New Orleans Holiday Parade & All-Star Outdoor Concert

There's no place like home for the holidays, and for the first time in several years, Canal Street will feel like home during the Canal Street: Your Home for the Holidays campaign. The Downtown Development District has a month of activities designed to bring people back to the famous corridor for shopping, dining and sight-seeing. While the holiday season kicked off on November 25 with the lighting of Canal Street, the tree at Astor Crowne Plaza and the unveiling of a 40-foot Santa Claus - as well the opening of Miracle on Fulton Street - the DDD's retail promotion officially begins on December 6 when Canal Street turns into a virtual winter wonderland with a parade - the first New Orleans holiday parade in 15 years - and an outdoor all-star concert.

Santa Claus may steal the spotlight in the parade, but there will be plenty of other celebrities riding on the holiday-themed floats, which will be accompanied by walking characters, dance troupes, stilt walkers, festival queens and marching bands, such as St. Augustine High School, Rabouin High School and Warren Easton High School, as well as the Riverwalk Jazz Band.

The parade, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., will roll from Convention Center Boulevard up Canal Street to Robertson Street and back to its starting point. It will be followed by an all-star outdoor concert beginning at 12 noon at Elk Place. Entertainers include jazz trumpeter Marlon Jordan and vocalist Stephanie Jordan, the Batiste Brothers, Rebirth Brass Band, Amanda Shaw and James Andrews. Special guest performers will be announced at a later date.

Throughout the day, merchants will hold holiday sales, offer in-store promotions and other activities.

"Canal Street is the place to be this holiday season, " said DDD President & CEO Kurt Weigle. "The street is all decked out with lights, wreaths and garland and our new 40-foot Santa, so it's worth a night-time tour. However, it will be just as exciting in the daytime as the DDD's promotion creates new traditions for residents and visitors to enjoy this year, and into the future."

And it doesn't end on December 6. The following two Saturdays will present new opportunities to enjoy Canal Street and patronize the retailers, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Kids on Canal Street is the theme for December 13, when Radio Disney will be on site with songs, games and lot of give-aways. Santa will make a special appearance, and children's programming and entertainment, including the gingerbread display at the Ritz Carlton and a puppet show by Calliope Puppets, will take place at various locations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On December 20, a light-hearted approach to Last- Minute Mania will provide some "peace on Earth" with an alternative shopping experience. Carolers will stroll the corridor, good-natured Public Safety Rangers will play Santa's elves by passing out candy canes and other goodies. Rides on the Canal Street streetcar from the river to Claiborne will be free from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with coupons available at participating merchant locations along Canal Street.

Midday Merriment will get workers out of their buildings and onto Canal Street on December 10 and 17 as the DDD provides musical programming. Merchants are being asked to provide special discounts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the two Wednesdays. Also during this time, will be onsite to publicize its "Home for the Holidays" online promotion in which people may submit their holiday memories of Canal Street for a chance to win valuable prizes.

Partners in this inaugural event include presenting sponsor The Roosevelt Hotel, along with, HRI Properties/Chateau Sonesta, New Orleans Music Incubator, Chevron North America, Gambit Weekly, New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Music Incubator and Westin Hotel and WWII Museum.

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