Here’s why New Orleans loves Mister Bingle, a treasured holiday icon

Jingle, Jangle, Jingle! Here comes Mr. Bingle.

Mister Bingle has been an iconic, New Orleans holiday tradition for more than 70 years. The phrase, “jingle, jangle, jingle” strikes a nostalgic chord for many New Orleanians who remember the Christmas character from its first appearance on Canal Street.

Photo courtesy: New Orleans City Park

During the 19th and 20th centuries Canal Street was considered the city’s heart of retail. Families headed downtown for shopping at historic department stores with legendary names like D.H. Homes, Maison Blanche, Krauss’ and Godchaux’s.

Mister Bingle was widely known as the holiday mascot for the historic department store Maison Blanche. The character was created by the store’s display director in 1948 for holiday advertising.

His immediate success led to the birth of a New Orleans icon. Maison Blanche created a Mr. Bingle store museum and a puppet show. The popular character even scored a tv show.

Photo courtesy: New Orleans City Park

Now, the popular icon is unmistakable with a cute appearance, including a snowman’s body, an ice cream cone hat, candy cane-striped mittens, holly wings and a candy cane in hand.

Fans of the beloved holiday character still can see him each year at Celebration in the Oaks. Mister Bingle has made an annual appearance each year at Celebration in the Oaks since 2005. He also rides along in the annual Krewe of Jingle parade during the holiday season.

 

Amanda Frentz, assistant director of public relations at New Orleans City Park, says it is important to keep the tradition of Mister Bingle alive and pass the history along to younger generations.

Frentz says the desire to connect with a younger audience was also a factor in the decision to put the icon on social media.

“The decision to put Mister Bingle on social media was easy; he’s the spokesperson for Celebration in the Oaks,” Frentz said. “He loves for people to know how many marshmallows he ate that day,” she said.

Fans who want to connect with Mister Bingle can follow him @MisterBingle on both Instagram and Twitter.

For more about Celebration in the Oaks and Mister Bingle, visit New Orleans City Park’s website.