Tag Archives: pandemic

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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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2022, parade

Krewe of Boo Parade 2021

It’s been over a year and a half since New Orleans hosted a big parade with floats – since Carnival 2020 – so the crowds were out in droves for Brian Kern’s Krewe of Boo Halloween parade. Meters’ bassist George Porter, Jr. served as King, and the Grand Marshal was rapper, producer, DJ Mannie Fresh. I dance with The Pussyfooters, a non-profit body-positive group of over 100 women over-30 in pink corsets, so my only chance to see all the floats and attractions is during the lineup. Continue reading

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

A Parade, 2 Festivals & Fireworks!

With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce. 

The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

New Orleans Reopening

After over a year of hibernation, New Orleans is reopening. The line in front of Cafe du Monde has returned and regularly stretches to the steps facing Jackson Square. Restaurants are serving indoors (and out), live music has returned, and I passed a mother dancing in the street with her toddler the other day. We haven’t been dancing in the streets much so it felt good to see that energy again – the love of family, music and joyous moments all swaying in her hips.  Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, Pelicans

COVID in New Orleans, and 500 Subscribers! 

I’m so excited to announce that LAtoNOLA now has 500 Subscribers! I’ve never really pushed for subscribers so I’m thrilled to reach such a milestone. Thank you to my longtime followers like Danica in L.A., Angela in the UK and Mike M. in New Orleans as well as newer subscribers like Emmanuel in Nigeria, Aditya and Rishika in India and Misty in New Orleans. I’ve only blogged 4 times since Fat Tuesday ended New Orleans’ Carnival season and COVID-19 began reshaping our lifestyle. For over a decade, this blog has been a way to share our city’s deeply-rooted and fascinating culture. Sadly, the virus has shuttered our bars and silenced most of our musicians. Many restaurants are take-out only if they’re open at all. Festivals and concerts are cancelled. There hasn’t been much culture to blog about.

This weekend would have been Southern Decadence – when the LGBTQ community overtakes the French Quarter from Wednesday through the end of Labor Day filling the streets with revelry, costumes and parades. Parts of the Quarter are actually fairly busy this weekend. Masked tourists wander in and out of shops. The long line has returned in front of Cafe du Monde where people eat powdered-sugar-covered beignets at socially distanced tables in the shaded outdoor dining area. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2020, parade