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
The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club has held a mass and parade for over 60 years. Rerouted due to construction, the over-1400 (often drunk) paraders drew a straight line through the city but still managed to be spread out and entertainingly-less-organized by the time they hit our spot. Wearing black suits with green accessories (many in kilts), walkers exchanged silk flowers for kisses from women and children. Floats toss cabbage, carrots, Moon Pies, Lucky Charms and Irish Spring soap in addition to the traditional throws of beads, toys and cups. Continue reading