The last day of French Quarter Fest was just as gorgeous as the first 3. Sadly, for locals, the day started with the sad news that former Saint, Will Smith, had been shot 7 times leaving 3 children and a wife (who sustained 2 shots) behind. He had posted on Instagram, “Having a blast at the #fqf2016” earlier. Many of us wore Saints gear and checked for updates as the story evolved from one of random violence to something more thought-out and personal.
As for festing, we started the day with a Softshell Crab Po-Boy ($10) from Jack Dempsey’s then tried Love at First Bite’s Crawfish Pasta ($8) and my favorite, the Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($8) from their partner, Walker’s Southern Style BBQ. We hit the Abita stage in time for party-band, the Bucktown All-Stars. Their playful covers included “Rubber Band Man” complete with a dance of silly, stretchy poses. 85 year old Joyce La Nasa joined on tambourine wearing her signature white gloves. Continue reading
The official Carnival parades kicked off with the Krewes of Oshun and Cleopatra on Friday night. Oshun, named for the African goddess of fountains, love, wealth and religion, features peacock symbology and finely feathered royalty including Christopher Brown as King Shango, Queen Laquina Ladmirault Brown, Grand Marshall WDSU’s Damon Singleton and Ms. Black Lousiana, Chelsea Smith. Established in 1996, this year’s theme was “Night Out in the Big City.” My favorite float had to be the Saints Superfans float. Superfan Larry Jehle Jr. AKA “Saints Fett” passed last week after battling leukemia and, though he only ever got to attend one game inside the Dome, even Drew Brees mourns his loss. Continue reading
After the perfect day we had Saturday, we finished the weekend with a perfect Sunday. Again, the weather was warm and sunny with a constant balmy breeze. Breakfast was Camellia Grill in the French Quarter. Gotta love those grits and the service (complete with fist-bumps) always puts a smile on my face. Then it was off to Armstrong Park for the Revolution Social Aid and Pleasure Club’s second line. We found Briana Edwards of Raintree Children and Family Services in the crowd of steppers and jumpers then followed along. Loved the snappy school kid costumes the paraders wore. Continue reading
Krewe of Oshun rolled St. Charles as the first official Uptown parade of the season. No time to write so if you want more information about the parade, check out last year’s post. This year’s theme was “Child’s Play” with 19 floats based on nursery rhymes. Deborah Singleton Rogers was this year’s Queen Oshun and Ronald Joseph Lewis Jr. served as King Shango. Grand Marshal was former City Councilman and Treme guest star (playing himself), Oliver Thomas. Continue reading
The Krewe of Orpheus is the last parade to roll before Fat Tuesday. Like Endymion and Bacchus, Orpheus is a super-krewe with giant floats, mountains of throws and celebrity guests. Founded in 1993 by Harry Connick Jr. and Sr. and theatrical director, Sonny Borey, the krewe accepts members of any race or gender. Named for the son of Apollo whose music enchanted everything in nature, the 27 Blaine Kern designed floats portrayed the theme of, “Visions of Other Worlds.” Celebrity guests included Jennifer Coolidge and Jonathan Silverman as well as a chunk of HBO’s Treme cast including Steve Zahn, NOLA native Wendell Pierce, Khandi Alexander, John Goodman, David Morse, Kim Dickens and many more. Continue reading
The Krewe of Bacchus rolls one of the most popular parades of the season. It usually ends the 4 parade Sunday marathon, the giant splash at the end of a fireworks display, but because Endymion was cancelled the day before, we would still have another super-krewe after the 3 hour-ish Bacchus parade. A super-krewe is usually defined as having celebrity marshals and tandem floats as long as skyscrapers lying down. Continue reading
Founded in 2000 and named for the god of dreams, Krewe of Morpheus is a quickly growing co-ed krewe that caps the 3 parade Friday night extravaganza like a climactic burst of fireworks. The theme this year was, “Morpheus Sings a Tune,” and featured floats of Elton John, Elvis and Michael Jackson among others. Membership is open and the 500 or so members get together several times throughout the year for social gatherings and fundraisers. Continue reading