Category Archives: Culture

Krewes of Pontchartrain & Choctaw

Saturday, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for parades. Sunny and mid-70’s. Though the day promised to be amazing, the crowds were manageable since the NBA All Stars events have filled our hotels and party venues with people who aren’t here for Carnival. (We wore our Pelicans gear in solidarity – I went with the Kind Cake Baby). Krewe of Pontchartrain kicked us off for the first of five parades. The purple-and-white-clad women of Dance Connection led the Cajun Indians & Cowboys Riding Club and royalty floats. The roller-skating Big Easy RollerGirls and dancers from Dance Innovation and the Muff-A-Lottas got the crowd cheering. The many school marching bands included Saint Katharine Drexel Prep, Xavier University, Kipp Central City Academy, Pierre A. Capdau Charter School, Dolores T. Aaron Academy and Joseph S. Clark Prep. (PHOTOS) Continue reading

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

Krewe of Cleopatra with the Pussyfooters!

Krewe of Cleopatra rolled tonight (after Krewe of Oshun) setting off the first big weekend of Carnival parades. This was my first time dancing with the Pussyfooters in this parade. As usual, I will be dancing in Muses and Thoth but I was excited to join the all-female parading Krewe of Cleopatra. This was also my first time as a “whistle blower” which meant that I had to pay far more attention than usual so I could signal the start of each dance repetition. It also meant it was my first time dancing on the outside line which put me face to face with the crowd. With the rain starting at exactly the same moment we rolled, crowds were light, which made it an easier transition. It was also my first time parading in the rain.  Continue reading

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Krewe du Vieux & Krewedelusion 2017

Though Carnival season started on Twelfth Night, the parades don’t start rolling until Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion kick things off in the French Quarter. Saturday was the mildest weather anyone could remember for the parades. Normally bundled in coats and often huddled under balconies and umbrellas, we were out in short sleeves and sandals. Many were in costumes including my fellow Pussyfooters dancers, Lydia Benson and Christine Miller (of Two Chicks Walking Tours). Krewe du Vieux features lots of great local brass bands, micro-krewes of walkers and a bawdy focus on satirizing politics. Continue reading

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

Pelicans’ STH Appreciation Day & King Cake Baby

One of the many benefits to being a Pelicans season ticket holder (STH) is being invited to the annual appreciation day. Last year, it was held at the Arena and we were treated to lots of games, tours and opportunities to meet with players. This year, it was held at the Saints/Pelicans practice facility so we got another peek behind the scenes, this time focusing on the daily life and preparation of our players.

Within 5 minutes of arriving, I spun a wheel for people who’d already renewed their tickets and won a ball signed by the whole team! Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Pelicans

Women’s March & Pussyfooter Blush Ball

Friday night, the Pussyfooters held their annual Blush Ball “party with a purpose” benefitting Metro Center for Women and Children. Our pink army of pink-corset, super-hero-inspired-uniform parade dancers raised $30,000 for victims of domestic violence. Saturday, people from our nation’s capitol to Antartica marched in support of equality for all. In New Orleans, there were so many families and children in the crowd. It was sunny and 80, though a giant storm flew through shortly after the parade. I saw a lot of love, plenty of patriotism and a bunch of foul language inspired by the language of the President. I laughed and cried, hugged friends and strangers and relived the 1978 ERA March on Washington, which I attended with my mother as a kid (included 2 photos). I’m discouraged to still be asking for equality for all, but it was a beautiful thing to see people wanting to take our country forward to a more inclusive future. The procession took over an hour to pass so I’ve decided to let the photos speak for the many voices marching to be heard and have left the photos mostly in the order they were shot so people can find themselves and friends. Continue reading

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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

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Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture

I was delighted to attend the opening of Carl Mack’s Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture this weekend. It was the perfect way to kick off the first day of Carnival, especially since they had plenty of King Cake on hand. The walls displayed vibrant photos, mostly by Carlos Gonzalez, celebrating the year-round costuming culture of New Orleans. There were even a couple of photos from our wedding in a display book. I especially enjoyed when the photos were placed next to the actual costumes they captured.

The fancifully displayed costumes are the real stars of the show. The majority come from the personal collection of Carl Mack Continue reading

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