New Orleans Celebration in the Oaks

December 22, 2011 by

Festivals & Events, Local Recommendations, Things To Do

See lit-up southern live oaks and lots more at the Celebration of the Oaks - photo courtesy of Justin McGregor via Flickr

See lit-up southern live oaks and lots more at the Celebration of the Oaks
- photo courtesy of Justin McGregor via Flickr

To be sure, the south has its charms, all of them enticing and perhaps all the more splendid when winter sets into the bayou. While majestic in the summer, winters bring an exceedingly rare scene for the nature lover in all of us. Denuded pine trees, bald cypress, and the evergreen oak create a magical environment and not one typically thought of when referring to “the bayou”.  The southern live oak has a unique, almost sculpted look to it, with its huge, wide reaching boughs which often-times seem to bounce off the earth they hang so low to the ground.

This kept in mind, in New Orleans’ City Park, the Celebration in the Oaks is an annual favorite. Over 14,000 mature live oak trees grow in the park, and come Christmastime, workers bedeck these oaks with some of the most spectacular Christmas lights you’re likely to see. Storyland, a children’s story-time theme park, is equally bedecked and sits comfortably aside the park itself, ready for visitors. Attendees to the Celebration in the Oaks enjoy a glitzy miniature train-ride, an antique wooden carousel, and an oak gallery decorated with ornaments handmade by children from over 200 local schools. In recent years, City Park has also featured a synthetic ice-skating rink for those willing to brave the ice.

With Christmas just around the corner and City Park all aglow with lights, you’d be hard pressed not to fall deeply into the holiday spirit. Centuries-old oak trees have been the mainstay of Southern landscapes for thousands of years, and fully dressed in lights and Christmas cheer, you’ll get a good idea of not just Christmas in the South, but the beauty of Christmas everywhere.

-Hudson

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