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The V Side: Alternative shopping, seasonal concerts and Santas in the street

The first 25 visitors to Last Stop Shop get a free gift bag.

THURSDAY / Alternative shopping, Part 1: It’s all about purchasing power, right? With Chanukah and Christmas looming just ahead, consider some alternative buying sprees. First up is the sixth annual Last Stop Shop, a holiday gift market of fun and funky ornaments and crafts from the New Orleans Craft Mafia, taking place from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday at The Big Top, 1638 Clio Street, between St. Charles and Carondelet. In addition to music, revelry and last-minute gifts, there will be a handmade ornament and tree raffle to benefit KIDsmART. Plus the first 25 people through the door get a free gift bag. Ho ho ho.

FRIDAY / African rhythms: Ashe Cultural Art Center plays an encore of one of its signature events when The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth returns to the stage at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center (East Jefferson High School), 400 Phlox Ave., Metairie. The production, written by Dr. David Anderson, combines spoken word with images from dance in film and music by instumentalists and vocalists, to tell the story of how the Earth was created according to the Yoruba culture of West Africa. Tickets are $5; to purchase click here.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY / 100 years of plenitude: Give yourself a gift – a break from all that shopping – at the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Centennial Celebration. The free birthday bash takes place from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday, with lots of music, art, comedy, improv, theater and exhibition walk-throughs. Originally The Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, NOMA opened its doors on December 16, 1911, owning just nine works of art. Today the museum has almost 40,000 art objects in the permanent collection and is a cultural cornerstone for New Orleans. And that’s worth celebrating.

SATURDAY / Pole prancing: Mix Kris Kringle garb with Crescent City cheer and you get … the first local Running of the Santas. Billed as “the world’s naughtiest pub crawl,” the event starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at the “South Pole” (Ernst Café), followed at 6 p.m. by a run down Convention Center Boulevard to the “North Pole” (Generations Hall), with before and after indoor/outdoor fun that includes a Hottest Santa Contest, live music and $3 beers. Tickets start at $15; click here to purchase. Must be 21 to run with this crowd.

SATURDAY / And all that jazz: What better way to get into the celebratory swing of things than a holiday jazz concert? Singin’ and Swingin’ on the Avenue takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6367 St. Charles Ave. The program features vocalists Leah Chase and Phillip Manuel, jazz musicians Edward Anderson, Evan Christopher, Khari Lee and Mike Pellera, and the Holy Name of Jesus Children’s Choir under the direction of Colleen Maher. Admission is by $10 donation. For information, email or call 504.861.9709.

SATURDAY / Alternative shopping, Part 2: Part giant yard sale and part art market, Avant Garden is all parts creative, as some 60 artists, designers, vendors and crafters sell their wares from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Joan Mitchell Center, 2275 Bayou Road. After purchasing, buyers can stick around for some pondering at Pecha Kucha, an “exchange of ideas” with 10 speakers, thinkers and presenters from 7 to 9 p.m. For more, read Brian Friedman’s interview with the organizer here.

SATURDAY / Alternative shopping, Part 3: More than 40 local vendors deck the halls from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at The Old Ironworks, 612 Piety Street, for the Piety Street Holiday Market. Choices include art, jewelry crafts, home baking, vintage collectibes and flea market finds.

NolaVie presents offbeat entertainment options for the weekend in The V Side every Thursday. 



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