The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. (NOTMC) and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) are busily planning the annual December celebration, Christmas, New Orleans Style and they are seeking restaurants to participate in the Reveillon program.
What is Reveillon? Derived from the French word for 'awakening,' reveillon originally was a meal served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Early New Orleans was almost entirely Catholic, and virtually the entire community would participate in these ceremonies. Families would return from the late-night service famished and set upon a feast prepared in advance and laid out on the table or sideboard.
A typical early reveillon menu looked very much like breakfast, with egg dishes, breads and puddings, but could also include turtle soup, oysters and grillades of veal. Naturally, the Creoles accompanied these rich repasts with wines, cordials and other fortified drinks. The dinners could last for many hours, and by some accounts even until dawn.
In the 1990s, however, the reveillon tradition was 'reawakened' and transformed. The organization French Quarter Festivals Inc., interested in attracting travelers to New Orleans during the perennial holiday season lull in convention bookings, approached local restaurants with an idea to offer and promote special holiday menus. Restaurants eagerly embraced the idea and soon so did their local regulars and out of town visitors.
Reveillon has grown considerably during the past several years, with nearly 50 restaurants participating, and Reveillon menus have become one of the most popular attributes of the holiday season in New Orleans. It’s easy and fun to participate and by doing so, restaurants will get the benefit of additional marketing exposure for their restaurant during the campaign promotion period of October through December.
Here’s how the NOTMC and the FQFI promote Reveillon and Christmas, New Orleans Style, and where your restaurant will be listed if you participate:
- Listings on multiple websites (including www.neworleansonline.com and www.fqfi.org) which receive more than 650,000 visits per month.
- Monthly e-mail newsletters and updates sent by the NOTMC to more than 350,000 subscribers nationwide
- Nationally distributed printed brochure, plus television and online marketing to support the overall campaign
- Nationally distributed 2013 calendar shared with tourist centers, media and travel trade, and guests who are in town during the month of December
The application deadline is Tuesday, August 20, 2013. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications with Reveillon menu on or before August 20 to be reviewed by the Reveillon Committee Board. Submissions received after August 20, may cause a restaurant to lose their listing within the brochures. There is a fee to participate.
If you have any questions about the Christmas, New Orleans Style Reveillon program, please contact Georgia Rhody at Georgia@fqfi.org or call (50) 227-3127.