Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans proper take a break this weekend, as you probably know, since the city will be bursting with Super Bowl parties and events, not to mention the game. If you can't wait, there will be Carnival parades in Jefferson Parish and St. Tammany Parish this weekend. And Carnival will be back in full force in the City of New Orleans on the following weekend through Mardi Gras.
More French Market Carnival: There's a new celebration of Lundi Gras in the French Market, "Fat Monday at the French market" with brass bands, kid activities and more. It's sure to fast become another Carnival tradition. And, the annual Mardi Gras Mask Market in the French Market is set for February 8-11, 2013 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Get more Mardi Gras scoop here and stay tuned with me at this blog.
Super Bowl fever is here and it seems like the rest of the world is coming to New Orleans.
The excitement and fun is more than just the big game in the Superdome or even football. Check out these Super Bowl season attractions, events and activities in New Orleans that begin this week, from FREE fun to the the charitable, but expensive, Taste of the NFL Party with a Purpose, a huge food and wine tasting event with top chefs from New Orleans and around the nation and much more.
Last year, Louisiana native Joshua Ledet was one of the top American Idol finalists, but he didn't win the big prize. This year, there are more great Louisiana singers in the competition. Tonight, the American Idol covered the Baton Rouge auditions where these talented and interesting people from Metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge made it to the next round with a Golden Ticket to Hollywood. Stay tuned - Maybe Louisiana talent will make it to the top this season.
--Mardi Gras parades kick off this weekend and include the all-children Krewe of Rascals in Metairie on Sunday and the absolutely NOT-for-children Krewe de Vieux which is a R-rated satirical parade of walkers and mule-pulled floats in the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater on Saturday evening.
-- A Really Big Smelly Float: Endymion will premiere a float this year that is so big, that it will be be pulled by an airplane tug, not a tractor. The new signature float is over a football field long and consists of 9 units and will carry about 300 riders.
The Pontchartrain Beach Then and Now is a conception of what the beloved, ain't-dere'no'more, New Orleans Lakefront amusement park would be like now. Lighting effects will make the Zephyr, Ferris Wheel and other ride replicas look like they are in operation on the float.
There will be smoke and other specials effects too - even the SMELLS of the place including Cotton Candy and Hamburger with Onions.
-- The Presbytere museum (The Cabildo's twin on the other side of the St. Louis Cathedral) has long had a comprehensive Mardi Gras exhibit (covering all kinds of New Orleans and Louisiana Mardi Gras celebrations.) This weekend, a grand opening party welcomed a new addition to the exhibit - The Baby Dolls Mardi Gras tradition and revival.
Check out the scoop on the SUPER BOWL IN NEW ORLEANS :
Special Super Bowl Events and Experiences Fun beyond game day
FREE Super Bowl Week Events Freebie concerts and more.
The NFL Experience To-Do's What to see and do
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-- New Orleans Food:
Quvenzahne Wallis, young star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, won this year's Best Young Actor/Actress at the Critic's Choice Award. She was also nominated against very experienced grown-up actors for Best Actress for her role as Hushpuppy.
Quvenahne has to make up a Social Studies test she missed to be at the awards show. . When she won, Quvenahne calmly gave a double high-five, walked up to the stage and read a "short and sweet" thank you speech from her pink-clad smart-phone.
Quvenahne, who had never acted before, is also nominated for the Academy Awards. If she wins, she will be the youngest ever to take home an Oscar.
Beasts of the Southern Wild was the almost all-Louisiana movie set and filmed in the Louisiana bayous with Louisiana people. It received high critical and audience praise, as did the actors including Quveahane.
The movie's Red Carpet Premier was held at the new Joy Theatre. on Canal Street in New Orleans last summer. Louisiana native, Quvenahane is still in Houma a short trip from New Orleans into real life bayou country.
It's King Cake Season in New Orleans - Update:
GELATO: I just learned there's even a King Cake Gelato at Brocata'
COFFEE: In addition to the traditional (and creatively non-traditional) King Cakes in New Orleans, the King Cake flavor is also available in liquid form. Both PJ's and CC's coffeeshops have brewed-in King Cake flavor coffee, a creamy cinnammon-ish taste, in addition to actual King Cakes. And flavored King Cake coffee is also available on the internet.
VODKA: And for something with a kick beyond sugar and caffeine, there's even a King Cake flavored vodka .
ON-LINE KING CAKE STUFF: If you want to bake your own, King Cake Mix is available on-line, where you can also find children's books with a King Cake theme. There's also a King Cake maternity shirt with a Contains Baby Warning over a King Cake. One website offers a decorative King Cake Fragrance Lamp and although no specifc King Cake fragrance is listed, among the selections is a cinnamon/vanilla which sounds about right.
BACK TO THE CAKE: Actual King Cakes in New Orleans are available in more and more versions. Check out these King Cake sources and taste test for yourself before the season ends. It's a short season this year, since Mardi Gras is so early.
--King Cakes at local Grocery Stores -- BTW, Living Social has a half-price deal for a Breaux Mart King Cake for just $3.
If you are riding in a parade this year, consider buying recycled beads and throws from ARC - and don't forget to donate your excess beads after Mardi Gras.
For more about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, check out my Master list of Mardi Gras content that includes more about parades, dates, events, history, costumes, photos, king cake, off-beat events, DIY krewes, dog parades and more.
America's Got Talent Auditions are coming to New Orleans. So, if you sing, dance, do a variety act and "Got Talent" as well as bit of ambition, pre-register on-line for the Feb. 15 -16, 2013 first round auditions at the Morial New Orleans Convention Center. If you can't make those audition date, you can submit a video on-line. Check the website for more information and for audition tips such as "stand out from the crowd", "dress to impress" and "be fearless".