Category Archives: Charity

Oyster Fest 2017

The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Jazz Fest & Book Signing

I arrived early for my Jazz Fest book signing and started the day with Glen David Andrews in the Blues Tent. The tents are known for crowds who enjoy sitting in the shade and resting but Andrews got everyone on their feet, hands in the air. His soulful rendition of When Doves Cry turned out to be the best musical performance of the entire day.

The Soul Rebels had everyone dancing at the Congo Square stage. We all put our hands up as numbers for 504, a song celebrating our beloved area code.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, Local Cuisine

Jazz Fest Thursday!

Because people have jobs, Thursday can be the least crowded day of the entire Jazz Fest schedule. Add a cold rain until after lunchtime and things got off to a very slow start. I volunteered to work in the Kiwanis beer booth to raise money for local children’s activities and got to spend the day remembering everything I love about Jazz Fest. The “shoe forecast” called for boots owing to the rains the night before – todays showers weren’t predicted. But I loved seeing all the fashion fun “boot weather” brings out (favorite pictured below). My friend, Wendy, and I ended up wearing the exact same pair – extra funny since we met when she dressed my character in The Loft years ago.

We set up the booth, got a requisite Crawfish Monica, then wandered to the nearby Acura Stage to watch Cha Wa. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, parade

Irish Channel Parade 2017

The Mardi Gras parades just ended and already St. Patrick’s festivities have begun. Time again for floats and throws, dance troupes and walking krewes. The major difference is the occasion. And the green. Green beers, green wigs, green beads and glittery green beards abounded. Throws included Irish Spring soap, anything shamrock-shaped and fresh cabbages for soup.

We go to the parade every year but this year attended some of our friend’s parties as well. The spreads included Irish dishes along with crawfish and other local favorites. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

Krewe of Thoth Parade with the Pussyfooters

Sunday was the Pussyfooters last parade of the season, Known as the “children’s parade,” the Krewe of Thoth parade has the longest route of Carnival in order to pass in front of Children’s Hospital. My phone counted 29,000 steps (14 miles). We lined up at 11am and spent our down time visiting with the 610 Stompers, the “Ordinary Men with Extraodinary Moves.” Roux La La rested nearby as the marching bands of De La Salle and John L. McClellan High Schools practiced.

This was my third time parading in 10 days. In between, I’ve been attending parades – and that does require an endurance of it’s own. But whether you’re dancing, twirling a baton, blowing on a giant tuba, walking on stilts or throwing beads from a float, parading is a labor of love that tests commitment and physical limits. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2017, parade

Mardi Gras Is Coming!

Every year, just as the rest of the nation is winding down after the 1-2-3 punch of Thanksgiving-Christmas/Hanukkah-New Year’s, we in New Orleans are just getting started. The festivities begin on Twelfth Night with the Phunny Phorty Phellows riding the streetcar down St. Charles, heralding the start of Carnival season. The night is also Joan of Arc’s birthday which is celebrated with a parade through the French Quarter. Though not everyone attends events that day, most offices (and many homes) commemorate the season with King Cake. In the last few years, King Cake has become the focus of parties with people bringing cakes from their favorite bakeries and sampling them all.

In our home, Twelfth Night’s passing means turning the Saints’ Who Dat wreath into a Mardi Gras wreath and switching the tree decorations from Christmas to Carnival. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2017, parade

Southern Decadence 2016

Southern Decadence is a 5-day weekend of costumes, parties and parades celebrating the LGBT community. The events attract over 150,000 people and create a nearly $200 million economic impact. The Sunday parade is always the highlight for me. Drag queens, dance troupes, pride groups and other revelers worked with the “Decadence Takes The World” theme in costumes accented with red, white, blue and purple.

Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, parade