Holiday celebrations kick off in downtown New Orleans

Holiday celebrations kick off in downtown New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - There's a chill in the air and with Thanksgiving week upon us we know Christmas is not far behind and the Downtown Development District (DDD) wants you to go Home for the Holidays on Canal Street. Work crews put up the finishing touch to a growing spectacle.

Devona Dolliole, Communications Director at the DDD says downtown is ready for the holidays. She said, "Exactly at 5:31 p.m., we will flip the switch turning on 1-million twinkling lights."

Tuesday, kicks off a season-long celebration. "Harkening back to the days of old when people actually came downtown as an outing and wore their Sunday best. So we hope to recapture that moment," Dolliole added.

Rubenstein Brothers saw it all. Kenny Rubenstein, the current general manager said, "Ninety-one years is a long time." The menswear haven has been there from the height of Canal as the premier shopping district to some dismal lows. Rubenstein said, "We were talked about as being one of the last retailers." The store is now witnessing a rebirth. He said, "Certainly where Canal Street is now, is years beyond of where it was 10 or 15 years ago."

The Downtown Development District is a special commission funded by downtown business. Rubenstein said, "The DDD is kind of like on the lens, the focal point." The organization sponsors projects throughout the year, and Canal Street Home for the Holidays is one of their major successes. The trees, the wreaths, the lights, all of this is just the first step in getting people back downtown for the Holiday season.

"The parade is a great example," Rubenstein added. "That Christmas parade . . .the first time they did it past us in about five minutes. There was a handful of people out there, now it almost feels like Mardi Gras."

The campaign is stirring up nostalgia and creating new holiday traditions.

In addition to the tree lighting, movies on the Mississippi show Christmas classics the first three Fridays in December. The Krewe of Jingle Parade will roll the first Saturday in December accompanied by a new entertainment stage and a day of discounts at shops and restaurants. The second Saturday is the Reindeer Run and Romp fun run.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.