The month of December is filled with so much holiday magic, and this weekend is no exception. There are a host of New Orleans events to gather at and celebrate, and show your holiday spirit, from holiday races to holiday home tours to caroling. But the fun doesn’t stop there — you can catch New Orleans bands playing for HIV awareness, as well as an amazing photography festival. No matter your speed this weekend, there is a New Orleans event for you.
1. PhotoNOLA – PhotoNOLA is an exquisite festival of photography. There will be photo exhibitions at several locations in a wide range of styles from seasoned to up-and-coming photographers. In addition to photography exhibits, there will be workshops, lectures, demonstrations, book signings, and portfolio reviews, all showcasing and expanding the thriving photography community in New Orleans.
Friday, December 13
2. HAMP Fest – Hosted by the New Orleans Society for Infectious Disease Awareness to increase HIV awareness in New Orleans, this weekend is HAMP Fest at the Howlin’ Wolf. This New Orleans event will feature live performances from Quintron and Miss Pussycat, The Mike Dillon Band, Vox and the Hound, and Les Autres. There will be raffles, HIV education booths, and free HIV testing, as well as “mock” HIV testing demonstrations by the night’s performers, showcasing how simple it is to get tested.
Saturday, December 14
3. Running of the Santas – For the third year in a row, New Orleanians will take to the streets in their best holiday costumes for the Running of the Santas in the Warehouse District. This “Fun Run” starts at 9 a.m. and the party lasts all day. The actual run is seven blocks long, starting at the “South Pole” (Barcadia Bar and Grill) where participants can enjoy live music from Flow Tribe and more, as well as food and Abita Beer, and ending at the “North Pole” (Generations Hall) where Category 6 and Naughty Professor will be performing, in addition to costume contests.
Saturday – Sunday
4. PRC’s Holiday Home Tours – The splendid architecture of the New Orleans homes in the Garden District are really something to marvel at, especially when they are dressed up for the holidays. This weekend at the Preservation Resource Center’s 38th Annual Holiday Home Tour, you can get a closer look at this architectural and holiday glory. Take a tour of some of the most beautiful homes in the Garden District with live New Orleans music playing at each stop, and back at the tour headquarters, enjoy food and holiday shopping from several local arts and crafts vendors.
Sunday, December 15
5. Marigny Christmas Caroling – ‘Tis the season for heartwarming holiday traditions like caroling by candlelight. This weekend, folks bringing holiday cheer and joy will gather in the Marigny in Washington Square Park to sing Christmas carols together at A Marigny Christmas. There will be holiday snacks and drinks, as well as an arts market for holiday shopping. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will no doubt fill participants with warm, fuzzy holiday feelings.
Lagniappe: Reindeer Run & Romp – Kids are in for some serious holiday fun this Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Reindeer Run and Romp on Canal Street. Children will receive antlers, a race t-shirt, and a bag o’ goodies before Santa signals the start of the race. After the run, families can get in on pictures with Santa, music, games, crafts, yoga, and more in the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza.
Honorable mention: Night Before Christmas Burlesque, December 12-15 at 8 p.m.