Pretty much anywhere you go in Louisiana you'll find a local, unique Christmas tradition. We have so many, there are some I'm still finding out about. Take Mr. Bingle for example. Do you know the story of this New Orleans Christmas icon?

The Mr. Bingle Christmas legend started in New Orleans back in 1948. In those days, Canal Street was a major shopping destination for the holidays. In an effort to stand out, reports Maison Blanche window-display manager Emile Alline decided to come up with a unique Christmas character. The character she came up with was the one and only Mr. Bingle. Mr. Bingle is a snowman who has an ice cream cone for a hat and Christmas ornaments for eyes. The store would put on Mr. Bingle puppet shows in the Maison Blanche storefront window and became an instant local hit.

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Maison Blanche ceased to exist in 1998 after being purchased by the Arkansas-based Dillard's, with the flagship store on Canal Street now home to the Ritz Carlton hotel. But Mr. Bingle has proven to be a resilient little fellow. His image is still seen around town at Christmastime, including at City Park's annual Celebration in the Oaks event, where an oversized likeness of a "flying" Mr. Bingle that once graced the facade of Maison Blanche is proudly displayed. Dillard's also still markets a line of seasonal Mr. Bingle merchandise.


Mr. Bingle even has his own theme song!

Jingle, jangle, jingle
Here comes Mr. Bingle
With another message from Kris Kringle
Time to launch your Christmas season
Maison Blanche makes Christmas pleasin'
Gifts galore for you to see
Each a gem from MB!