“You can pick up our pocket-size guidebook from any hotel concierge while you are here,” said Marci Schramm, Executive Director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. “and for those planning a trip, we have the ‘FollowYourJoy’ website, as well as a copy of the guidebook online.”

To learn more about Christmas New Orleans Style, and to see the 2013 CNOS guide book listing all scheduled events, visit FollowYourJoy.com or FQFI.org. Hotel reservations, including special citywide rates, can also be booked via direct links to hotels on FollowYourJoy.com.

For a schedule of events or more information on Christmas New Orleans Style, call (504) 522-5730 or visit http://www.FollowYourJoy.com.

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Bethlehem, Connecticut, Offers Festive Start to the Holiday Season

November 30, 2013

They call this little town in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut “Christmas Town” with good reason. Bethlehem’s 33rd annual Christmas Town Festival scheduled for December 6 and 7, is one of New England’s favorite ways to kick off the season. Wherever you turn, special treats are waiting, from the town green to the post office to the Abbey of Regina Laudis and the 1754 Bellamy-Ferriday House, and some of the distinctive attractions continue when the festival is over.

Bethlehem’s quaint town green, centered with a giant tree, is offers over 70 vendors with gift items, wreaths and foods for sale, strolling carolers and musicians. Santa is at the firehouse to pose for pictures and everyone is invited to climb aboard for hayrides offered in front of First Church. Collectors can garner this year’s unique limited edition Christmas Town pewter ornament, sold only during the Festival.

Bethlehem’s beautiful 18th century Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden is festively decorated and open for guided tours, hot cider and a scavenger hunt for children (9 Main Street North, www.ctlandmarks.org).

Hours for the Christmas Town Festival are Friday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, see www.christmastownfestival.com or phone 203-266-7510, ext. 300.

Christmas Town Mailings at the Post Office

As you can imagine, the Bethlehem post office is especially busy in December serving the many who come every year to mail holiday cards with the special postmarks.  Visitors can select favorites among the “Christmas Cachet” designs, hand-stamp and mail these unique greetings to friends and family. The idea of the special stamps dates to 1938, when a local Postmaster, the late Earl Johnson, designed a “cachet,” a special rubber stamp featuring a tree and lettering that said “From the Little Town of Bethlehem, Christmas Greetings.” New cachets have been added almost every year since. Over 70 designs are now available and nearly 200,000 cards are mailed each year from this small post office.  Located at 34 East Street, the post office will have extended hours during the festival, Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Precious Crèches at the Abbey

One of Bethlehem’s not-to-be-missed jewels is open all month. The museum-quality 18th century Neapolitan crèche on view in a vintage barn at the Abbey of Regina Laudis includes hundreds of beautiful hand-carved figures. Made of wood, terra cotta, and porcelain, the figures portray the Holy Family, angels, the Three Kings, merchants and peddlers, children, peasants and farm animals.  This fabulous gift from artist and philanthropist Loretta Hines Howard is similar to the one Howard donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it is prominently displayed every Christmas.

A second Crèche, The Lauren Ford Crèche, created by a favorite Connecticut artist, is displayed in a farm shed near the Lower Abbey Chapel. This charming rustic Nativity scene displays figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph dressed in typical New England garb.

The Monastic Art Shop on the property offers crafts, cheeses, jams, herbal teas, flavored vinegars, herbs and honey, and all created on site by the Abbey’s residents.

The Abbey of Regina Laudis, located at 249 Flanders Road, is open to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.abbeyofreginalaudis.org

For more information, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, 860-567-4506, or visit www.visitwesternct.com.

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