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New Orleans Thanksgiving

A Very New Orleans Thanksgiving

Since November 1846, when Louisiana Governor Isaac Johnson declared November 26 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer,” New Orleans has risen to the occasion in true Crescent City fashion. In a place where great food, music, architecture, and experiences are the norm, elevating what’s already stellar might seem like a steep slope to climb. (Messinascatering) But Creoles and Cajuns do it better than just about anybody when it comes to celebrating, and Thanksgiving is no exception.

New Orleans Thanksgiving Cuisine

New Orleanians have always had a penchant for taking things over the top. In New Orleans, it’s pretty common to find spice-rubbed, deep-fried, and smoked turkeys on the menu. Turducken is another alternative and is a singularly New Orleans Thanksgiving dish. Made a household name by former coach and NFL commentator John Madden, Turducken is a Cajun creation that cooks a boneless chicken breast inside of a boneless duck breast inside of a turkey. It might sound a bit odd, but it is delicious.

Likewise, don’t be surprised if the stuffing you’re served is a bit extra. Here in New Orleans, it’s not unusual to find a little cornbread, Creole pork, oysters, shrimp, or even crawfish in the stuffing.

Thanksgiving Catering

Let the pros at Messina’s Catering & Events take the lion’s share of work off your plate this Thanksgiving. We can help you create the perfect Thanksgiving catering menu with a nod to the traditional and a unique Crescent City flare. As an experienced New Orleans caterer, we can give your Thanksgiving affair the perfect Cajun accent and free you up to enjoy your guests. Better yet, there’s no cleanup, prep work, or even shopping required by you. You can enjoy the day and all the company that surrounds you.

Some Thanksgiving staples remain on Messina’s catering menu year-round, but we kick them up yet another notch on the day that celebrates food, family, and friends. Don’t be surprised to find uniquely New Orleans favorites on your catered Thanksgiving menu, like our alligator and andouille sausages, seafood gumbo, boudin bites, and crawfish pie served alongside our southern-fried turkey or Abita root beer-glazed Chisesi ham. Chances are good you will all come away with some tasty new holiday traditions.

Thanksgiving Menu

Spend Thanksgiving With the Ponies

Anyone who’s spent time in The Big Easy knows that the horse races at the Fair Grounds Race Course are a big draw on Thanksgiving Day. In addition to picking your ponies and placing your bets, you might also want to don your most spectacular hat. Think Kentucky Derby meets Mardi Gras, and you’ll be wearing a winner.

Fair Grounds Race Course

Lace Up Your Shoes

Feel like working up a healthy appetite? Lace-up your sneakers and join the New Orleans Athletic Club’s annual Turkey Day Race. The race has been a New Orleans Thanksgiving tradition since it began 115 years ago and takes place at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park. There is a five-mile and a kid’s half-mile race to take part in. The proceeds go to worthy charities like Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans every year.

Take In Some Music

Another local tradition that takes place on Black Friday is the Bayou Classic Greek Show and the legendary Battle of the Bands. This competition between the marching bands of the Tigers of Grambling State and the Jaguars of Southern University can get just as heated as the gridiron action on the field. There’s also a massive parade on Saturday featuring some of the best marching bands in the country.

Shop Local

Cities across the US celebrate Small Business Saturday, the weekend after Thanksgiving. What better way to support your local small business than to stroll through some of the unique boutiques like Alice and Amelia on Magazine Street, parse through antiques along Royal Street, or find a bargain at the French Market? Most of the items you will find are locally designed, locally made, or handmade, making great gifts for loved ones or a special treat for yourself.

Thankfully, You Don’t Have to Bear the Burden of Making Sure Everything is Perfect

Messina’s Catering and Events will help you plan and prepare your catered holiday event so you can enjoy every second with friends and family to its fullest. Let us give your Thanksgiving celebration a distinctive New Orleans flare. To learn more, visit


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