Here's a lil New Orleans trivia for yall. This is a well-known thing in the City and surrounding area, but like many local icons, unknown to the rest of the world. I aint no historian, but here's what I know about Mr. Bingle. ( For a more precise, historically detailed account, ya can google "Mr. Bingle + New Orleans" for a wealth of info. on the ole guy.)
For many years there was a grand ole store on Canal Street called Maison Blanc. This old department store was a great store and a local favorite for years. I think the building is now the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. For around 40 years or so,(1940's to 1980's) Mr. Bingle was their puppet Christmas symbol and advertisement logo. M.B., was the store and the puppet's initials. Anyways, a symbol from a simpler time, Mr. Bingle is safely enshrined in the hearts of New Orleanians, and to this day his appearance symbolizes the approach of Christmas to the locals, as sure as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Every year, the locals have a wreath contest featuring Mr. Bingle. This year I took pictures of a few of the wreaths. To see them, click the above title, then click "view slideshow". I hope ya enjoy it, and it does for You what it does for us locals; puts a spark of Christmas Spirit in your heart.