Category Archives: history

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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St. Patrick’s Irish Channel Parade

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

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Krewe of Red Beans

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

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House Floats – St. Charles Ave.

St. Charles is famous in part for being the grand avenue the Uptown parades roll during Carnival in New Orleans. This time of year, the live-oak-and-manor-home lined avenue is normally crowded with ladder chairs topped with children, ice chests and barbecues, and throngs of festively dressed parade-goers snatching beads, toys and cups from the air as massive, colorful floats roll by carrying dozens of Krewe members scattering throws. Mardi Gras is an act of love and festivity with the members of the various Krewes paying for everything from the throws, floats, bands and dancers to the police and clean-up. But COVID interrupted that act of generosity.

Not to be undone, the city has embraced “Yardi Gras.” Thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city (and even the world) are decorated as parade floats. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, history, Mardi Gras 2021, parade, Uncategorized, walking

Krewe du Vieux Parade (sorta)

Lost most cities, New Orleans is dealing with the COVID shutdowns – but only New Orleans is also missing out on dozens of parades. Carnival season started Jan. 6th and we all bought King Cake to celebrate, then stayed home to eat it. Chewbacchus and Krewe Boheme would’ve started the parades in the last couple weekends and the official-unofficial start of the parade season would be this weekend’s Krewe du Vieux graphically satirical parade followed by Krewedelusion. This year, emphasizing masking and social distancing, Krewe du Vieux created a “parade route” of homes, bars and other spots for people to visit throughout the city starting in the Audubon neighborhood, where people were encouraged to drop off canned food donations. Continue reading

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Krewes of Thoth & Bacchus Parades

After a weather rescheduling cancelled the bands and dancers from the Krewe of Muses parade, I couldn’t wait to dance with the Pussyfooters in the Krewe of Thoth parade. But Carnival had turned tragic again Saturday night with the second tandem-float-related death. To be honest, it was an odd day. I was grateful to be spending it with my pink-corseted sisters bringing smiles to thick crowds.

Founded in 1947, the Krewe of Thoth has a unique Uptown route designed to pass hospitals and other care facilities people have trouble leaving for a parade. Continue reading

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Krewe of Freret

The Krewe of Freret paraded for 40 years until the 1990’s then was reborn on the parade route almost a decade ago. Some members of the new Krewe are the children of the previous membership. A highlight in the middle of a 5-parade Saturday, the parade began with young Spidey504’s fancy footwork leading the NOLA Chorus Girls. Continue reading

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Parades! Oshun, Cleopatra & Alla

New Orleans has been celebrating Carnival since January 6th. Even if you didn’t attend the Joan of Arc Parade or wait to see the Phunny Phorty Phellows streetcar pass on St. Charles, the 6th was the day we could all officially eat King Cake. Every day. The parades begin 2 weeks earlier now but the Uptown parades are the official kick-off of parade season with the Krewes of Oshun, Cleopatra and Alla rolling. Continue reading

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New Orleans Mystery Books

When I started this blog, I was working on a novel, Lemonade Farm. Ten years later, I’ve finished that novel, an acting book,  Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments ints a Career with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss and endorsements from Kevin Costner, Lou Diamond Phillips and many more – and with the release of The Family Secret: A Charlotte Reade Mystery – I’ve just completed a 5-book series.

The first book of the mysteries-not-murders series begins as the Saints are marching toward their Super Bowl victory during Mardi Gras in 2009-10. As actor/producer Charlotte aids in the search for a birth mother, she comes across a haunted chandelier, and a mystery in her own family’s past. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, parade, shopping, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Mardi Gras Indians – Super Sunday 2019

Super Sunday is easily one of my favorite days of the year as many of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes step out to show off their stunning suits of beads and feathers. I’m always humbled by the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into the staggeringly beautiful suits our neighbors spend the year carefully designing and crafting with elaborately beaded panels often portraying tales of battle and loss. Weighing up to 150 pounds and costing $3000 or more, the suits portray wildlife or a 3-D version of the Taj Mahal or even a tribute to things that “Ain’t dere no more” like the Jax brewery and the Saints “Dome patrol.”

The big surprise this year was the women. Queen Tahj of the Golden Eagles tribe created a gown rather than a suit. She worked her grandmothers earrings and brooches into her sequin top and her long skirt was beaded with the figures of women and children encircling her to represent her community Continue reading

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