The 4 days of French Quarter Fest came to a close on Sunday. Employing over 1,700 local musicians, the fest features genres from funk, R&B and jazz to rock, gospel and Zydeco. Over 1,500 volunteers and a variety of local companies handling sanitation, security, stages, sound, etc. insure that all of the money spent producing the festival remains within the local economy.
We started the day with Shrimp Ragivote over Fried Green Tomato ($9) from Tujague’s Restaurant. Continue reading
Saturday is always the busiest day of the 4-day French Quarter Fest. All of the 20 stages and 50+ food booths were open and crowded. We started with the quieter sounds of Sarah Quintana before moving on to rocking and rolling with Irene Sage Band. When it comes to covers of anything by Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac, Irene Sage is still the only singer that fills me with joy.
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles filled the big stage with beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian suits. I especially loved the Big Chief’s rendition of Indian Red.
Lunch was another Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($12) from Walker’s Southern Style BBQ – one of my favorite fest foods. Continue reading
Friday, more of the eventual 20 stages of indigenous music and over-50 local food booths opened for French Quarter Fest. My favorite festival of the year, it’s also one of the city’s most profitable – generating an economic impact of $190 million in 2019.
We walked past the dance lessons in full swing at the French Market before starting our day near the Aquarium with Valerie Sassyfras of America’s Got Talent fame. Her memorable original, Girl’s Night Out, may not have gotten her past the second week of competition, but it made her a cult celeb.
Miss Sassyfras put on quite a show. Continue reading
I missed many things during the pandemic, but most of them are available at French Quarter Fest, my favorite festival of the year. The 20 stages of indigenous music and 60 local food booths provide the best of our city’s offerings and it was great running into friends after so long – and seeing so many people wearing Pelicans basketball gear!
We started our day by the Aquarium with Margie Perez serenading a brunch-time crowd of visitors and locals from tiny tots to great-grandparents. Continue reading
Though the Chris Owens Easter Parade is visually stunning, the Gay Easter Parade takes Easter bonnets to a whole new level. Miss National Apollo 2022, Gia GiaVanni’s hat was as wide as the car that rolled her through the French Quarter. I ran into 2 people wearing my own fabulous pink and orange hat.
Dancers and walking krewes included Mystic Krewe of P.U.E.W.C., Lords of Leather, Flaming Flagetts, Big Easy Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Krewe of Goddesses. When it comes to this parade, photos are truly worth thousands of words – so enjoy! Continue reading
Like the St. Patrick’s festivities, Super Sunday was cancelled in 2020. And 2021. It’s one of my favorite days of the year so I was schoolgirl-giddy heading to A.L. Davis Park to see the Mardi Gras Indian tribes gather to show off their incredible suits of beads, ribbons, jewels and feathers.
Weighing up to 150 pounds and costing thousands of dollars, the Uptown tribes’ suits feature elaborately beaded panels portraying battle scenes, nature, goddesses, and local iconography. Continue reading
In 2020, the COVID pandemic shut New Orleans down on March 14th – just as local St. Patrick’s (Week) festivities were starting. The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club‘s Irish Channel Parade was cancelled when the riders and walking krewes had already purchased thousands of silk flowers, beads, toys, and fresh cabbages, potatoes, carrots and Ramen Noodles – ingredients for stew. My family filled a closet with Irish Spring soap. Other had to deal with crates of Moon Pies and single-portions of Lucky Charms.
The 2022 parade may have included some recycled throws (and possibly stale cereal), but I was glad to see they also included the 2020 Grand Marshall & Colleen who never got a chance to roll and greet the city. Continue reading
Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras in French – splits the city into parade-goers and costumers. Parade-goers go to the Krewe of Zulu and Krewe of Rex parades, with diehards staying for the truck parade. We’re costumers so we spent the day wandering the French Quarter and Marigny taking in all the fun and fabulous ideas people came up with this year.
Last year was so quiet so it was wonderful to see all the colorful silliness and ingenuity on display. There were a lot of Ukraine costumes this year. Continue reading
I’ve explained before that there’s more than one Mardi Gras. On Lundi Gras (Monday before Fat Tuesday) we’re usually Uptown for the epic Krewe of Orpheaus Parade. The floats and bands are incredible and the weather promised to be mild for the nighttime parade. This year, we decided to attend the Krewe of Red Beans parade in the Marigny instead.
Founded in 2009, the Krewe of Red Beans began with a small group of school teachers and newcomers to New Orleans. Continue reading