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Celebration in the Oaks: New Orleans Holiday Tradition Twinkles

Celebration in the Oaks runs November 29 through January 4 in New Orleans featuring amazing holiday lights displays in City Park for the whole family.

Many things come around this time of year that really start to get people in the holiday spirit. The weather cools, pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas abound, boots and sweaters make you feel cozy, and little by little, holiday decorations fill the city. While we may not have snow down here in New Orleans, white lights cover homes and trees and they glitter all over town. One of the greatest of these light displays is Celebration in the Oaks in City Park.

Holiday alligators at Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans. (Photo from skippytpe on Flickr)

As this elaborate and beautiful lights display has grown over the years, so has its reputation for being one of the best holiday light shows in the country. Locals and visitors alike eagerly anticipate the return of this New Orleans attraction every year. Celebration in the Oaks opens the day after Thanksgiving, November 29, runs through the holiday season and ends January 4. In this winter wonderland, City Park’s oak trees are covered in hundreds of thousands of white lights amidst extravagant, detailed light displays across 13 acres. Folks can take a two-mile train ride through the lights to see all that this holiday treat has to offer, or take a turn on the carousel. Generations have enjoyed this holiday experience that has become a New Orleans tradition, including displays ranging from an animated Cajun Night Before Christmas live story to the Who Dat Tree, as well as the huge Poinsettia Tree, the Dripping Snow Tree, Santa Gator and New Orleans’ snowman, Mr. Bingle, not to mention this year’s new additions.

The Cajun Night Before Christmas display at Celebration in the Oaks. (Photo courtesy of

This huge holiday undertaking takes eight months of preparation and 558,350 LED light bulbs. In addition to all the pretty lights, there are musical events and entertainment ranging from children’s choirs and bands to Irish dancing. There is something for everyone to enjoy, and with a warm scarf and coat, a stroll or train ride through the lights, Celebration in the Oaks will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside this holiday season in New Orleans.