French Quarter Fest – Thurs.

With over 20 stages of regional music and MANY local food booths throughout the Quarter, French Quarter Fest (FQF) is easily my favorite fest of the year – which in saying something in a city with literally hundreds of annual festivals. This is the Fest’s 35th year and things keep getting bigger and more crowded, but it’s still free and that’s amazing. The weather was perfect – upper 70’s, breezy and sunny. The Irene Sage Band was playing Led Zeppelin when we arrived. I’ve written them into my next Charlotte Reade Mystery so it was a fun way to start the day.  Continue reading

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

Easter Parades 2018

We missed the early parade to have the all-you-can-eat Easter brunch at Red Fish Grill. Ike the Peep, a bad-ass version of Sammy Davis, Jr. in a bright yellow chick outfit, was there again to brighten everyone’s day from behind Joe-Cool sunglasses.

The weather was outstanding for the Chris Owens Parade – sunny and upper 70’s with a gentle breeze coming off the river. The burlesque queen’s parade features retired dancers, friends and sponsors throwing beads, toys and candy while wearing festive Easter bonnets. Not to be outdone, the Gay Easter Parade takes bonnets to a whole new level. Continue reading

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

Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday

After postponing a week for weather, it was 80 and sunny for Super Sunday, one of my favorite days of the years. Staggeringly beautiful and steeped in culture and history, the Mardi Gras Indians fill the streets on Super Sunday wearing plumed and beaded suits they spent the year carefully designing and crafting, bead by bead. We wandered past Baby Dolls dancing and families helping their Indians dress before selecting a burger and sausage combo and following the proprietor to a nearby truck making giant adult sno-balls. Continue reading

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

March For Our Lives

Though the miles-long crowd included marchers of all ages, it was clear what today’s March For Our Lives was about. I’m happy to have supported this younger generation finding their voice. “I believe the children are our are future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.”  – Linda Creed / Michael Masser

“And these children that you spit on / As they try to change their worlds / Are immune to your consultations / They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.” David Bowie

Enjoy the photos. Continue reading

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Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Parade 2018

With Mardi Gras parades a month behind us,  the St. Patrick’s festivities offer a city-wide pick-me-up including several parties and parades. Our favorite event is the Irish Channel Parade put on by the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club since 1947. With floats, throws, dance troupes and walking krewes, the parade includes over 1400 (often drunk) walkers in black suits and green accessories (many in kilts) exchanging silk flowers for kisses from the women and children on the route. Continue reading

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

Mardi Gras = Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday in French) effectively splits the city into 2 groups – parade-goers and costumers. The fabulous and feathered Krewe of Zulu starts the parades with an early morning roll across the city. We caught the beginning floats, but closer to the end of the route when they’d already been going for hours. Spike Lee handed out beads as did an entire float of Saints.

We’re costumers so we left early and headed into the French Quarter so my husband could become a wrestling taco. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2018, parade, the Saints

Krewes of Proteus & Orpheus Parades

Krewe of Proteus, the oldest night parade, was established in 1882 and features seahorse throws. I love the romantic nostalgia of seeing some version of earlier parades. Flambeau light the way as they did before the invention of streetlights. Last I heard, the mythologically inspired floats still sit atop the original wooden chassis.

The superkrewe Orpheus parade takes the spectacle to another level. The street fills with legions of flambeau leading star-studded royalty. First up was Keegan-Michael Key who I stopped photographing when I realized he was pointing at me to catch his beads. Co-founder Harry Connick Jr. rode as king in the same float we got to ride in with Quentin Tarantino in 2014. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2018, parade