It’s officially December in New Orleans! This month in NOLA, there are lots of ways to kindle some holiday cheer. The annual light & tech festival LUNA Fête takes over the CBD, Mersiv takes over the Joy Theater for New Year’s Eve, and the Marigny Opera Ballet presents an original full-length reimagining of “The Nutcracker” ballet. Check out our favorite events from this month in NOLA below.
Here’s What’s Happening This Month in NOLA (December 2022)
1.) Bill Burr at Smoothie King Center
Never one afraid to speak his mind, Bill Burr can deliver an elegant rant on just about anything. Relationships, dating, sexuality, sports, race – you name it, Bill Burr’s straight-shooting, wise-cracking antics cover it all. He’s an unapologetic and animated performer whose diatribes quickly descend from simmering frivolity to manic hilarity, yet there’s an impressive finesse in the way he handles his shocking observations.
2.) Mersiv New Year’s Eve Celebration
The bass producer Mersiv is joined by nine other artists for a special two NYE celebration at the Joy Theater. Taking place on Friday and Saturday (the 30 and 31) Mersiv has created what can only be described as a smorgasbord of quality bass music for the Big Easy. On Friday, Zack Hersh, Freq, Khiva, and SFAM b2b Eazybaked take the stage. On Saturday, Venture 5, Stellar, Stooki Sound, and Tiedye Ky will perform. Naturally, Mersiv headlines both nights.
3.) Algiers Holiday Bonfire and Concert
The Algiers Bonfire pays tribute to Louisiana’s river parish bonfire tradition. Listen to musical performances, eat food from local vendors, and shop at the holiday craft market. The star of the event, however, is the 30’ sculptural bonfire, designed by NOLA Burners, which is then set ablaze. Performances by The Young Pinstripe Brass Band, the Edna Karr Marching Band, and others will set the scene for a wonderful holiday event done New Orleans Style!
4.) Krampus NOLAuf Parade
Krewe of Krampus is returning to a walking parade on the streets of New Orleans after two years of pivoting to a stationary parade, Krampus NOLAuf 2022 is poised to be even bigger than ever. As the largest Krampus parade in America, we welcome visitors and performers from all over the country and abroad in addition to large local crowds. Come see Krampus for yourself and the spectacular show of dark winter known as the NOLAuf. Proposed Route: (subject to change by NOPD) starting at Jackson Square the parade will head back to Bywater.
5.) 9th Annual LUNA Fête
Join us for Arts New Orleans’s 9th annual free light, art, and technology festival, LUNA Fête presented by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and New Orleans and Company December 15 – 18 from 6 – 10 pm at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention pedestrian park. This year’s festival theme is titled “Wild Creation,” and we encourage you to come dressed in your best light-up fashion!
6.) Rainbow Kitten Surprise at Orpheum Theater
Rainbow Kitten Surprise is an alternative rock indie band, featuring Ela Melo, Darrick “Bozzy” Keller Ethan Goodpaster, Jess Haney, and Charlie Holt. The band, “RKS” for short, is known for its harmonies, instrumentation, and lyrics. Their sound has been influenced by artists such as Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon, Frank Ocean, and Schoolboy Q.
7.) Children’s Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade
Partnering with Downtown District and Kern Studios, the first-of-its-kind Children’s Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade will take place on December 3. There will be more than 20 custom-designed, holiday-themed floats along with traditional rider floats. The parade will begin at the corner of Esplanade Avenue and North Peters Street. It will then roll through the French Quarter and turn onto Canal Street, making its way to Baronne Street, traveling through downtown to Julia Street, and ending along St. Charles Avenue in front of Lafayette Square. There will be a post-parade celebration with music from Rebirth Brass Band, food, and more at Lafayette Square from 1-3 p.m.
8.) Jazz Nutcracker (Marigny Opera Ballet)
Every December, The Marigny Opera Ballet presents an original full-length reimagining of “The Nutcracker” ballet, with an original jazz score by New Orleans great, Lawrence Sieberth and choreographed by Jarina Carvalho. Set in Jackson Square on Christmas Eve, a young girl is transported through the Kingdom of Rain to the Kingdom of Sweets, and then back again to her bench on the Square.
9.) Tacky Sweater Dance Party
Join Urban South Brewery for a Tacky Sweater Dance Party! Dust off your tackiest, shiniest, jingly-est holiday sweater and show it off at the taproom! Urban South is throwing the year’s most jovial dance party. Maybe even Santa will show up for a pint?
10.) Billy Strings at UNO Lakefront Arena
Get ready New Orleans as Grammy award-winning artist Billy Strings is performing for two nights at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Friday, December 30, and Saturday, December 31. Please note, there is NO OPENER for this show. Please plan to arrive with plenty of time for processing and entry.
Featured photo by Jen Lewin
11.) A Very Tiki Holiday at The Virgin Hotels NOLA
Tis the season for spreading holiday cheer – A Very Tiki Holiday at Virgin Hotels New Orleans is finally here! Don your festive shirts & hula skirts and head up to The Pool Club for an immersive, island-inspired holiday experience. Step into our tiki wonderland to enjoy seasonal food & beverage specials, holiday events, and the best rooftop views from
12.) DJ Soul Sister’s 20th Annual New Year’s Eve Soul Train
Soul Sister and Civic Theatre present: DJ SOUL SISTER’S 20TH ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE SOUL TRAIN. Featuring DJ Soul Sister, special guests: original Soul Train Dancer alumni Marco De Santiago and Freddie Mae Maxie, Vintage Soul Train Projections, and Soul Sister’s Booty Patrol Dancers. General Admission: $50 Advance | $75 Day of Show | $150 open bar passes available
13.) Turnover at The Joy Theater NOLA
Looking for a show in early December? Then Turnover at The Joy may be just for you. Turnover is an American rock band from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Formed in 2009, the band is signed with the Run for Cover Records label. Turnover has released four albums, two EPs, and a handful of singles.
14.) Drive-Through Celebration in the Oaks
A beloved New Orleans tradition, Celebration in the Oaks lights up City Park every holiday season, and this year is no different. Hop in your car and wind your way through two and a half miles of the park illuminated with both new and returning lights displays. You can also enjoy Carousel Gardens Amusement Park as an optional add-on experience. Pack your hot cocoa and your holiday tunes–and don’t forget to book your tickets online in advance. Celebration in the Oaks returns
15.) Go ice skating at NOLA ChristmasFest
The indoor Christmas festival known as NOLA ChristmasFest returns to the Convention Center with lots of seasonal cheer. An ice slide, ice skating rink, yuletide market, gingerbread village, and photos with Santa are just a few of the highlights. NOLA ChristmasFest is open