Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebration in the Oaks

We went to Celebration in the Oaks last night in City Park.  The website doesn't do it justice.  Neither do my pictures.  Naturally, my camera battery went dead while I was taking a picture of the pink elephant (totem of New Orleans?) so this article is illustrated with pictures from my phone.

What is nice about this X-mas light celebration is that you walk through it rather than drive.  It isn't a solitary event with piped in carols over the radio.  In true New Orleans fashion, a visitor is pressed in with the rest of humanity to enjoy and participate in the show.  Price:  $7.00 admission, $3.00 extra for a train ride.  $17.00 buys you a wrist band entitling you to unlimited amusement park rides if you choose to stay that long and get nauseous on the Tilt-a-Whirl.  
The amusement park is lit up and Storyland is lit up, but the main attraction is the chance to walk through the Botanical Gardens which are strung with lights.  What's a X-mas celebration without a salute to vegetables?!!  Or nuts and city wildlife....
I'm not trying to be facetious.  It really was a glorious display.  The old southern oak in the center of the gardens was jaw-dropping:
Not only is the tree draped with lights, they drip off the branches in real time, so convincing that a mother had to convince her daughter that she wasn't seeing water, only an illusion.  Next I'll find out Clement Moore cribbed the Cajun version of "'Twas Night Before Christmas" to write his famous poem.

The Botanical Garden is a glorious place during the day and well worth the trip.  The chance to walk its landscape at night, lit by millions of diodes, is a treat.  I recommend it.
And for our last memory of last night, Mother Goose sailing over Storyland, the best part of City Park in my humble opinion:
We took the little train around the riverside of the park.  The overhanging trees are strung with decorations accompanied by lots of oohs and aaahs from the passengers.  It's just as rumbly and screechy as the St. Charles Avenue streetcar and moves about as slowly even though there are no stops.  There are just as many oohs and aaahs too but these are uttered by New Orleanians gasping at the beauty of lights in the oaks rather rather than tourists gasping at the beauty of St. Charles Avenue.  Same play, different players.  New Orleans is beautiful.

At night, City Park is a different place.  It's great during the day and it's great at night in a different way.  A good night was had by all.

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