The Knights of Sparta rolled Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “On the Street Where You Live.” The 300 knights rode 17 floats named after famous streets such as Via Veneto in Rome, Avenue de Champs Elysees in Parish and St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. The captain and officers rode horseback. Fabian Errol Miller and Shannon Barbara Garrety reigned as King and Queen. The most sought after throw was an LED Spartan helmet. Other throws tossed to the crowd were krewe medallion beads, koozies, warrior necklaces and rings.
The Krewe of Freret rolled their seventh parade Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “The Music of New Orleans.” The 18-float parade featured a dozen super floats, including one with a two-story Trombone Shorty figure with a moving slide. The 500-member male and female club plans for a gradual transformation into a superkrewe. Float riders tossed their signature hand-crafted masks along with blinking logo beads, black and gold sunglasses and tambourines. Hans Gerwitz and Holly Alvendia reigned as king and queen.
The Krewe of Choctaw rolled Uptown Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “Party Like It’s 1999.” The krewe’s 85th parade featured 16 floats, marching bands and walking clubs. The 275 men, women and children riding floats tossed Choctaw’s collectible doubloons, plush spears and tomahawks, logo beads, cups and the coveted, painted wooden tomahawks decorated by krewe members. Chief Choctaw Ricky DeCastro Jr. and his Princess Kristen DeCastro Sepulveda reigned this year.
The Krewe of Pontchartrain’s 45th annual parade rolled Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “Pontchartrain Blues.” The 17-float parade included a special float for the Captain Emeritus and founder Sam Scandialiato, who served from 1976 through 2017. Floats included the Blue Plate Special, Blue Man Group and Blue Suede Shoes. Steven John Daigle reigned as King Pontchartrain and Kera Colleen Aparicio as Queen. The 400 men and women riding tossed the krewe’s medallion beads along with 38-inch pearl mini-grouper beads, blue straw hats and crawfish trays.
The Krewe of Alla rolled through Uptown ons Friday (Feb. 14) for the first time in their new Friday night parade slot. The krewe’s 88th annual parade featured 22 floats decorated in the theme “Friday Night Flicks & Fun,” with a special salute to America’s military and first-responders in partnership with the Legion of Mars. Dr. Marc Matrana and Heather Green Matrana reigned as King and Queen Alla LXXXVIII.
The Krewe of Cleopatra‘s 47th annual parade rolled through Uptown on Friday (Feb. 14) with the them “Cleopatra’s Vixens and Valentines.” The 70 units included 21 floats, marching bands and walking clubs. The all-female krewe has 1,500 member with Amanda Roudolfich reigning as Queen Cleopatra XLVII. Signature throws included lighted heart items such as sunglasses, rings, wands, head boppers and hula hoops. Medallion beads and Cleopatra dolls were also tossed to the crowd.
The Krewe of Oshun traveled the Uptown route Friday (Feb. 14) with the theme “The Message is Love.” The group’s 24th annual parade featured 18 floats decorated with hearts and flowers to recognize Valentine’s Day.
Marching bands, walking clubs and dance troupes, including Baby Dolls, were part of the nearly 50 units that made up the parade. Around 300 male and female member tossed handmade fans, theme beads, peacock krewe beads, lighted batons and lighted peacock rings. Reigning as Shango was Cordell Chambliss, and Queen Oshun XXIV was Joan Ann Brown.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was celebrated in New Orleans Monday (Jan. 20) with a Commemorative Celebration at the New Orleans Jazz Market and a Remembrance March that began at the corner of Martin Luther King and Oretha Castle Haley boulevards. The standing-room-only crowd at the Jazz Market was treated to several motivating musical performances and speeches.
Dressed in satirical costumes, the Phunny Phorty Phellows took their annual streetcar ride through Uptown celebrating Twelfth Night on Monday, Jan. 6, signaling the beginning of the 2020 Carnival season. The Phellows are a historic Mardi Gras organization revived in 1981 to fill a Twelfth Night void and herald the season with a ride on Uptown’s historic streetcar. Before the ride, they are joined by the Krewe of Oak at the Willow Streetcar Barn for the Carnival Countdown and a toast to the season.
The Funky Uptown Krewe celebrated Twelfth Night for the second year as 42 costumed members rode down the St. Charles streetcar line Monday, Jan. 6, marking the start of the 2020 Carnival season. The krewe follows the Phunny Phorty Phellows rumbling along the South Carrollton and St. Charles Avenue neutral ground.
On Thursday, Dec. 19, Gia Maione Prima Foundation and J.P. Morgan Chase presented “Tunes for Toys” at Tipitina’s. For the price of one unwrapped toy, fans could see the Trombone Shorty Academy band, New Breed Brass Band and Hot 8 Brass Band.
All of the toys collected were donated to Trombone Shorty’s toy giveaway, Toys from Troy, at his alma mater, Warren Easton High School. The toys will be given away at Warren Easton today in an event hosted by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and featuring Santa Claus as well as the Trombone Shorty Academy players.
By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger
Dozens of young people, from toddlers to teenagers, staged a protest against climate change on Friday morning at the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles avenues.
They were part of a worldwide youth movement known as the “Global Climate Strike,” where students walk out of school in order to push politicians to take action to combat climate change and reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
“We can persuade the grown-ups,” said 13-year-old Maya Verhaal. “Since they make the choices, we can persuade them to change this world.”
Tropical Storm Barry continued to cause rain and sparse street flooding Uptown for the second day. On Sunday, however, many residents were out and about. Restaurants, bars and grocery stores opened and the city slowly came back to life.
The car is on high ground, the porch furniture secured, the freezer emptied and the kitchen well stocked with water, whiskey, peanut butter and canned tuna. Then there was nothing to do but wait Saturday as Tropical Storm Barry came ashore as a Cat 1 but showed little interest in New Orleans.
Most of the businesses along Magazine Street heeded the warnings and sandbagged their closed doors. But bar owners knew their businesses were among the essential services out in full force as the city remained under a tropical storm warning. So Uptown residents tired of sheltering-in-place found a place to gather.
Now the tropical storm and the storm surge warnings have been canceled for the New Orleans area. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 7 p.m. tonight as tropical bands with heavy rain could continue to affect the area. But don’t worry — bars will be open.