Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Toast to New Orleans: Happy Thanksgiving!

MY Fiesta Navidena will be on Sunday, December 21 at 3:30 p.m. at 1305 Decatur St.
 YOU are ALL INVITED! In the meanwhile visit our website at


Another fabulous week in my beloved New Orleans. It is amazing that, in order for me to remember all the fabulous activities that I attended, I need to go to my Facebook since I download daily all the photos for each event. It works for me and I can see what I wore  to each event, being the fashionista that I am.

I must confess that, this past week, there many very special events that I was looking forward to participating in. 

On Wednesday, it was the annual Royal Sonesta's Round Table Luncheon – “Giving Thanks and Giving Back.” Its featured speakers included Joy Bruce, Executive Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) New Orleans;David Emond, Executive Director of Liberty's Kitchen; and Else Pederson Chief Executive Officer of Bridge House/Grace House. Guests were delightfully entertained by the vocal talents of soprano Kathleen Halm, accompanied on piano by her husband, Timothy Todd Simmons, Executive Director of the New Orleans Opera Association. Executive Chef  Kevin Goodwin and his culinary team prepared a four-course cornucopia of culinary delights.
Royal Sonesta's Round Table Luncheon: Giving Thanks and Giving Back." 
Chief Executive Officer for Bridge House/Grace House; Jason Michael Mullan, 2014 Royal Teddy Bear Ornament Artist, Carly Hammond, Owner of Hyph3n Art Gallery; Jim Walpole, Round Table house pianist; Soprano Vocalist Kathleen Halm; Timothy Todd Simmons, Executive Director of the New Orleans Opera Association; Janice Guido, Royal Sonesta New Orleans Director of Sales & Marketing; Margarita Bergen, Round Table hostess

My next event was the press conference announcing that New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) are rolling out more reasons than ever this year to promote the seasonal “Christmas New Orleans Style” program with added events and experiences.

New Orleans always has something magical about it, but especially at Christmas," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Our music, unique Reveillon dinners, and holiday traditions give families an opportunity over six full weeks to learn and experience the season while enjoying our moderate temperatures."

The 2014 “Christmas New Orleans Style” celebration features three new experiences this holiday season. Luna Fete, which will enchant those who see the iconic Gallier Hall become the canvass for a brilliant display of art and light, will happen through the first week in December.

“Reveillon on the Rocks” will debut, featuring over 45 special cocktails at establishments throughout the city during the season. And “Christmas in the District” will light up Convention Center Boulevard and take families inside the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to experience a holiday adventure.

Over 150 quality holiday events are coordinated by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. this season. Activities include free concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and cooking demonstrations in the French Market, as well as tours, Reveillon dinners, custom attractions, and great shopping. The joy is spread over more than a month of festivities from November 20 through Twelfth Night, January 5, 2015.

"New Orleans will welcome visitors and locals all over the city this season,” said Mark Romig, Executive Director of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.
On Thursday, I enjoyed attending the   highly anticipated 2014 FACC-GC Beaujolais Festival at the Marriott Hotel at the Convention Center. We sampled wines from the famous Beaujolais region of France, along with tempting treats from the kitchens of New Orleans' most talented chefs while listening to the sounds of the YAT PACK.

The next evening, right after work at Casell-Bergen Gallery, I attended the always fun - Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana Day Networking Night at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was a special evening of networking with multiple organizations and small business owners cheered by delicious Cosmopolitan Martinis and culinary delights. That evening I also attended the lovely presentation and designer talk by Mexican Designer Flora Maria -“Jewels from the Earth” at the Mexican Consulate. I just realized that I missed attending the lovely preview party for the Lighting of the Christmas in the Oaks. 
On Saturday, all day long, I was looking forward to attending two fabulous events. The first one was The New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation (NOHHF)'s 2014 Azucar Ball – “La Bamba.” Spectacular is the way to describe the annual ultra-elegant event!
The New Orleans Marriott, in the French Quarter, was the setting for the festive Mexican-flavored celebration with live mariachi, dancing performances, specialty tequilas, cocktails, silent auctions and the presentation of the Galvez Cup toChef Adolfo Garcia. All the proceeds benefit the NOHHF Scholarship Program. The entertainment was by Juan and Cesar, Asheson and Mariachi Jalisco.

That evening I had been previously cast as a judge for the Humane Society of Louisiana's “Fur de Lis” Costume Ball at the Eiffel Society . The costumes were colorful and fun at the Meowlin Rouge.

On Sunday, Duchess Chiquita and I donned our chapeaus for the annual St Catherine's Day Parade. Because of the weather, the St. Catherine's Day Hat Parade was moved indoors and turned it into a party at a lovely house on Coliseum Street, between Eighth & Harmony. Mother Nature loved our festive hats and blessed us with sunshine for the parade to go on outdoors.

That evening I was invited to cover the Words & Music's “Faulkner For All” Gala. The 24th gala black-tie annual meeting of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. was indeed a literary feast in New Orleans at the historic Monteleone Hotel.

The judges for the 2014 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition II presented their winners, runners-up, and finalists, and the Society presented the annual award ALIHOT (A Legend In His/Her Own Time) Awards for literature, music and philanthropy, with Morgan Molthrop acting as toastmaster. The event was “The Last Word” of Words & Music, 2014 and included cocktails, dinner, and Alexandra Cichon did a lovely improv monologue.

This week I am looking forward to a preview of the new Brennan’s Restaurant, as well as the Canal Street Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 25 It is presented by the DDD & the Astor Crowne Plaza (see calendar for details), featuring The Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Male Chorus. 

With the Bayou Classic going on this weekend at the Superdome, there is going to be a lot of activity downtown. But, if you want something fun to do without fighting the traffic and crowds, go to Mid-City Theatre (3540 Toulouse Street near Bayou St. John) and “catch” rising young actor Cameron-Mitchell Ware‘s one-man show, titled “Catch 23”

This is a funny show written and staged by a 23 year old (that’s the “Catch 23”) musical theatre actor, relating his experiences in Manhattan as he worked toward a career on Broadway. He also sings some classic Broadway show tunes written by some of the Great White Way’s top composers, including Kander and Ebb, Arlen and Mercer, Lerner and Loewe and my old friend Jerry Herman. He will be accompanied on piano by the wonderful Jefferson Turner.

Cameron-Mitchell’s shows will run from Friday through Sunday at 8 p.m. For more details about the show, be looking for Dean Shapiro’s article in this Thursday’s New Orleans Advocate.

Darlings, I want to wish all of you a festive, healthy, peaceful Thanksgiving Day. I am going to be enjoying it at home with some of my dearest, closest, most darling friends.

And please, darlings, do not forget that when you think of Holiday shopping, Casell-Bergen Gallery has everything and our prices are every day Black Friday Prices. See Coupon below- 

 Calendar with help from La Fete News 
Tuesday, November 25

TTuesdayuesday, November 25, 2014
Degas House Logo

Please park in the Degas House Parking Lot

for "Holidays with Degas" on 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


2401 Esplanade Avenue
(Corner of Esplanade Avenue and Rocheblave Street)

Canal Street Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 25 It is presented by the DDD & the Astor Crowne Plaza (see calendar for details
Featuring The Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Male Chorus. 
Darling, I want to wish all of you a festive, helathy, peaceful Thanksgiving Day. 
Please darlings do not forget that when you think of Holidays shopping- Casell-Bergen Gallery has everything and our prices are every day Black Friday Prices. 


Canal Street Lighting Ceremony
Presented by the DDD & the Astor Crowne Plaza
Featuring The Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Male Chorus
Where: In front of the Astor Crowne Plaza | When: Lighting will be at 5:30 p.m.
Stroll along Canal Street and watch as the Downtown Development District and the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel join Santa to "flip the switch," turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights on New Orleans' grand corridor. Stop by the hotel's St Charles Ballroom just off the lobby from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and decorate your own holiday cookie while enjoying complimentary hot cocoa or apple cider. Santa will be there to hear your wish list for the holidays. Bring an unwrapped, new toy for local charities and receive a free picture with Santa!

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk Rings in the Holiday Season with Festive Events
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and $5 Parking on Black Friday

WHAT:           Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

WHEN:           Tuesday, November 25
                        5:30 p.m.
        Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza
                        500 Port of New Orleans Pl.
                        New Orleans, LA 70130
          Celebrate the holiday season with as we kick-off the holiday season with our inaugural Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony! Revel in the season as we light up downtown New Orleans with our beautifully decorated 50-foot tree standing tall in Spanish Plaza.

   Friday, November 28
6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 
Make sure to join us for the holiday cheer at this free event!

Happy Thanksgiving in Many Languages
Thanksgiving Day is a time to give thanks for the harvest and to express gratitude in general.
So I thought it would be fun to learn how to say thanks to people around the world with some translations of the phrase ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ in other languages:
French-speaking people in North America might wish one another ‘Bonne Action de grâce’ or ‘Joyeux Thanksgiving’. The Canadian French version of Thanksgiving Day is‘Jour de l’Action de grâce’, and in France it is known as ‘le Jour de Merci Donnant’.
- In Spanish Thanksgiving Day is known as ‘el Día de Acción de Gracias’ and Happy Thanksgiving is ‘¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!’. The festival is also known as ‘Día del Pavo’ (Turkey Day) by Spanish speakers from Latin America living in the USA.
- The Portuguese equivalent for Thanksgiving Day is ‘O Dia de Acção de Graças’ , and for Happy Thanksgiving, ““Feliz (dia de) acção de graças””.
- The German version of Happy Thanksgiving is ‘Herzliche Danksagung’ or ‘Fröhliche Danksagung’ and the day itself is ‘Danksagung’.
- In Danish Thanksgiving Day is ‘Helligdag’ and Happy Thanksgiving is ‘Glædelig Helligdag’.
- In Dutch Thanksgiving Day is ‘Gedenkdagen’ and Happy Thanksgiving is ‘Vrolijke gedenkdagen’.
- In Swedish Thanksgiving Day is ‘Helgdag’ and Happy Thanksgiving is ‘God Helgdag’.
- In Polish Thanksgiving Day is ‘Dzień Dziękczynienia’ or ‘Święto Dziękczynienia’ and Happy Thanksgiving is ‘Święto dziękczynienia’ or ‘Wszystkiego najlepszego z ozkazji Święta Dziękczynienia’.
- In Mandarin Chinese Thanksgiving Day is 感恩節日 [感恩节日] (gănēnjiérì) and Happy Thanksgiving is 感恩節快樂 [感恩节快乐] (gănēnjié kuàilè).
- In Japanese Thanksgiving day is 感謝祭 (kanshasai) and Happy Thanksgiving is感謝祭おめでとう (kanshasai omedetō) or ハッピー感謝祭 (happī kanshasai).
But no matter what language, my wish is for everyone to express their gratitude with others and have a Safe & Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 28
  • November 
  •  Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City ParkFriday, November 28 through Saturday, January 3
    Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park remains one of the most beautiful holiday light exhibits in the country, attracting over 122,000 people in 2010. Walk through the Botanical Garden, Storyland, a children's theme park, and Carousel Gardens, an amusement ride area aglow with holiday magic! Nightly musical entertainment and a full service cafe featuring our famous hot-buttered rum! The Holiday mini train ride through the Park and the antique carousel are a can't-miss during the season! There is nightly musical entertainment and a ...
    Where: City Park
    When: Sun thru Thurs: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Fri & Sat evenings: 6:00 - 11:00; Closed: 12/1 thru 12/4; 12/24 & 12/31
    Who: Everyone - made for families!
    HowClick here to buy tickets online and avoid the lines! Remember to print your ticket and bring it with you! Note: if you buy tickets online, you must bring a legible, full page hard copy of them with you to the gate.
    Cost: Admission: $8.00 per person, Children under three get in FREE! Rides: $3.00 per single ride ticket, $17.00 per unlimited ride band. Train rides are $4.
    For more info: To learn more visit, call Julie at 504-483-9415 or stop by the Park Administration office at 1 Palm Drive

  •   11-28-14    to   1-3-15 
    • Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park
    Where: City Park
    When: Sun thru Thurs: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Fri & Sat evenings: 6:00 - 11:00; Closed: 12/1 thru 12/4; 12/24 & 12/31
    Who: Everyone - made for families!
    How: Click here to buy tickets online and avoid the lines! Remember to print your ticket and bring it with you! Note: if you buy tickets online, you must bring a legible, full page hard copy of them with you to the gate.
    Cost: Admission: $8.00 per person, Children under three get in FREE! Rides: $3.00 per single ride ticket, $17.00 per unlimited ride band. Train rides are $4.
    Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park remains one of the most beautiful ...

The Nutcracker presented by New Orleans Ballet TheatreSaturday, November 29 through Sunday, November 30
Start the holidays off with a journey to the land of sweets! Come join Clara as she visits this marzipan land with its magical and exotic inhabitants including Spanish, Chinese, Arabian, Mother Ginger and the beautiful Flowers along with the Sugar Plum Fairy...The performance will include over 100 local dancers/performers. Lead rolls will be performed by the internationally acclaimed dancers of New Orleans Ballet Theatre. A tip for parents bringing very young ones: Be sure to tell your young ones the story of the Nutcracker several times so they will understand what is happening on stage. Explain theater manners and also, be prepared to leave early if your child is ready to go! 
Where: Loyola University, Rousell Hall; 6363 St. Charles Ave.; New Orleans, LA 70118
When: Saturday performances at 2:00 & 7:00; Sunday at 2:00
Who: Everyone
Cost: $25 for students; $35 for adults - group sales of 5 tickets or more available
For more info: Rousell Hall: (504) 865-2074;

Sunday, November 30 @ 5 pm: Rebecca Todaro, Harpist in a program of Music from Italian, Russian, Czech, French and American composers from the XVIII to the XXth century
Trinity Artist Series
at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Av. New Orleans


A hotel tradition since the 1930s, the Roosevelt New Orleans will shine with the sights and sounds of the 2014 holiday season during its annual Lobby Lighting Ceremony on December 2.  The block-long, gilded Waldorf Wonderland Lobby - evoking raves from locals well as nation and international guests - returns with a canopy of white birch branches, thousands of twinkling lights and scores of sparkling Christmas trees.
Lighting Ceremony is Tuesday, December 2nd at 5:45 pm - 7 pm.
December 3
Holidays at the Royal Sonesta
Are A New Orleans Tradition

Brighten Your Holidays
At the Royal Sonesta New Orleans'
9th Annual Lighting of the Balconies
Wednesday, December 3rd at 6 p.m.
New Orleans, LA  - Plan to kick off the holidays New Orleans
style this year in the French Quarter at the Royal Sonesta's 9th Annual Lighting of the
Balconies ceremony. On Wednesday, December 3rd at 6:00 p.m., at the hotel's main
entrance located at 300 Bourbon Street, two young patients from Children's Hospital
will ceremoniously "flip the switch" to illuminate thousands of twinkling lights that
adorn the hotel's expansive wrought iron balconies. This event has evolved into one of
the most popular local celebrations of the season. The show is packed with plenty of
surprises along with great entertainment designed to ignite your holiday spirit.
Serving as celebrity emcee is Fox Sports Sideline Reporter, Jennifer Hale. As an
award-winning journalist who travels the globe throughout the year covering the national
sports scene, Hale makes her home in the Crescent City. Jen Hale usually is able to
persuade a few members of the New Orleans Saints team to join her for this special
evening of fun that offers something for the entire family.
Headlining this year's show are the incomparable Pfister Sisters. Blending richly
innovative Jazz vocal harmonies, Holley Bendtsen, Yvette Voelker and Debbie Davis
have created a holiday program that's eloquent and captivating. Inspired by the vocal
harmonies of the Boswell Sisters in the 1920's, the Pfister Sisters have graced stages
across the globe including New York's Lincoln Center and Switzerland's renowned
Ascona Jazz Festival. Amasa Miller will accompany the ladies on piano. Their
performance at Lighting of the Balconies will mark the group's first appearance at the
Royal Sonesta.
Professional NFL player Thomas Morstead, # 6 of the New Orleans Saints, is making
time for a special appearance at Lighting of the Balconies along with former Saints
running back, Deuce McAllister. Other guests taking part in the show include members
of the New Orleans Saintsations, the official cheerleading team of the New Orleans
Saints. Santa and his beloved helper, the adorable Royal Teddy Bear, will also be part
of this joyous celebration.
Chaplain Allen Mitchell of Children's Hospital will deliver a moving invocation that
captures the sprit of the season. Two special children will represent all of the patients at
Children's Hospital. Emma, age 3, was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer in the fall of
2013. Berkeley, age 16, was diagnosed with cancer of the bone in January of 2014. The
two patients have grown very close, with Berkeley acting as a big sister and mentor for
her younger counterpart. In fact, when asked to name her favorite thing about Children's
Hospital, Emma replied "my friend, Berkeley". Emma and Berkeley's touching
friendship truly embodies a spirit of hope, inspiring others through their courage.
This heartwarming community event is free and open to the public and all are welcome
to join us!

New Orleans, Louisiana  - With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, the Royal Sonesta New Orleans is looking ahead to the official start of the holiday season.  From the hotel's major holiday kickoff event planned for December 3rd through a New Year's Eve musical farewell to 2014 on December 31st, lasting holiday memories begin and end at the Royal Sonesta, one of the Crescent City's most cherished hotels.
  • On Wednesday December 3rd at 6:00 p.m., the Royal Sonesta officially kicks off the holidays with the 9th Annual Lighting of the Balconies.  With a ceremonial "flip of the switch," two young patients from Children's Hospital will experience the thrill of illuminating the hotel's elaborate wrought-iron balconies with thousands of twinkling lights.  The ceremony takes place street-side complete with a full lineup of musical performances. With special appearances from some of your favorite holiday characters including the Royal Teddy Bear and Santa Claus, this special season opener is a must-do experience for the entire family. Remember, mark your calendars and plan to join in the fun at this heartwarming celebration that is free and open to the public!   
  • Make lasting memories at a Royal Teddy Bear Tea.  Set in the hotel's Grand
    Ballroom, teas are offered Saturday December 13th, Sunday December 14th, and Friday December 19th through Monday December 22nd. Seating times are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Step into a 'Winter Wonderland' where holiday characters come to life right before your eyes.  From story time with Mrs. Claus to a sing-a-long with Rudolph and friends, a Royal Teddy Bear Tea experience will delight children of all ages. Word has it that Santa himself promises to make a special appearance! Each child is invited to "share the magic" of the season by
donating a small, unwrapped gift to the annual Children's Hospital Toy Drop. For reservations and details, call the Holiday Hotline at 504-553-2328.
  • Because Sonesta embraces a 'Culture of Caring,' the hotel has commissioned a local artist to create the Official 2014 Royal Teddy Bear Ornament.  One hundred percent of the net proceeds from ornament sales benefit Children's Hospital New Orleans.  This year, artist Jason Michael Mullan has created 400 limited edition, signed and numbered keepsakes that are available for $25 each.The ornaments may be purchased at all Royal Teddy Bear Teas or by calling the hotel's Holiday Hotline at 504-553-2328.
  • Award-winning executive chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R'evolution offer a traditional 18th Century Creole R'evellion dinner menu on the Eve of Christmas and on New Years Day. The restaurant will also offer a seasonal prix fixe R'eveillon dinner during the entire month of December as part of the citywide Christmas New Orleans Style holiday initiative.  Space is limited, so please reserve early by calling 504-553-2277.
  • Throughout December, choirs from across the metro area spread holiday cheer with special musical performances in the hotel's main lobby. Concerts take place each weekday beginning at 12:00 Noon.  Please visit for a complete performance schedule and plan to drop by throughout the holiday season to enjoy the hotel's elaborate holiday décor.
  • Royal Sonesta's executive chef Kevin Goodwin and his talented culinary team are planning an extravagant Christmas Day Champagne Brunch with all the trimmings in the hotel's elegant Grand Ballroom.  Enjoy the holiday with family and friends in the heart of the historic French Quarter.
  • Finally, plan to ring in the New Year New Orleans style at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse.  The New Year's Eve extravaganza on Wednesday December 31st presents the perfect occasion to enjoy some the city's finest entertainment offerings.  For more information, please call the Playhouse directly at 504-554-2299. 
  • Enjoy all that the French Quarter has to offer this holiday season with special Papa Noel Packages beginning at just $149 per night based on availability.  Book your accommodations online at using promo code PAPA.  The Royal Sonesta provides the perfect opportunity to shop, dine and celebrate in one of America's most exciting travel destinations. 
Margarita Bergen's photo.
Margarita Bergen's photo.
Margarita Bergen's photo.
Margarita Bergen's photo.
Margarita Bergen's photo.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana Day Networking Night at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was a special evening of networking with multiple organizations and Small Business Owners cheered by delicious Cosmopolitan Martinis and culinary delights .
 — with Miriam Brown andMayra Pineda.
Darlings, right after work at Casell-Bergen Gallery, I attended the always fun - Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana Day Networking Night at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was a special evening of networking with multiple organizations and Small Business Owners cheered by delicious Cosmopolitan Martinis and culinary delights  .

Lovely presentation and designer talk by Mexican Designer FLORA MARIA-“JEWELS FROM THE EARTH” at the Mexican Consulate

 New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation's  2014 Azucar Ball - LA BAMBA