Vendredi Gras AKA “Friday Gras” started early in the French Quarter with events like the Royal Sonesta’s annual Greasing of the Poles, but Uptown festivities began after the sun set. Mystic Krewe of Hermes kicked off the 3 parade evening. Founded in 1937, the Krewe has been parading longer than any other krewe that parades at night. In the wake of the Great Depression, some businessmen decided the best remedy for the blues was to expand Mardi Gras to a 5 day party. Celebration is often the solution to local woes. Continue reading
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
Super Bowl-winning Saint, Will Smith, was murdered last week attempting to save his wife’s life after she’d been shot once in each leg. The second line celebrating his life and return home started at the Half Moon Bar, not far from where Smith lost his life, and was headed to the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in the Treme. James Andrews led the band as Baby Dolls, Saints fans and local-born Saint, Keenan Lewis, gathered to hug, dance, sing, pray and cry. The 4 mile parade started with a moment of silence and some words of hope in front of the memorial that’s been climbing up the fence and spreading across the sidewalk. Continue reading