Easter Sunday in New Orleans: In the French Quarter, Easter brunches at every turn and 3 parades: The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade in the morning – Chris Owens leads her Easter Parade at one-ish and the Gay Easter Parade later in the afternoon. And at City Park, a big Easter Egg Hunt and celebration in the Botanical Gardens and Storyland.
Tales of the Cocktail is an amazing event every July in New Orleans. This multi-day cocktail-centric festival is international in scope and participants, including the varied Spirited Cocktail awards and the Cocktail Apprentices. Occasionally I’ll ask a New Orleans bartender that seems especially enthusiastic and dedicated if they go to Tales? The answer has always been “no” and their knowledge of the event and it’s opportunities for cocktail pros has been vague.
Local bartenders and local cocktail-drinkers can check out the various aspects of the festival on the website now at www.talesofthecocktail.com. Time is running out for “up and coming” bartenders to apply for the Apprentice Program as well as for anyone to make a nomination for a variety of national/international Spirited Awards which includes categories for bartenders, bars, products and more. The deadline for Spirited Award nominations is March 30, 2013 and Apprentice applications are due by April 1, 2013.
Riverwalk was part of the 1982 World’s Fair in New Orleans and is on the Mississippi River. There’s a long balcony overlooking the river alongside the the large food court which features Louisiana food and drink – hope that remains with the change..
Major stores include Dillard’s, Sears, JC Penney’s, and Forever 21, plus jewelers, fashion and shoe stores, food and more.
It’s part of the Simon group that offers shopping break Rejuvenation Stations with soft seats, free wifi, cell phone charging stations and more.
There are great outdoor areas to eat your food court purchase, which are also great spots during its New Year’s Eve celebrations and private events.to enjoy the scenery and river breezes while eating your food court purchase.
Naturally, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans each spring is a gathering of Tennessee Williams fans and writers, but there are also many lovers of theater, books, music, food, the French Quarter, New Orleans and fun. There’s much more to this event that you may expect from the typical literary fest,. For one thing, there’s always lots of laughter everywhere.
The event includes plenty of entertaining, educational and informative sessions for everyone along with special Master Classes on a variety of topics aimed at working or aspiring writers. There’s a chance for writers to win professional representation at the Pitchapolooza, which is an audience favorite too. There’s even an academic Tennessee Williams component.
Plus, Fest highlights include special theater productions (and not just Tennessee Williams works), musical events, food-centric happenings, and a literary French Quarter tour. There’s something for just about everyone.
And as is the tradition, it all ends with a screaming contest (Does that happen at any other literary conference in the world?) with a variety of contestants screaming “Stella” in Jackson Square in homage to Stanley’s emotional outburst in Streetcar Named Desire.
For details and the schedule of events, visit the Tennessee Williams Fest website.
Did you hear that the beautiful black swan of New Orleans City Park was injured last weekend by an apparent evildoer who also broke her six eggs. She’s expected to fully recover from an ankle injury.
BTW, did you know she has a name? It’s Amanda Erika.
City Park reports that lots of people want to help. If you do too, you may donate on-line. Note that the donation is in “tribute to the swan” and the money will go to her vet bills and to obtain new swans to hang out with her in City Park. Keep up to day with Amanda on City Park’s Facebook page.
Super Bowl week in New Orleans has been proclaimed a super success with the exception of that electrical malfunction during the big game itself. Hope it truly profited the city as much as claimed. The football-centric events, free public celebrations and posh parties are over. We’ll get our historic Jackson Square back from those TV squatters – we can actually drive and park in the city again - all the tourist industry people can maybe take a bit of a break – and Mardi Gras will return in full swing.
Mardi Gras parades include the Super Krewes this weekend, with Endymion premiering a new mega float of several connnecting pieces a tribute to the ‘ain’t dere no more’ Pontchartrain Beach amusement park. It’s the biggest float ever and will reportedly be pulled by a vehicle used to more jet airplanes and not a tractor. it promises a state-of-the-art light show and – another first – a float that smells on purpose. The float will emit aromas like cotton candy and hamburgers with onions.
On Lundi Gras (the day before Mardi Gras), in addition to the celebration on the riverfront, the French Market holds it’s very first “Fat Monday at the French market” celebration with brass bands, kid activities and more. And don’t forget the annual Mardi Gras Mask Market in the French Market is set for February 8-11, 2013 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More eyes on Louisiana tonight with American Idol’s Baton Rouge auditions airing on Fox.
People from all over to audition, but Louisiana singers who won a Golden Ticket to Hollywood with their voices included the first singer of the day by the reigning Miss Baton Rouge. Megan Miller . showed up in a leg cast with crutches due to an accident just three days earlier. (She was also one of the contestants with a headband worn across the forehead, a style not seen much since the early 1970′s, except in Mardi Gras Indian costumes - Glad to see it’s back!).
Despite medical advice, Megan refused surgery until after her Idol audition – immediately after. The judges admired her voice, her attitude and her fortitude. And her humor – Megan turned a crutch upside down, using it as a faux microphone, at the end of her song. Her surgery went well.
Two Louisianians were featured in vignettes during the show: Baton Rouge firefighter Dustin Watt sang a Garth Brooks song and the American Idol camera followed him back to the Fire Station where he told his pals about the win. New Orleans native,
Photos of the home destroyed by post-Katrina floods were shown during 19-year-old Bernell Taylor profile. He moved to Baton Rouge with his mother and sister after the storm.
Sweet Burnell, as he was dubbed during the audition, along with Breanna Steer, an 18 year old student from LaPlace, Louisiana, will talk about their American Idol experience on the local Fox 8 Morning Edition tomorrow (Jan. 25, 3013). Brandy Hotard, a nurse from Port Allen, Louisiana, will also be going to American Idol’s Hollywood auditions.
In all, 34 singers received those Golden Tickets to Hollywood. And the judges raved about the level of talent they saw in Baton Rouge. So just maybe, the next American Idol will be one of us. Lots of Louisiana Idol fans had their high hopes for Joshua Ledet who was one of the leading finalists last years but didn’t become the American idol.
Next up on American Idol are auditions in San Antonio, Texas and in Long Beach, California on the Queen Mary ship.
It seems that ALL of the world will be visiting or watching New Orleans in the next few weeks with the Superbowl happening right in the middle of Mardi Gras season. Seems like a perfect time to launch NewOrleansALL.com, which will be ALL about New Orleans. It’s a work in progress, but the Superbowl and Carnival content couldn’t wait., so stay tuned.
Welcome to fellow New Orleans natives, Big Easy newcomers, city guests and anyone interested in NOLA culture – Hope you will check out this website and blog often. And feel free to contribute your comments and advice too.