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Holiday Parade Part of Plan to Drive Economic
Activity and Tourism to New Orleans East

by Anitra D. Brown

This holiday season, residents in eastern New Orleans will have the opportunity to enjoy a local holiday parade and residents from across the city can also join in on the fun by traveling to and exploring the East for the Tricentennial Jingle on the Boulevard Parade.

Presented by District E City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, the parade will roll at noon on Saturday, Dec. 15 on a route that begins at Crowder Boulevard and Morrison Road, heads up Crowder to Hayne Boulevard, travels along Hayne to Read Boulevard and continues on Read until it disbands at the site of the former Lake Forest Plaza mall.

The parade is designed to highlight the local businesses, restaurants and shops along the eastern New Orleans route.

The first ever Jingle On the Boulevard parade will feature Santa Claus, a variety of other holiday characters celebrity guests and some the city’s best marching units along with signature souvenir throws.

“I wanted to bring family fun activities to New Orleans East,” Nguyen say. “This event is also about creating economic opportunities for small vendors. Also, a lot of people don’t come to the East. We want to give them something to come to the East for.”

Nguyen adds, “District E has taken a proactive approach to ensure that the community maintain its identity and expands economic development and tourism activities within the city of New Orleans. Jingle On The Boulevard will be one of the many cultural events presented in the city to improve the quality of life for local residents and ensure a steady flow of tourism into the city.

The event also offers opportunities for local businesses large and small to partner with District E, which is the largest district in the city, and create community awareness and visibility of their brand, product or service among the districts more than 86,000 residents.

One of the sections of the city hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, District E, which includes New Orleans East and the lower Ninth Ward, has struggled the longest to rebound economically from the storm when compared to other parts of New Orleans.

Since being elected, Nguyen has focused attention on redevelopment opportunities throughout District E. This summer she began hosting community-wide meetings designed to elicit residents’ input and ideas on redevelopment throughout the district, especially New Orleans East, once a sprawling suburban district that actually began to experience an economic decline before Hurricane Katrina. Despite the relative slow-pace of post-Katrina recovery when compared to other parts of New Orleans, New Orleans East and the rest of District E, continue to benefit from the sheer will of its residents, many of whom have returned to their community, rebuilt homes and opened small businesses. In recent years, these efforts have been buoyed by the addition of a few larger retailers, big-box stores, the long-awaited opening of New Orleans East Hospital as well as other public improvements across the area including library openings and park and recreation upgrades.

But there is still room for much more activity across the District, and Nguyen really wants to improve the quality of life of District E residents while spurring more tourism traffic to New Orleans East and the entire city as part of the city’s Tricentennial celebration and beyond.

“Eastern New Orleans has flourished in the past, and we can do it again,” Nguyen says,

Sponsorship opportunities for the event are still available. For more information, contact Kelly M. Derbigny at kelly.derbigny@nola.gov.

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