Giving Thanks The Big Easy Way

Not surprisingly, this city adds a little something special to the standard holiday schedule. Here are three only-in-New-Orleans Thanksgiving traditions that we’d definitely recommend adopting when you’re in town.

1. Four full days of pre-game festivities—including a parade from the Superdome to the French Market on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, and a battle of the bands, hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps, on Friday—lead up to Saturday’s Bayou Classic football game at the Superdome. Who’s playing? Well, the Grambling State University Tigers take on the Southern University Jaguars, of course. It’ll be the 43rd time these two much-celebrated, historically black public institutions face each other on the gridiron.

bayou bowl new orleans footballPhotos Courtesy of the Bayou Classic

2. In all the excitement, though, don’t forget the meal itself. If you’re going to be in town, might as well go big with turducken. Yes, the symbol of overindulgence, which consists of a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, is a New Orleans thing. (What a surprise.) Among the restaurants serving it this year: John Besh’s Lüke, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House and, of course, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, which claims to have invented, or at least named, the dish. (Beware, though: K-Paul’s serves it on Thanksgiving eve, not on the day itself. Wait—that means you can have it twice.)

K-Paul’s Louisiana KitchenPhoto Courtesy of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen

3. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, skip the Black Friday shopping hordes and wander up to City Park to see the Celebration in the Oaks holiday light show, which covers 25 acres of the park and stays up till January 3. (The best way to see it: the two-mile “toy” train ride.)

celebration in the oaks new orleans city parkPhoto Courtesy of New Orleans City Park

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