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
Usually, the only weather concern for Satchmo SummerFest is the oppressive heat and humidity but this year brought a huge rain storm that dumped over half a foot of rain in under an hour, overwhelming the pumping systems and flooding the entire city. That said, we did manage to have some fun at the fest before the weather came through. The distinctively dulcet voice of John Boutte serenaded us as we sampled the food booths starting with a Debris Po-Boy from the Rib Room – which we topped with horseradish mayo to bring out the flavor. Next we tried the Deep Fried Seafood Stuffed Bell Peppers and the Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp Remoulade Salad from Café Dauphine. We washed it all down with a cold Purple Haze Abita beer. Continue reading
Celebrating Louis Armstrong’s August birthday, Satchmo SummerFest is often the sweatiest festival of the year, but rain cooled the day. The rain also left the grassy yard of the U.S. Mint a muddy mess. But much of the fest is tented and Friday was a great kickoff to the fest with food and beverage booths, non-stop live music on multiple stages and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics. We stopped by The Preservation Brass entertaining a crowd then started our day with a Soft-shell Crab Poboy served on Dong Phong Bread with Pink Sauce from Ajun Cajun and a Royal House Chopped Salad with Fried Oysters. Continue reading
Occurring just after the Naked Bike Ride and the Creole Tomato Fest, the Gay Pride Parade seems to be growing each year. In addition to the many LGBT groups, there were representatives from rugby, track club and kickball teams, the teachers union, Planned Parenthood and community organizations like churches and a suicide prevention center. And of course there were drag queens and walking groups from Big Easy Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Mystic Krewe of the Lords of Leather and the New Orleans Girls of Leather. Continue reading
The 31st annual Creole Tomato Fest delivered food, music, cocktails, food demos and the perfect backdrop to 2 parades, the Naked Bike Ride and the Gay Pride Parade (my next 2 posts). It was a warm, breezy day in the French Quarter so crowds were steady but lines weren’t too long. We headed straight for George’s Produce Co. for my favorite dish every year, The Pontchartrain – Sliced Creole Tomato topped with lump crab meat remoulade. So simple and so freaking good. We weren’t surprised when they won Best of the Fest’s “Tastiest Dish.” Continue reading
The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading