Friday marked the beginning of Tipitina’s Free Fridays series, which runs from May 17 to August 30. The series began with one of the most storied families in New Orleans music, the Nevilles. Omari Neville and the Fuel opened the night and his father, Cyril, closed with his band Swamp Funk. This is the first of this series since members of Galactic acquired the venue.
Tuesday was the second day of the three-day Crawfish Festival at Central City Barbecue on South Rampart Street. The day featured the percussion-heavy Mike Dillon Band and the funky stylings of Eric Kresno, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Ari Teitel, Jermal Watson and more.
The day also featured a a crawfish-eating competition. Ten contestants had 10 minutes to consume as much crawfish as possible. The winner, Aaron Burgau, ate 5.97 pounds in 10 minutes, walking away with a $100 prize and bragging rights for a year.
Today’s lineup includes Samantha Fish and Jonathan “Boogie” Long, Anders Osborne with David Torkanowsky and friends, and Papa Mali and Alvin “Youngblood” Hart, plus the Ultimate Crawfish Cook-off.
On Monday, cyclists, advocacy groups and city government officials gathered at Booker T. Washington in Central City to discuss issues around cycling in New Orleans. The meetings are part of an effort by New Orleans officials to make the city more bike-friendly and a safer place for cyclists.
Bike safety has come more into the spotlight since Frank Fisher, a 34-year-old oil-services worker and lifelong New Orleanian, was killed in February after being struck by a garbage truck while riding on Carrollton Avenue. No citations were written or arrests made in that case.
Then, on March 2, the deaths of Sharree Walls, 27, and David Hynes, 31, and the injuries of other cyclists on Esplanade Avenue galvanized the cycling community. Tashonty Toney, 32, faces two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of vehicular negligent injuring, hit-and-run driving and reckless operation of a vehicle in that incident.
The annual Freret Street festival drew a large crowd on Saturday, April 6, packing the street from curb to curb between Napoleon Avenue and Soniat Street. Performers included Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Debauche, J & the Causeways, Little Freddie King, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers and more.
On Sunday, people gathered in the 8300 block of Oak street, outside of the Maple Leaf Bar to celebrate the legacy of musician and chef Jamie Galloway with live music from the Hundred and One Runners, Billy Iuso, Papa Malie and more — plus crawfish from Seither’s Seafood and Clesi’s Catering. The event serves as a benefit for the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.
By Zach Brien, Uptown Messenger
Leah Chase has been working in what is now Dooky Chase’s restaurant since the 1950s. She still works in the kitchen today, at 96. On Tuesday, she accepted the first 2019 InnovatHER award, presented by TruFund Financial services, honoring her legacy as a female entrepreneur and business owner.
The award was presented at a press conference by TruFund Financial Services where they announced their participation in the Wisdom Fund, a national loan fund targeted to women entrepreneurs. The event was held at NOLA Brewery.
The Buku Music + Art Project took over Mardi Gras World for a 7th year with big national names like Lana Del Ray, Dog Blood, and A$AP Rocky. The lineup, however, did not skimp on local talent across musical styles.
Performers like Tristan Dufrene from the Cut Off, Thou and Kevin Gates from Baton Rouge, and $uicideboys from New Orleans, showed how Louisiana creates quality music in many contrasting genres. Malik Ninety Five and James Seville—two 23-year-old rappers from Gentilly New Orleans who also performed at the festival—are striving to show the changing definitions of the city’s hip-hop sound.
March 22 and 23, the 2019 Buku Music and Art Project took over Mardi Gras World. The annual event, which began in 2012, featured acts both local and national, as well as visual art.
Every year, on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, Mardi Gras Indians bring out that year’s suits for one last showing. Tribes from around the city converged on Washington and LaSalle, right where Uptown Super Sunday was held last week.
Locations across Uptown hosted public St. Joseph’s altars on March 19, the Feast Day of St. Joseph. The Catholic tradition was brought to New Orleans by Sicilian immigrants. The altars celebrate how St. Joseph helped Sicilians in a time of famine. Here are scenes from the altars at Loyola University, De La Salle High School and St. Stephen’s Church.
Mardi Gras Indian tribes and social aid and pleasure clubs converged on A.L. Davis Park for the annual Uptown Super Sunday event on Sunday, March 17. The Young Pinstripe and Hot 8 brass bands provided music.
On Saturday, the annual Irish Channel Parade rolled Uptown. This year, the parade returned to its original route, following the completion of construction on Louisiana avenue.
A pre-Irish Channel Parade block party was held in Annunciation Square on Thursday. The event kicking off St. Patrick’s Day weekend in the Channel benefited St. Michael Special School.
On Friday, Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, a local summer staple, opened for the first time in 2019. The snowball stand, established in 1939, uses homemade flavors. Its snowcones are made with their own ice machine, the Sno-Bliz, invented by one of the founders, Ernest Hansen.
The Rex parade stopped at the Morris-Downman House at 2525 St. Charles Ave. during the parade on Mardi Gras, as it has since 1907. This time the toast was more poignant. The mansion, historically significant to the Rex organization and to New Orleans Mardi Gras, was devastated by a seven-alarm fire in February. It has been home to many Rex members, including Billy Grace, a former king of Carnival, who shared a toast with Rex.