Category Archives: free events and lagniappe

Inaugural Children’s Hospital Holiday Parade

I’ve loved dancing with the Pussyfooters in the annual Krewe of Jingle holiday parade for years. Sadly, the parade didn’t survive the pandemic, so organizers from various local organizations came together to create the first ever Children’s Hospital Holiday Parade. The float builders at Kern Studios created Louisiana and New Orleans-centritc floats like alligators and Mr. Bingle. TV cameras were set up throughout the city to report the action. Floating balloons (like in the Macy’s parade) were added to the many dance krewes and school bands crowds have come to expect. Continue reading

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

Krewe of Boo Parade 2022

Dancing in Brian Kern’s Krewe of Boo parade has become my favorite Halloween tradition. Judging by the thick crowds from the French Quarter to the CBD, it seems to have become a favorite for many. Every year, I especially love all of the children in adorable costumes lining the route, smiling and waving. 

The first time I danced in a major parade with The Pussyfooters, was in 2013.  The Pussyfooters are a non-profit body-positive group of over 100 women-over-30 in pink corsets who dance in Mardi Gras parades and partner with around 50 non-profits and events throughout the year.  Continue reading

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Southern Decadence 50th Anniversary Parade

Southern Decadence was cancelled in 2020 for the pandemic, then again in 2021 for Hurricane Ida. 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the costumes, parties and parades celebrating the LGBTQ community. The now-6-day weekend attracts over 210,000 people annually and creates a $250 million economic impact making it one of the top 5 annual events in New Orleans.

This year’s colors were red and gold. Continue reading

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French Quarter Fest 2022 – Sun.

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

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

French Quarter Fest 2022 – Sat.

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

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe

French Quarter Fest 2022 – Fri.

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

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

French Quarter Fest 2022 – Thurs.

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

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

Gay Easter Parade 2022

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

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Chris Owens Easter Parade

With only days to go before the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade, Miss Chris passed away at somewhere around 89-years-old. The business and property owner, generous supporter of many nonprofits, entertainment legend, and grande dame of the Easter Parade danced and sang until the last of her life.

The weather was terrific for the parade, but locals felt the bittersweetness as her signature float rolled past. Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Indians – Super Sunday 2022

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

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