Mardi Gras 2015 – Let the Good Times Roll! 9 Jan 2015, 11:17 am
It’s time again for all the frolicking fun of the carnival festival season in New Orleans! Although Mardi Gras isn’t actually until Tuesday, February 17th, you can see parades starting as early as January 31st! The first New Orleans parade is the Krewe du Vieux at 6:30 in the French Quarter. You can see parades almost every day from Saturday, January 31 through the Big Day itself in NOLA and the surrounding areas. Make sure you come prepared to enjoy yourself and take in all the crazy sights and sounds of Mardi Gras in the Crescent City!
Mardi Gras New Orleans provides all the parade routes, times and dates, as well as information about the Krewes. Take advantage of this wonderful FREE site to get all the insider scoop!
Two parades that we love are the Orpheus and Rex. Rex has held more parades than any other Krewe, having been formed in 1872. They originated the traditional Mardi Gras colors of Purple, Green and Gold and the collectible commemorative Dubloons. The Rex parade rolls mainly down St. Charles Avenue on February 17th at 10am with its theme “Wars That Shaped Early America.” Orpheus follows a similar route on the 16th at 6pm. Orpheus is a more modern SuperKrewe, founded in 1993 by Harry Connick Jr. They are famous for their celebrity guest monarch. Monarch for 2015 is comedian and actor John C Reilly. Dierks Bentley, country superstar, will headline the big Orpheuscapade party, also held on the 16th. Attend both Rex and Orpheus, for a taste of the new and the old, as well as a chance to catch some amazing throws!
No matter which parades you attend, you are sure to find a good time in NOLA at Mardi Gras. To make the most of it, spend the nights with us at 1896 O’Malley House to be assured of a comfortable sleep and a great homemade breakfast to fuel you for the day’s (and night’s!) adventures!
August Events in New Orleans – 2014 1 Aug 2014, 11:28 am
Even when the weather is steamy, New Orleanians will throw a party! You can always find fun and food and of course, MUSIC in the City that Care Forgot. This month there are some uniquely NOLA events going on, starting with Satchmo SummerFest, which takes place at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave), through Sunday. Originally planned as a 100th birthday celebration of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, the festival has become an annual affair, with bands playing Jazz music on several stages, some of New Orleans’ best restaurants setting up around the fest and Pop’s Playhouse for the kids, among other fun stuff!
On August 2, the Warehouse District presents White Linen Night, where people dressed in their coolest white linen will stroll and shop the art galleries along Julia Street and then get their groove on at the Contemporary Art Center’s White Linen Night After-Party.
Starting on August 7th, the “biggest little Red Dress event in the world” starts up with the Red Dress Expo, happening at the Fairgrounds Clubhouse (1151 Gentilly Blvd). The Red Dress Run is an adults-only event put on by the Hash House Herriers, a “drinking group with a running problem”. You must register to do the run and the party, and you must be over 21. With your registration, you get to run in your red dress finery, an “endless supply of beer, a great catered meal from Corky’s, giveaways (if you sign up early enough), two nationally known bands (Five Finger Discount and Flow Tribe), dancing and partying the day away”
Save your laundry for after August 9th, when the annual DIRTY Linen night occurs along Royal Street, Jackson Square and Dutch Alley. Gallery and Boutique shoppers are encouraged to don their slightly soiled linen from White Linen Night as they sample dirty martinis and dirty rice from the vendors along the route.
Finally, Labor Day weekend brings the 43rd annual Southern Decadence. This year’s theme is “Under the Big Top – Welcome to the Gayest Show on Earth”. Mostly taking place in the French Quarter, there are parties and celebrations going on non-stop for the entire weekend (and when we we say weekend, we mean Wednesday through Monday!). Keep up to speed with the list of events.
Don’t let the Southern Summer deter you from enjoying the frivolity of August in New Orleans! Stay with us at the inn for a comfortable bed and a fabulous breakfast to rest yourself between parties!
Larry Watts, Innkeeper
San Fermin en Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls) – July 10-13, 2014 19 Jun 2014, 3:10 pm
You don’t have to travel all the way to Pamplona to run with the bulls, you can come on down to New Orleans! The San Fermin en Nueva Orleans Festival is our special version of the Spanish festival without the risking of your life part! There are horns involved, but they are on the helmets of the wonderful ladies of the Big Easy Rollergirls, plus friends from other roller derby leagues across the country. These bulls won’t gore you, but if you run too slow, you might get whacked with a whiffleball bat. I won’t say that some people like to get whacked, but there are some mighty slow dawdlers along the course!
If you run, you have to wear a white pants and shirt, as well as a red bandana. This being the Big Easy, not everyone keeps to the traditional look. You’ll see costumes like matadors and bulls, of course, but you also may see some luchadores and who know what else!
The runners start bright and early at 8am on Saturday, but the
festival starts on Thursday with the Marqués de Cáceres Wine Dinner
at the Hotel Mazarin, which includes wine tastings, dinner, Spanish
guitar by Riccardo Crespo, and a special guest from the 18th
century! On Friday, enjoy El Txupinazo (pronounced el
choo-pee-naht-so), a free pre-party at The Sugar Mill from 5-9pm,
with a chance to meet the Rollerbulls, delicious cuisine and live
music. On Saturday, the running is preceded by the procession of
San Fermin, and followed by the post encierro party, where you can
enjoy live music and food. Saturday night is La Fiesta
de Pantalones (pants party), where you can listen to music and sip
cocktails. Sunday finishes off with the appropriately titled, El
Pobre de Mi (Poor Me) party; a tapas brunch, Ernest
Hemingway-inspired contests, readings from The Sun Also
Rises, live music and a few other entertaining
surprises. El Pobre is free and open to the public. The
Saturday events are ticketed, and you’ll want to buy early. You can
take a look at the different offerings HERE.
We have plenty of rooms for the weekend at 1896 O’Malley House! Call us for reservations or just check our availability calendar on the website.
“Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters.” – Hemingway
Essence Music Festival – July 3 – 6, 2014 – Stay with Us! 16 May 2014, 2:43 pm
The Essence Music festival is one of the premier music festivals in the United States. The featured artists are at the top of the R&B industry, which draws thousands of people each year. Held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Louisiana Superdome, these three days over the July 4th weekend will be the hottest (in more ways than one!) scene in New Orleans!
This year is the 29th anniversary of the Fest, and on the 4th, the main stage will feature His Royal Purpleness, PRINCE! Buy your tickets as soon as possible, they sell out early for this fabulous festival. Among the many excellent artists are Mary J Blige, Nas, Jill Scott, and Lionel Richie.
In addition the the concerts, for which tickets are required, there are several free events with such diverse speakers as Alicia Keyes, Bishop TD Jakes, Donnie McClurkin and Rep. Maxine Waters! All of these presenters will be speaking on the subject of Empowerment.
After a full day of concert-going, come back to the 1896 O’Malley House for some relaxation in our courtyard with a glass of wine or beer before slipping off to sleep in your comfortable bed. Wake to a delicious home-made breakfast before you’re off to the day’s festivities. We will treat you right with our Southern Hospitality!
Summer Fun in New Orleans – May and June 2014 Festivals 15 Apr 2014, 5:42 pm
New Orleans is heating up in May and June! Despite the warm weather, the city is firmly entrenched in the festival season. We’ve got a list of some of the best festivals available for visitors and denizens of the City That Care Forgot:
The final weekend of Jazzfest is the first weekend in May (May 1-4). As of this writing, we have very limited availability at the inn, please call us if you’d like to check on rooms!
On May 10th, the Crawfish Mambo:Cookoff & Music Festival will take place at the UNO Lakefront Campus – enjoy loads of all-you-can-eat crawfish and live local New Orleans music while you stroll the grounds of the lovely campus. The entrance fee is $25 at the gate and proceeds benefit the students of UNC via the Alumni Association.
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo – this wonderful free festival on May 16 – 18 features music, an Art Market and food, of course, and is found along the banks of Bayou Saint John. Our guests can walk or take the streetcar to The Boogaloo from 1896 O’Malley House!
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is a festival unique to our City. Taking place over 4 days (May 21 – 24) and venues throughout NOLA, you can try wine dinners, or how about a Pastry competition that features champagne and burlesque? Make sure to get your tickets early!
The final weekend in May gives two opportunities for food and fun. The New Orleans Oyster Fest is May 31 – June 1 at Woldenburg Park. Over 24 restaurants will be showcased, along with an oyster eating and shucking contests and much more. Taste at the Lake will be held May 31st in the evening at the West Lakeshore Center. This is an adult event that has a wonderful benefit: your ticket will provide you with unlimited food, wine, and spirits from every vendor! Tickets range from $45 for Attendee Level to $100 for Patron level.
A lovely event help at the French Market on June 7th and 8th is the Creole Tomato Festival. You can sample all kinds of tomato-based foods and drinks as well as fresh Creole tomatoes. You’ll have the opportunity to listen to bands on two different stages and cool off under misting fans, and of course, a tomato-eating contest!
The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival will take place June 14-15, 2014, at Louis Armstrong Park. The fest is an excellent way to sample Cajun music at its finest, including the famous BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. You can also feast on the more extensive food offerings. They are hinting that Shrimp may be a major component this year.
The third weekend in June brings Festigals, an empowering weekend event for women starting on June 19 through the 22, with several events in different venues throughout the city. June 20-22 is Pride Weekend in New Orleans, featuring a kickoff party, All Faiths Worship Service followed by Family Day at Duncan Plaza, with bands and food vendors, with the culmination of the weekend being the big parade starting at Washington Square. There are other events to be announced.
Don’t hesitate to visit us in the summer. The B&B is ready to give you a home base from which to venture forth to the many events in the city, then welcome you to comfy beds and a delicious breakfast with the hospitality you deserve!
Your Friendly Innkeeper
New Orleans JazzFest : April 25-27 & May 1-4, 2014 11 Mar 2014, 4:57 pm
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a.k.a. JazzFest is one of the premiere music festivals in the United States. We in New Orleans are proud to be the home of Jazzfest, celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana which attracts some of the best Louisiana musicians in the genre, and also a number of the super stars of many other kinds of music.
This year, some of the NOLA Jazz artists included are Aaron Neville, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Irvin Mayfield, Little Freddie King, Kermit Ruffins, James Rivers, Dukes of Dixieland, and Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.
The internationally known acts are amazing this year. Among them are Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Cristina Aguilera, Santana, Phish, John Fogarty and Vampire Weekend. This is music for all ages and inclinations! There are twelve different stages within the fairgrounds.
Music is the main thing, but not the only thing- you will be able to see the famous Mardi Gras Indians, with their fabulous costumes and headdresses, as well as crafts and other items available at three different areas; Congo Square African Marketplace, Contemporary Crafts, and Louisiana Marketplace.
And of course, the food. No festival in NOLA would be complete without it. This year there are NINE different places to get sustenance: Food Area I, Food Area II, Congo Square, Cultural Exchange 2013, Heritage Square, Around the Grounds, Folk Area, Grandstand, and even Kids’ Food. You can get everything from barbecue to Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Roll) and Sno Balls, and much, much more. Tempting sweet treats compete for your attention with African specialties, Mexican street food and Japanese grill items.
Make sure to get your lodging reservations booked early. This festival draws over 650,000 people from all over the world. 1896 O’Malley House has the distinction of being very close to the festival. The event is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, which is less than three miles from the inn. You can leave your car here and take the Canal Streetcar line to the festival. Buy your Jazzy Passes in advance for only $3 and ride all day. Return after a day and night of incredible music and food and enjoy our free beer and wine, available 24 hours a day, rest in the courtyard, and sleep in your comfortable bed before partaking of your breakfast, which is included in your room rate. We’d love to be your host for Jazzfest!
March 4, 2014: Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans 17 Feb 2014, 12:33 pm
We’ve made it to the Big Day, which deserves a blog post all its own!
Four parades take place Uptown, starting at S. Claiborne and Jackson Avenue at 8am with the Krewe of Zulu parade. Krewe of Zulu will be fresh from their 21st annual Lundi Gras Festival, and the parade promises to be fabulous with its many characters such as Zulu Big Shot and Witch Doctor. The Zulu’s “golden nugget”, or coconut, throw is a very highly sought-after and collectible item.
At noon, the most famous and traditional Krewe, Rex, starts at Napoleon Avenue and S. Claiborne Ave. Rex has been around since 1872 and has rolled more parades than any other Mardi Gras Krewe. Their king, called Rex, has as his colors the purple, green and gold, the official colors of Mardi Gras. The floats roll on wooden wagons with wood-spoked wheels, and among the throws are the coveted Dubloons. This year’s theme is “Gods of All Ages”.
Following Rex are Krewe of Elks Orleanians, the oldest and largest of all the truck float krewe, with 4600 riders and over 50 uniquely designed truck floats, and then Krewe of Crescent City, a truck parade which signals “the beginning of the End” of carnival season.
At 10:00 am on the Westbank, the Krewe of Grela (first three letters of Gretna, and the abbreviation for Louisiana, LA) begins at the intersection of Stumpf Blvd. and Whitney Avenue. This Krewe had its first parade back in 1947, and has continued on since then with the only parade on the Westbank on Mardi Gras.
Heading over to Metairie? You are in luck! Starting at 10 am, three parades roll, starting with Krewe of Argus, following the Veterans Memorial Blvd, with 600 riders, 30 floats and marching bands, including the favorite, “George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog,” which throws stuffed Blue Dogs. The Grand Marshall for 2014 is Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.
After Argus comes Krewe of Jefferson, with 75 truck floats and over 3000 riders, known for its good throws and very family friendly. After Jefferson comes the sister-krewe to the Krewe of Elks Orleanians, The Krewe of Elks-Jeffersonians. With 4,000 male and female riders and featuring more than 90 trucks, it is the oldest and largest of the all the truck krewes.
Finally, Krewe of Lyra rolls in Covington at 10am. The co-ed krewe, whose mission is “Fun, Friendship and Festivity,” will ride “Fire and Reign.”
And for last minute news, it’s just been announced that New Orleans Saint Roman Harper will join Deuce McAllister and Will Smith as celebrity knights on the Knights of Nemesis parade, February 22. Also on February 22, at 5pm, Krewe of ‘tit Rex (‘tit is short for petite, the French for small), which features tiny, toy-sized floats pulled by krewe members in formal dress handing out miniature throws. The theme is “Wee the People.”
1896 O’Malley House
List of Parades for 2014 Mardi Gras: February 26 – March 3 6 Feb 2014, 5:00 pm
The parades are growing more numerous the closer we get to the real Fat Tuesday! New Orleans and the surrounding cities are proud to be the real McCoy when it comes to Mardi Gras. Other places do it, but we are the original and most well-known, and we revel in that fact!
Starting off Uptown, the Krewe of Druids and their mysterious leader, the Archdruid, begin at 6:30, followed immediately by the all-female Mystic Krewe of Nyx, one of the newer krewes, formed in 2012.
We stay uptown for the Knights of Babylon parade, at 5:45pm, with it’s mule-drawn king and flambeaux lit floats, telling a story as the traverse the city, followed by the Knights of Chaos, when it’s theme will finally be revealed at 6:30. Also uptown is the Krewe of Muses, another all-female krewe with over 650 riders at 6:30 with their student-designed throw cup.
Again in Uptown, we have three parades in a row, starting with Krewe of Hermes at 6pm, a krewe started in 1937, whose captain leads the parade in full regalia upon a white horse. Then at 6:30 is the Krewe d’Etat, rolling with 415 male riders, revealing it’s secret theme and throwing blinking beads. Finally at 7pm, Krewe of Morpheus comes through with its 500 male and female riders and “old-time” traditional parade experience.
At 10:45AM in the Westbank is the parade of the Krewe of Nomtoc, (New Orleans Most Talked Of Club), with its famous throws and 400 all African American male and female riders. 11AM in Uptown is the historic Krewe of Iris, formed in 1917, all female, and following strict traditions such as full masks and white gloves. At Noon, Krewe of Tucks, a humorous group with an “Animal House” flair. Mid-City at 4:15pm, super-krewe Endymion rolls with 2,700 masked riders, throwing millions of beads and Endymion 2014 collectible throws, and Grand Marshall Carrie Underwood. At 6:30PM in Metairie, Krewe of Isis brings the Egypt to Louisiana with 250 riders and 21 floats.
Sunday is a big day for Uptown with 4 parades, starting at 11am with Krewe of Okeanos with 250 riders of both sexes, then at 11:45, the Krewe of Mid-City, formed in 1933 and considered “The best day parade in Mardi Gras”. At Noon, the Krewe of Thoth rolls with its wonderful throws, and making sure to parade past health care facilities for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see a parade. Later, at 5:15 pm, Krewe of Bacchus rolls with it’s grand marshall, House himself, Hugh Laurie. If you find yourself in Metairie at 5:30PM, you can see Krewe of Napoleon and its French theme, with the Emperor and Jospehine and the Arc De Triumph pulled by white horses.
Krewe of Proteus rolls Uptown at 5:15pm with its giant seashell protecting the mysterious king and historical parade chassis from 1882. 6pm will find Krewe of Orpheus, another super-krewe with grand marshall Fats Domino and king Quentin Tarantino. Moving on to Metarie at 6:15PM with Krewe of Hera, one of only two female Krewes in the parish, followed by Krewe of Zeus, a Greek themed parade with a mule-drawn king’s float and calliope.
The next post in our series will be all about the Big Day itself!
New Orleans Parade List for Mardi Gras 2014 – February 15th – February 23rd 27 Jan 2014, 10:32 am
The carnival season officially started on January 6th with the Joan d’Arc parade, but the action really heats up in New Orleans on February 15th. Here is a list of the parades for 2014:
Krewe du Vieux rolls its naughty self through the French Quarter starting at 6pm, followed by Krewe Delusion, a satirical parade with a secret theme.
Krewe of Perseus will roll through Slidell at 1pm with it’s 2014 theme, “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere!”
Starts at 3pm in the French Quarter with Krewe of Cork, celebrating wine, food and fun. At 6pm, head uptown for the Krewe of Oshun parade, which is family-friendly, followed by the Krewe of Cleopatra, the first all-female organization on the Uptown.
The West Bank will come alive at 11:45am with the Mystic Knights of Adonis, 200 male and female riders, 16 floats and family-oriented. Move to Chalmette by 1:00pm to catch the Knights of Nemesis, a businessman’s group, or go Uptown for a series of parades all in a row, starting with the Krewe of Pontchartrain, then the Krewe Delusion, followed by the Krewe of Freret. Stay uptown til 6pm, when here come the Knights of Sparta, followed by Krewe of Pygmalion. Also at 6pm is the Krewe of Caesar in Metairie and the Krewe of Olympia in Covington. At 6:30 in Slidell, see the Mystic Krewe of Titans, an all-male krewe whose throws include cups with the Mystic Krewe of Titans logo, medallion beads, footballs, t-shirts, lighted tambourines, foam batons and necklaces. Finally, The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus rolls through Marigney at 8pm, with its elaborate hand-made throws and sci-fi theme.
February 23rd (Family Sunday):
Head Uptown at noon for Krewe of Carrollton, followed by Krewe of King Arthur and Merlin, AKA “New Orleans’ Friendliest Mardi Gras Krewe” and then Krewe of Alla, whose throws are generous and of a good variety. Back in Slidell at 1pm, the Krewe of Dionysis rolls with 18 floats, including 11 double-deckers. At 2pm, choose between the dog-centered Krewe of Barkus in the French Quarter with its theme “DOGZILLA – Barkus Licks the Crescent City”, or the very unique Krewe of Tchefuncte BOAT parade in Madisonville.
We’ll continue the fun on the next post with the parades from February 26 – March 3, culminating this series with the parade list for THE BIG DAY itself! Don’t forget 1896 O’Malley House when looking for Mardi Gras lodging!
Mardi Gras History 17 Jan 2014, 12:54 pm
Mardi Gras is a celebration with ancient roots. Some say that it’s associated with the Roman Saturnalia celebration, and was adopted by the early church fathers to entice the new converts. From there, the practices spread to Europe, where some other pieces of the Mardi Gras puzzle entered the picture, such as King Cakes. These are thought to be descendants of cakes that we handed out to the peasantry by the landed gentry upon horseback. Along with the cakes were coins and other trinkets- reminiscent of today’s parade throws.
The actual words “Mardi Gras” translate to “Fat Tuesday” and represent that last day for excess before Lent begins. Mardi Gras or Carnival season itself starts every year on January 6th, also known as Twelfth Night or Epiphany- the 12th day of Christmas and the beginning of the days of frivolity that conclude on the eve of Ash Wednesday.
How Mardi Gras came to the new world remains a mystery, with several iterations of the story- one tale has the celebration brought to America in 1699 by Sieur d’Iberville, a French explorer who landed in what is modern Mobile, and named the area “Pointe du Mardi Gras”, as it was the eve of the holiday. Some hold that students home from studying in France dressed in costumes and paraded the streets of New Orleans in the early 1700s, which was embraced by the people of the city and became an annual ritual. Others say it simply came with the French settlers in what is now known as Louisiana.
However it got here, it has never left! The celebration has evolved over the years, becoming a riotous frolic that lasts for two months or more, depending on the date of Easter each year. It’s even an official state holiday in Louisiana! Parades started really taking off in the early 1800’s. Krewes came along, with the introduction of floats (also know as “tableaux cars”- I think we should bring that back!), Krewes starting throwing trinkets from the floats, and the modern Mardi Gras parade was born. The floats have become more elaborate, as have the “throws”- and ladies, you do not have to flash your “assets” to get beads- just catch them! There are now over 70 krewes bringing the fun to the city with parades almost every day from February 15th until the Big Day.
The colors of Mardi Gras are everywhere! They are Purple (justice), Green (faith), and Gold (power). They were adopted after the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff suggested them, based upon his family’s heraldic colors. The story goes that when LSU was picking colors for the university, the shops were full of Mardi Gras colors. LSU decided to use purple and gold, which left Tulane only the green!
We love our Mardi Gras guests and they appreciate our 24/7 free soft drinks, beer and wine as well as the delicious breakfast that soaks it all up, enabling them to party another day!
Innkeeper, 1896 O’Malley House