Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mardi Gras will be unrecognizable this year. Most parades have been cancelled. A few have regrouped, creating drive-thru parades. The dancers, bands, and krewe members throwing beads and masks “parade” on either side of a road as parade-goers in cars pass. With no parades, people are taking their house-blinging to the next level this year. Krewe of House Floats, a grassroots effort to give neighbors a safe, socially distanced parade experience, encourages people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their homes as house floats. I’ve already seen 3 homes done as floats and they totally brightened my days (PHOTOS below).Continue reading
Tag Archives: King Cake
Though Carnival season started on Twelfth Night, the parades don’t start rolling until Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion kick things off in the French Quarter. Saturday was the mildest weather anyone could remember for the parades. Normally bundled in coats and often huddled under balconies and umbrellas, we were out in short sleeves and sandals. Many were in costumes including my fellow Pussyfooters dancers, Lydia Benson and Christine Miller (of Two Chicks Walking Tours). Krewe du Vieux features lots of great local brass bands, micro-krewes of walkers and a bawdy focus on satirizing politics. Continue reading →
One of the many benefits to being a Pelicans season ticket holder (STH) is being invited to the annual appreciation day. Last year, it was held at the Arena and we were treated to lots of games, tours and opportunities to meet with players. This year, it was held at the Saints/Pelicans practice facility so we got another peek behind the scenes, this time focusing on the daily life and preparation of our players.
Within 5 minutes of arriving, I spun a wheel for people who’d already renewed their tickets and won a ball signed by the whole team! Continue reading →
Every year, just as the rest of the nation is winding down after the 1-2-3 punch of Thanksgiving-Christmas/Hanukkah-New Year’s, we in New Orleans are just getting started. The festivities begin on Twelfth Night with the Phunny Phorty Phellows riding the streetcar down St. Charles, heralding the start of Carnival season. The night is also Joan of Arc’s birthday which is celebrated with a parade through the French Quarter. Though not everyone attends events that day, most offices (and many homes) commemorate the season with King Cake. In the last few years, King Cake has become the focus of parties with people bringing cakes from their favorite bakeries and sampling them all.
In our home, Twelfth Night’s passing means turning the Saints’ Who Dat wreath into a Mardi Gras wreath and switching the tree decorations from Christmas to Carnival. Continue reading →
This is my 7th full Mardi Gras/Carnival season and the evolution from parade-goer to parader continues. I’ve gone from attending dozens of parades alone to knowing people on the route to knowing people in the parade to riding in the Orpheus Monarch Float and becoming a Pussyfooter dancer in parades. Three years in, I’ve now helped a new batch of “Kittens” learn the dances and tricks for staying warm and comfortable while parading for miles and miles. I’ve gone from having every parade, Krewe, marching band, float, dance troupe and rolling krewe be new to me to knowing bands by their uniforms and floats by their designer and some by name. Even the parade schedule is familiar. Very little is new anymore, now it’s anticipated and beloved. Continue reading →
Like many great ideas in New Orleans, Mystic Krewe of Barkus started in a bar. The parade helps raise funds and awareness for dog adoption and other animal services and the weather couldn’t have been better for canine Carnival. Like many parades, the people in the crowd dress up as well and this is one parade where your dogs are welcome. As always, WDSU’s Margaret Orr presided over the festivities from the balcony of Good Friends where it all started. Her genuine affection for the dogs and respect for those who help animals is infectious.
This year’s theme was “From the Dog House to the White House.” Continue reading →
Carnival season doesn’t just mean parades. It also means King Cake season and Ball season. This was my 3rd year attending the Pussyfooters’ Blush Ball benefitting the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children (METRO). The balls thrown by the parade krewes are usually formal (though women tend to wear comfortable Keds or flip flops under their gowns) but the balls thrown by dance krewes tend to be more of a “Do whatcha wanna” situation. At Blush Ball, we Pussyfooters wear our pink and orange corseted parade uniforms and encourage others to wear costumes and pink-it-up! Continue reading →
Mardi Gras is about as early as it can get this year with Krewe du Vieux kicking things off on January 23rd! In New Orleans, we’re all eating King Cake. My genius friend and fellow Pussyfooter dancer ,Christine Miller of Two Chicks Walking Tours, hosts an annual “potluck” where women bring King Cakes from local bakeries and kitchens. (photo below by Elizabeth Zibilich). Like last year, I wasn’t able to attend but was the lucky recipient of a plate of samples from District Donuts Sliders Brew, Hi Do Bakery and the always amazing Manny Randazzo King Cakes. And like every year, I enjoyed the tradition of converting our home’s Christmas tree to a Mardi Gras tree. Continue reading →
Word must’ve gotten out because over 12,000 people attended the second annual King Cake Fest at Champions Square. And they came hungry, buying more than 50,000 “tasting tickets” benefitting babies and children at Ochsner Hospital for Children. The tickets sold at $10 for 10 King Cake tastings. Vendors also sold full-size cakes and specialties from donut King Cakes to King Cake bread pudding. But the all-day concert featuring Old Sole, The Lucky Dogs, Dr. Jazz, Bucktown All-Stars, and Cowboy Mouth was free. Continue reading →
Twelfth Night sounds the alarm that Carnival is just around the corner, but it’s also the starter pistol for King Cake season. Throughout New Orleans, people have been eating King Cake daily for a week. Officemates take turns bringing in cakes from different bakeries. If they follow the tradition, whoever finds “the baby” buys the next cake. The plastic baby used to be a red bean when the tradition first came to New Orleans in 1870. The wreath of cinnamon-layered bread can be stuffed with cream cheese, strawberry jam, etc. and the whole works is topped with a white icing and sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Continue reading →