Behind the Scenes of Pirate’s Alley: Celebration in the Oaks

First, a quick note: This website will be out of commission for a couple of days, beginning Thursday, as we make the switch over to the new design. Fingers crossed that it goes smoothly! I’ll be back on Sunday to share the special plans I have for the site for the rest of April. It will probably be silly, but might prove entertaining. We shall see 🙂

Tanker age 14-Feb 2014Also, thanks to all of you who saw the news on Facebook that I lost my precious dog Tanker on Tuesday morning and offered your words of condolence. I had a special bond with him, maybe because, as a stray fifteen years ago, he picked my house to sit in front and refused to leave until I gave in and kept him. Maybe it’s because he was, being part Chow Chow, not a very social dog. He tolerated my friends; he was a grump with strangers; but he loved me without reservation, and how can you not love that? For me, he danced and played with stuffed animals and acted goofy–a side very few others got to see. It has been tough losing both Shane and Tanker less than a year apart, but they had good lives and great adventures and my life has been richer for having them in it. I believe they are reunited now.

Now, before I go off and cry again….

With PIRATE’S ALLEY taking place in mid-December, it offered up a chance for me to feature a couple of New Orleans holiday customs. Last week, we looked at Reveillon. Today, you’ll see Celebration in the Oaks.

Each year, from Thanksgiving through New Year, New Orleans’ City Park turns into an amazing winter wonderland of light displays that you can walk through or drive through, depending on how long you want to stay and whether you just want to see the lights or if you want to participate in some of the activities.

In PIRATE’S ALLEY, as I described last week, DJ and Alex decide to enjoy a Réveillon dinner at Café Degas before they go to see the Celebration in the Oaks. They end up getting in a snit and not going. Later in the book, they DO go to Celebration in the Oaks…sort of. Although not in any way they might have planned!

Still, it’s something I went to just about every year and it’s pretty awesome. Just some “fun facts” from the City Park website: Celebration takes eight months to prepare for, involves 558,350 LED bulbs (42,000 in the ‘Dripping Snow’ tree alone), 32,800 linear feet of rope light, 8,000 feet of zip cord, 2,000 linear feet of heavy gauge wire, and 500 live potted poinsettias.

Enjoy these scenes of Celebration in the Oaks…DJ didn’t have a chance to stop and enjoy it very much!





9 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of Pirate’s Alley: Celebration in the Oaks

  1. I shed a tear for the Tanker. May he enjoy his reunion with Shane. Thanks for the update on the Celebration in the Oaks. On of the cover of Pirate’s Alley we see some of the lights. Looking forward to the site update, will be fun.

    • Thanks, Roger! Yes, the Pirate’s Alley cover is set in the final big scene of the book….except DJ is wearing a tank top….in December….during a blizzard. Oy!

  2. Thanks for the pictures. Always fun to see other cities’ celebrations. Sorry for the loss of Tank. Looking forward to the new website.

  3. may Tanker be happy now as he was with you.
    those pictures are fabulosu thank you for sharing them with us it’s different that what i imagined and so lovely

  4. Hi Suzanne! I feel your pain! We lost our beloved dog Windy in Sept and life around here has not been the same. Hopefully though, in time, another friend will find it’s way to you. Love the pics and can’t wait for the new book (even my hubby who doesn’t read much, has read & loved the series).

  5. I’m so sorry to read about your loss of Tank. What a sweet and loving expression on his face in the photo. The photos of the lights are really fabulous and so much fun, especially with the alligators.

  6. Sorry to hear about the loss of your furbaby 🙁 Thanks for sharing your pics and best of luck on the upgrade!

  7. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your precious dog, Tanker. Our pets are loving family members and live forever in our hearts.