From 1850 until about 1990, the holiday season brought lavish decorations, toy lands, trim-the-tree displays and aisles of Christmas cards to Canal Street, the city’s premier shopping destination.
Maison Blanche, one of the most notable department stores in downtown New Orleans, was home to Mr. Bingle, a lovable holiday mascot who debuted in 1947. Similar characters were popular at retailers across the country. Marshall Field’s had Uncle Mistletoe, and Montgomery Ward gave us Rudolph.
Although Maison Blanche ceased operations in the 1990s, Mr. Bingle remains a local favorite who can still be seen in New Orleans every December.