New Orleans Celebrates Celebration in the Oaks 2021, America’s Most Dazzling Holiday Lights Festival
New Orleans City Park’s largest fundraiser returns with its highly successful drive-thru experience, and expanded add-on experiences in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and the Botanical Garden
NEW ORLEANS – Celebration in the Oaks presented by Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust in New Orleans City Park, the Park’s largest fundraiser, has fascinated guests for years as one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country. Due to the pandemic, City Park shifted the beloved holiday event in 2020 to a drive-thru experience, which attracted more than 185,000 visitors. This year, the highly successful Celebration in the Oaks Driving Tour will return, in addition to an expanded experience in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and the Botanical Garden.
Visitors from as far away as Australia flock to the month-long celebration every year, where they can see City Park’s famous giant live oak trees swathed in more than a million twinkling lights and discover hundreds of breathtaking light displays scattered throughout the 2.25-mile driving tour of the Park.
“Our community has been through a lot in the past 19 months and making cherished memories with loved ones is deeply valued,” said Cara Lambright, CEO of City Park. “It is truly an honor that Celebration in the Oaks continues to serve such a beloved role in our holiday season and we’re proud to deliver a stellar event this year for our guests.”
Fan favorite exhibits include the pirate ship, dinosaurs, aquatic animals, horse-drawn carriage, the unicorn, the famous St. Louis Cathedral and French Quarter scenes, falling icicles, candy canes and more. A staff of seven construct all the LED- light displays in-house throughout the year in preparation for the annual light show.
City Park’s annual operating budget is largely reliant on self-generated activities, and Celebration in the Oaks plays a key role in funding the Park’s continued maintenance and beauty each year. On Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida left its mark on City Park. While the oldest ancient Live Oak tree grove survived the storm, other significant trees, buildings and key Park infrastructure sustained more than $2 million in damage. The public’s support and attendance at Celebration in the Oaks will support City Park’s recovery and success following Hurricane Ida.
“We support City Park because of its importance to the City of New Orleans and to the families who reside in the neighboring areas. We grew up close to the Park and remember how much City Park meant to us,” says Lisa Romano and Vincent Giardina, Trustees of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust.
- The return of the drive-thru experience
- All-access passes to Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, featuring unlimited rides on 18 attractions
- The festive outdoor bar in the Botanical Garden, where you can share a holiday delight under the twinkling lights
- A new festive train experience with on-board entertainment
- A newly added “snow” area
- Mister Bingle and Train Garden in the New Orleans Botanical Garden
- Tree of poinsettias in the Conservatory in the New Orleans Botanical Garden
- A 2021 commemorative ornament ($10.00 ea.)
- Other holiday cheer-filled activities, including marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate, photo opportunities, dancing light shows in the Carousel Gardens
For more event details or to purchase Celebration in the Oaks tickets, visit CelebrationInTheOaks.com.
Nov. 25, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022 *Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; Open Christmas night
Sunday – Thursday: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Driving Tour Entrance Address: 2 Friederichs Ave. New Orleans 70124 (Enter off Wisner Blvd.)
Carousel Gardens Experience Address:
7 Victory Ave., New Orleans 70124 (Enter through Lelong Dr. to Victory Ave.)
A limited number of tickets will be sold per day and time slot. Guests are encouraged to purchase their desired day and time, as slots are anticipated to sell out. Tickets are only valid for the day and time slot purchased. ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE IN ADVANCE AT CelebrationInTheOaks.com.
Prices are based upon vehicle size:
- Sedans/SUVs: $39.99 (limit 8 guests per vehicle)
- Limos: $150 (limit 15 guests per vehicle)
- Sprinter Vans: $225 (limit 20 guests per vehicle)
- Friends of City Park members: Receive one free driving tour admission valid anytime from Nov. 25, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022 (closed December 24 and December 31)
Bike Nights: $5 per person. Bike Nights are on Mondays from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm with last admission at 5:45pm. For the safety of our guests, the roadways must be cleared prior to vehicular access.
Carousel Gardens Experience with Driving Tour: vehicle price + $25 per person
Carousel Gardens Experience Only: $35 per person
Children 3 years old and under do not need an Add-On ticket to participate with a paying adult.
Bike Nights and the Carousel Gardens Experience Only will go on sale November 1.
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About New Orleans City Park:
For over 170 years, New Orleans City Park has provided access to abundant natural and cultural resources to residents of the region and visitors from around the world. The Park’s 1,300 acres make it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. City Park is a popular place to fish on the bayou, picnic, experience safe outdoor play, or engage in athletic pursuits—as evidenced by more than 16 million visits each year. City Park’s annual operating budget has been largely derived from self-generated activities. The COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida, which significantly affected revenue-generating facilities due to restriction closures, highlighted the vital importance of diversifying revenue streams. Through these challenges, the Park’s walking trails, urban forest, and open spaces continue to be a respite to the public. To learn more about the Park and to contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com.