Food Fest

For 7 years, Food Fest has been bringing comfort food together for a weekend of feasting and music. Celebrating informal food, the Fest presents local fare as well as dishes from as far away as Tennessee, Connecticut and Rochester, New York. Like at most fests, you can tell the favorites by the lines and Miss Linda the Yakamein Lady seemed to be the consistent favorite along with Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken from Memphis. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine

Bonerama plays Wednesday at the Square

Wednesday at the Square is back and I was thrilled to get there this week for Bonerama, founded in 1998 by trombonists Mark Mullins and Craig Klein (former members of Harry Connick Jr.’s band 1990-2006). Guitarist Bert Cotton, a cool-dude type who can break out a major solo, has been with the band since the start. Sousaphonist/bass player Matt Perrine and A.J. Hall are newer additions but Greg Hicks is the trombonist who really completes the band musically and conceptually. Bonerama plays great New Orleans standards and originals but they are beloved for their trombone-trio versions of 70’s rock. Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday 2015

This was my 6th Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday and it still shocks my senses. Music swirls with the smell of grilled meats as everyone gathers at A.L. Davis Park to see the Indians’ elaborately crafted suits which weigh up to 150 pounds, cost up to $5000 (though I’ve heard $9000 once) and can take up to a year to design, construct and bead. When I moved here in 2009, the tribes were still fighting  for their right to a permitted parade. This year, I spotted Mayor Mitch Landrieu shaking hands with police parade escorts before things got rolling. Continue reading

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Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Parade 2015

With the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday parade just hours away, I have NO time to write so I borrowed from a past post. Pardon the plagiarism. The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club was established in 1947 and has held a mass and parade for over 60 years. I’ve been attending for 6 of those. Over 1400 (often drunk) walkers in black suits and green accessories (many in kilts) exchange silk flowers for kisses from the women and children on the route. Then floats pass tossing cabbage, carrots, Oodles of Noodles, pickles, Moon Pies,  Lucky Charms and Irish Spring soap in addition to the traditional throws of beads, toys and cups. Continue reading

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Got Gumbo? 2015

This was my 5th Got Gumbo? event benefitting the United Way and it’s one of my favorite annual evenings. At the Royal Sonesta, 15 restaurants provided up to 4 dishes each to compete for Best Traditional Gumbo, Best Seafood Gumbo, Best Exotic Gumbo and Best Vegetarian Gumbo as well as the People’s Choice for Best Dessert, Best Float (decorated table display) and Best Gumbo. That’s 15 restaurants, each with multiple chefs, competing in up to half a dozen categories each so you can eat yourself silly surrounded by fun table displays and charitable gumbo-lovers (United Way  receives the $25 ticket price as well as the bar).  And, of course, there’s a band – Rick Trolson’s New Orleans Po’Boys. Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Day in the French Quarter

Everywhere else, it’s just Tuesday. Just one block from the debauchery of Bourbon Street, for many locals Mardi Gras Day in the French Quarter is a day of elaborate costumes, wandering bands and dancing in the streets. It was see-your-breath cold but after the crap-weather last year, icy wind seemed like a cakewalk. No time to write but they say a picture’s worth a thousand words so here are about 150,000 words. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2015, parade, walking

Krewes of Thoth and Bacchus

As a member of the Pussyfooters, I danced in 2 Mardi Gras parades this year, Muses and Krewe of Thoth. Best known as “the children’s parade for it’s inclusion of the children’s hospital, Thoth has the longest parade route at about 11 miles. That’s a lot of dancing, but I comfort myself thinking of the kids carrying sousaphones and bass drums. The weather was nice again and crowds were thick. We passed Okeanos lining up on our way to Thoth then jumped into the parade a few floats after the Muff-A-Lottas passed by.(Okay, first there were about 2 hours of waiting but we kept ourselves entertained). Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2015, parade