Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Orleans Traditions

Fall is a Perfect Time to Visit New Orleans

Moss draped cypress trees in City Pary

City Park Lagoon

In New Orleans, fall is the favorite time of year for many locals and visitors alike. The sweltering heat and humidity of the summer gradually, and then suddenly, give way to the crisp air and cool breezes of the autumn months. Muggy evenings turn into ideal walking weather, and the welcomed cool of the early mornings lingers a bit longer with each passing day.

We don’t have quite the vibrancy of the changing leaves as other parts of the country might. But what we lack in leaves, we make up for in sumptuous blooms of fragrant fall flowers and the sky’s lovely hue—a bright blue you have to see to believe.

Because of the magnificent weather, locals and tourists both love to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Rides on the streetcar, walks through the French Quarter, and strolls through picturesqueCity Park and Audubon Park become part of regular routine. Visits to the Audubon Zoo also top fall to-do lists, along with long walks along the Mississippi River, the Riverwalk, and Woldenberg Park.

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New Orleans Attractions

Mardi Gras World: Explore the Magical Behind the Scenes of Carnival

Head of a jester from a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans

Courtesy of Denny Giaruso

 

 

Want to explore the behind-the-scenes magic of New Orleans’ most unique cultural and spiritual event of the year, the infamous Mardi Gras? Since 1947, Blaine Kern Studios has opened the doors of Mardi Gras World to locals and tourists alike to give them a peek inside all the craftsmanship, technology, and soul that goes into creating the ultimate Carnival experience.

Imagine walking within arm’s length of 20-foot papier-mâché sculptures of mythical beings like Zeus or Thor, or a giant jester with a hat and bells that feature nearly every vibrant color you can imagine? These magnificent works of art have donned the fronts and backs of parade floats for as long as any of us have been standing along St. Charles Ave or Canal St with our families and friends, waiting for them to pass.

Growing up in this city, since we were kids we had favorite parades, and even favorite floats and characters. Costumed riders returned our, “Throw me somethin’, Mister!” with handfuls of beads, doubloons, trinkets, stuffed animals, spears, frisbees, and more. But what’s lasted most in our memories aren’t the trinkets and plastic beads—it’s the picturesque, awe-inspiring, and sometimes even hilarious float designs that’s captured our hearts.

Mardi Gras World offers guided tours through these rows and rows of towering, fantastical float designs, sculptures, and costumes. You’ll even get to see the impressive technology that animates the very mega floats we ogle on the parade routes. Plus, bits of Carnival lore and the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans are weaved into the tour for a little lagniappe.

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New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints – Black and Gold are Back!

Jimmy Buffet in concert wearing a "Free Payton Tee-Shirt. Coach Payton is on the stage .

 

It’s no secret that the New Orleans Saints are a sacred lifeline of the city as a whole. After Hurricane Katrina, both the city and franchise rebuilt, revisited old ways, and rethought a new plan for success and renewal. That first home game in the Superdome in fall 2006 was one of the most magical moments in both Saints and New Orleans’ history.

On Sundays, game days—and really any day—black and gold jerseys, hats, car stickers, and every type of merchandise imaginable in between, are donned with both team and city pride. During Saints season, we live from Sunday to Sunday, discuss past and upcoming games at the water cooler, and excitedly plan the food and beverage menus for each game gathering.

Without the Saints every season, we admittedly all feel a little lost. For fans, players, and coaches alike, this offseason has felt particularly long and anxious. The stretch of months without a Saints game normally feels long enough already, but with the summer’s never-ending bounty allegations case, the time passed twice as slowly.

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New Orleans Festivals

Fall Festivals in New Orleans : September

The poster for the New Orleans Burlesque Festival

 

In New Orleans, fall, like spring, is festival season. After a long and hot summer, we are anxious to get outside and enjoy the weather as it turns crisp and cool . To take advantage of this temperate perfection while it lasts, we find  a reason to revel in Big Easy culture every weekend of the month.

This weekend, the New Orleans Museum of Art and its adjacent Sculpture Garden host Where Y’Art (September 7th). The evening will be enlivened by jazz music from saxophonist John Doheny, local restaurant fare from joints like Crepes a la Carte, Green To Go NOLA, and Woody’s Fish Tacos, and of course, art and art activities, all accessible with museum admission.

Next weekend, the Fourth Annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival (September 13th-15th), hosted by Harrah’s Casino and the House of Blues, presents enticing dancing talent from around the world, including renowned dancers of the past. In addition to performances, the festival will feature panels, workshops and the Queen of Burlesque competition.

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