A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered the Phunny Phorty Phellows as a streetcar packed with revelers left the Willow Streetcar Barn on Thursday (Jan. 6) for the krewe’s ride through Uptown signaling the start of the Carnival season. The route was shortened to the loop between Willow Street and Erato, due to construction in the downtown area. But krewe members were happy to be back after last year’s cancellation. “We are so pleased to be riding through uptown New Orleans.” said Krewe Captain Peggy Scott Laborde in a press release. “We will travel a route that is the path of many Mardi Gras parades, so it’s only fitting that we honor them with our ride.
Goat yoga and plant sales are starting up again Paradigm Gardens in Central City. The events raise money for the Paradigm Gardens School, a tuition-free private school for kindergarten through 12th grade. Weekly plant sales start Sunday (Feb. 28) and promise seasonal heirloom veggies, fruits, flowers and herbs, plus something you generally don’t find at the big-box stories or garden centers: brunch. Breakfast from top local chefs, fresh squeezed juices and cold-brew coffee are offered, along with music, arts and crafts vendors and chair massages.
Plant sales are Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon. If you’re in the market for plants, the Paradigm folks advise you to come early, as the plants sell out.
There was dancing and live music on Friday (Jan. 15) to unveil the third house float of the Krewe of Red Beans’ effort to put laid-off Mardi Gras artists to work. The theme for the Lower Garden District house float is “Acadiana Hayride,” and it features portraits of Cajun and zydeco musicians, dancing couples and of course a horse. The latter seems to block the entrance to the house. “We just squeeze in around it,” laughed homeowner Michael Burke.
When homeowner Stacey Burke donated to the Krewe of Red Beans’ “Hire A Mardi Gras Artist” crowdfunding site, she was doing it to support out-of-work Mardi Gras artists who lost their livelihoods with canceled parades.
A steady trickle of cars flowed past a renovated garage on Orange Street on Friday (April 24) as The Commissary chefs, staff and family passed out free meals of barbecue shrimp and grits with smothered okra through the car windows to an extended family of hospitality workers and musicians. Lower Garden District neighbors walking and bicycling past were also offered the free meals that included ice cream po-boys from New Orleans Ice Cream Co. The restaurant group Dickie Brennan & Co. has developed the 7,000-square-foot project, which includes 6,000 square feet of commercial kitchen. The original plans were to prepare food for the group’s five restaurants – Palace Café, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Tableau and Acorn — to streamline operations and boost consistency for signature dishes.
Members of the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club gathered Saturday (March 14) for their annual Mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church that traditionally precedes their Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year, the parade hosted by the group founded in 1947 was canceled by the city due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Groups of green-garbed revelers strolled the streets of the Irish Channel Saturday (March 14) with the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade canceled due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Men were dressed in their tuxedos and kilts while the women were draped in green and glitter. The crowd kept growing, however, and the New Orleans Police Department had to step in and break it up later in the evening, saying the event violated the ban on gatherings of more than 250 people. “This is irresponsible, potentially endangering the entire community,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said on Twitter.
The Krewe of Orpheus rolled in Uptown on Lundi Gras with the theme “Beastly Kingdoms of Orpheus.” The krewe of 1,500 male and female members, whose first parade rolled in 1994, rode on 38 floats with titles such as “The Cockatrice,” “The Tree Wyrm” and The Bridge Troll.” Several celebrities reigned as Orpheus 2020 monarchs, including Bryan Cranston, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Lauren Alaina. Popular throws included Orpheus collapsible water bottles, LED ram horns, plush gardenias, glitter Orpheus masks and lighted beads. Orpheus uncoupled its four tandem floats in response to the city’s announcement that tandem floats, multiple floats connected together and pulled by one tractor, will not be allowed for the remainder of this year’s Carnival season. The super krewe’s four tandem floats, including the signature eight-unit Smoky Mary, were uncoupled and each segment was pulled by its own tractor.
The Krewe of Proteus’ 230 male members presented a traditional parade Monday (Feb. 24) with 20 floats, 34 lieutenants on horseback and 48 flambeaux rolling through Uptown. The parade them was “Feasts and Libations” with floats titles such as “Absinthe,” “Feasts of Fools” and “Delicacies of the Deep.” Founded in 1881, Proteus is Carnival’s second-oldest parading organization. The krewe’s most sought after throws included LED flambeaux and plush trident crowns along with lighted beads.
“Bacchus’ Wild, Wild West” was the parade theme Sunday (Feb. 23) as the Krewe of Bacchus rolled through Uptown with floats titled “Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley,” “Sheriffs and Outlaws” and “Lewis and Clark.” The superkrewe’s famed multi-chassis floats had to be separated, but that didn’t lessen the spectacle. Bacchus LII and 30 lieutenants on horseback led the club’s 1,600 members riding 32 floats. Marching bands included several from out-of-state colleges, part of the 100-plus-unit parade. Singer, songwriter and “Masked Singer” judge Robin Thicke reigned as Bacchus LII, 32 years after his father, the late actor Alan Thicke, served as Bacchus XX in 1988.