Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré
October 14 & 15, 2017
The Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré opens magnificent courtyards of the French Quarter for a special weekend tour. This highly anticipated event offers the allure of private and historic gardens otherwise closed to the public. The self-guided walking tour reveals how garden designers take advantage of small spaces, and provides access to the cool and private hideaways suited to the Louisiana climate in styles of early Spanish and French architecture.
Several courtyards will be opened in different locations each day for a self-guided walking tour between the hours of 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 each (children under 12 free), and will be available for purchase online and day of at Creole Delicacies, 533 St. Ann Street (at Jackson Square) (cash, check, or credit card), and at French Quarter Gem & Lapidary, 527 St. Philip Street (near Decatur), 1-888-756-6250 (cash, check, or credit card).
The Secret Gardens tour is very special because it includes access to gardens that few of the public, including locals, ever get to see. An aerial view of the French Quarter reveals the never-seen cavities and alleyways that make the Vieux Carré so unique. The tour will reveal the many lush, semi-tropical courtyards found in these cavities and show how masterfully garden designers take advantage of small spaces. The miniaturized courtyards were cool and private hideaways that suited the Louisiana climate and the styles of the early Spanish, French, and later Creole architecture.
The Patio Planters du Vieux Carré, the venerable French Quarter garden society which hosts these private courtyard tours, was established to preserve the qualities of these “secret gardens” and is very protective of their condition. Access is limited, and only small numbers may visit at any one time in order to prevent damage through human impact.
Halloween Decoration Judging
October 24, 2017
Patio Planters members ride through the French Quarter to judge Halloween decorations. This is a relatively new event to honor our creative French Quarter residents and businesses.
Winners will be announced and presented a plaque at the White Elephant Sale in mid-November.
HALLOWEEN DECORATION WINNERS for 2016
BEST DOOR: Gayle & Buddy Breaux – 941 St. Ann
BEST WINDOW: Razzle Dazzle (Barbara Coe) – 742 Royal
BEST BALCONY: Claudine & Chip Blondeau – 1041 Royal
BEST RESIDENTIAL: Ina & Marcus Magee – 1013 Royal St.
BEST COMMERCIAL: OZ – 800 Bourbon St.
BEST OVERALL: Tommye James & Don Webre – 832 Saint Peter St.
White Elephant Sale & Auction
November 11, 2017
Auction, Yard Sale, and Raffle — something for everyone! Some of the best French Quarter businesses, restaurants, hotels, art galleries, and shops donate gift certificates and auction items for this event. The yard sale items are all donations from members and friends of the Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré, and include jewelry, books, clothing, and plants. Baskets of Cheer full of wine and spirits are raffled off throughout the day. This November fundraiser takes place at the corner of Royal and St. Philip Streets (721 St. Philip Street) in the parking lot of the Little Red School House in the French Quarter. Donations and auction items are accepted year-round by the Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré . Admission: Free and open to the public.Our next White Elephant Sale begins on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., and the Auction begins at 12:00 noon. We look forward each year to selling a huge collection from our generous donors. If you have donations or want to buy raffle tickets for the Baskets of Cheer, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last minute donations are happily accepted, and the top fifteen donors of auction items will receive an ad placed in the Caroling in Jackson Square keepsake song book.Winners of the Patio Planters contest for the best Halloween decorations in the French Quarter will be announced and awarded at this event.Please note our donation restrictions: Due to limitations in storage and moving capabilities, we are no longer able to accept magazines, encyclopedias, large televisions, or large furniture. Also, we will not be able to accept donations of analog televisions. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Christmas Decoration Judging
December 12, 2017
Each year, a panel of Patio Planters judges boards the official judging vehicle (everything from a van to a limousine to an antique fire truck) and makes the travels through the Quarter in search of the best holiday decorations, stopping along the way for food and drink, of course.
Patio Planters encourages everyone to decorate and contribute to the festive atmosphere of the French Quarter. The winners are announced every year on the following Sunday at Caroling in Jackson Square, with presentation of a plaque and a $150 gift certificate to Santa’s Quarters on Decatur Street.
CHRISTMAS DECORATION WINNERS for 2016
BEST HOTEL: Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St.
BEST COMMERCIAL: Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, 95 French Market Place
BEST RESIDENTIAL: Chuck Ransdell & Leslie Perrin, 728 St. Philip St.
BEST BALCONY/PORCH: Bobby & Karen Major, 914 Bourbon St.
BEST DOOR: Robert & Samantha McRaney, 1012 Royal St.
BEST WINDOW: Deanie’s Seafood, 541 Iberville St.
BEST OVERALL: Tommye James & Don Webre, 832 St. Peter St.
PRESIDENT’S AWARD: David Erath – Santa’s Quarters, 1025 Decatur St.
Holiday Home Tour
December 17, 2017
Savor the holiday spirit as Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré presents French Quarter residences dressed for the season. The tour includes interesting architectural styles and home furnishings, as well as a variety of collections of Christmas decorations. This December fundraiser is a prelude to the highly anticipated Caroling in Jackson Square later in the evening.
French Quarter residents will open their homes for the self-guided walking tour between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 each (children under 12 free), and will be available for purchase prior to the tour at Creole Delicacies, 533 St. Ann Street (at Jackson Square) (cash or check), and at French Quarter Gem & Lapidary, 527 St. Philip Street (near Decatur), 1-888-756-6250 (cash, check, or credit card).
Caroling in Jackson Square
December 17, 2017
For most visitors and locals, this is the highlight of the Holiday Season in New Orleans. A holiday tradition that has been going on since 1946, Christmas Caroling in Jackson Square is a joyful, fun experience that thousands of people participate in every year.
Held on Sunday, December 17, Jackson Square is illuminated by hundreds of candles held by singers, both amateur and professional, crooning Christmas favorites that everyone is familiar with. The event is free and open to all who wish to participate, regardless of religious affiliation.
Candles and song sheets are provided at this free and open to the public event. The gates to Jackson Square open at 6:30 p.m. and the caroling begins at 7:00. Those who plan to attend and participate are strongly advised to arrive early. This is a very popular event that sometimes exceeds the capacity of the square.
Photo: Toby Armstrong and NewOrleansOnline.com