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Your 2018 LGBT Guide to the Holidays in New Orleans

Stunning holidays lights in City Park Photo: Paul Broussard

The holidays are a special time in New Orleans. Decadent Reveillon dinners, bonfires on the levee, and lights strung throughout the city are just a few highlights. If you’re an LGBT family looking for a unique way to experience the holidays this year, we have a guide for you.

1. ELF the musical

 Elf the musical is finally making its way down to New Orleans. The hilarious movie turned musical is coming to the Saenger theater this December and is sure to give you that Christmas cheer. Whether you have seen the classic movie 20 times or haven’t seen it at all, don’t miss the chance to see Buddy the Elf live. December 18 – December 23.

Enjoy a decadent Reveillon dinner during December in New Orleans. Photo: Rebecca Todd

2. Reveillon Dinners

Reveillon dinners are a staple in New Orleans during the holidays. Historically, Reveillon dinners are  decadent meals often enjoyed after midnight mass. But in modern New Orleans tradition, these dinners are upscale meals served with amazing creole flare. These meals are offered by dozens of restaurants throughout the city, and a full list can be found here. Month of December.

3. Merriment on Magazine

A festive street lined with delectable restaurants and one-of-kind shops, Magazine Street is a year-round alternative to crowded shopping malls. During the holiday season it’s frequented by locals as a reliable haven for holiday shopping. If you visit Magazine Street between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ll enjoy a leisurely shopping experience away from the typical holiday rush. November 24 – December 24.

4. Nerdlesque

Nerds and burlesque performers collide in the Crescent City for an epic display of brains, brawn, and beauty. Executive producer Vincent Gallant has swooped up burlesque artists from all around the country to put on this extraordinary event. Expect to see intricate costumes and some skin, all with a nerdy flare. November 16 – 17.

5. BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon: To Jesus, Thanks for Everything!

Legendary winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 5, Jinkx Monsoon, teams up with Drag Race All-Star Ben Dela Creme for a night of comedy gold at the Civic Theater. Their show will give you some insight on how they get through the holiday season – drag queen style. Without giving away the whole show, let’s just say it involves a little song, a little dance, and lots of eggnog.  December 13.

6. Saints and Pelicans Games

The New Orleans Saints and the Pelicans have various home games throughout the months of November and December, and tickets make fire great gifts. Don’t miss the Saints as they look to nab some more home wins against the Rams, Eagles, Falcons, and the Steelers at the Superdome. And be sure to head to the Smoothie King Center to see the best of the Pelicans. November and December.

Krewe of Jingle rolls on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Photo: Paul of Broussard

7. Krewe of Jingle Parade

In New Orleans, there’s never a bad time for a parade. And when it comes to holiday parading, there’s no better celebration than Canal Street’s Krewe of Jingle. Put on your Santa hat and watch floats, reindeer, stilt performers, snowmen, and fantastic live jazz music stroll by.  December 1.

8. Elton John

Gay Icon Elton John is stopping by the Smoothie King Center on his final world tour: Farewell Yellow Brick road. This British music legend has had countless number 1 hits and has left his mark on music forever. Don’t miss him as he makes his way to NOLA one last time. December 6.

9. Art Against AIDS

This year on World AIDS Day, NO AIDS task force is putting on an art fundraising gala at Club XLIV. The event will feature food, drink, live musical entertainment, and an interactive memory wall for those who have passed due to AIDS. You can buy your tickets here. December 1.

Varla Jean Merman prepares for a show. Photo: Paul Broussard

10. Miss Gay New Orleans USofA Pageant

No list of LGBT holiday celebrations is truly complete without the Miss Gay New Orleans USofA pageant. Each holiday season, Oz hosts the pageant, and the winner goes onto the Miss Gay Louisiana Pageant. Competitors are judged on their intellect, speaking skills, networking skills, and of course their evening gown. Whether you are a drag aficionado looking to find new talent in the industry or you’re new to drag shows, the pageant will certainly be one for the books. November 28

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