Driving tour returns to Celebration in the Oaks: Here’s a sneak peek

City Park's popular driving tour comes back this holiday season, and you're gonna want to buckle up.

City Park’s popular driving tour comes back this holiday season, and you’re gonna want to buckle up. Now, you can see more than a million lights right from the comfort of your car.

For some, the driving tour will feel like a trip back in time.

“There’s a population here that remembers that driving tour that have children that have never been able to experience it, and that’s what’s going to be really exciting,” said Rob DeViney, City Park’s chief operating officer.

And a whole new generation gets to see these dazzling displays in a brand new light.

“The younger audiences that have seen our or have come to our holiday event will recognize some of their favorites on the route,” DeViney said. “And there’s a ton of new exhibits that we’re putting out…dancing Christmas trees, lit up tunnels.”

City Park’s elves made a list and checked it twice to reimagine the 2.25-mile route for 2020.

“We lost all of the infrastructure related to what was in place for the driving tour. So we had to gather as a team and decide the route, where the exhibits would fit, where power was located,” DeViney said. “It was no easy task.”

Plus, some old favorites from pre-Katrina years will reappear.

“We have a 25-foot tall waving Santa that people may remember from 2004, and we have a 56-foot long paddle wheeler that will reappear this year on the driving tour,” DeViney said.

Don’t worry, Mister Bingle is still coming to town. You can visit the beloved holiday character as part of add-on activities in Carousel Gardens.

“Hopefully, we can provide a safe aspect in addition to the driving tour where folks can get out and kind of be around others but in a safe way,” said Waymon Morris, City Park’s director of recreational services.

And, another treat to make your ride more festive: a special station will let you listen to holiday classics on your car radio.

Organizers say they’re excited to give this Christmas gift to New Orleans: keeping a local tradition alive while making it safe.

“It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling that the holidays are coming,” DeViney said. “So, I hope that we’re able to provide that to people.”

City Park officials stress that you must purchase tickets online in advance and reserve a specific date and time slot for the driving tour.

For more information or to purchase Celebration in the Oaks tickets, visit the website.

RELATED: Celebration in the Oaks: See vintage photos from past driving tours


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