things to do in New Orleans

mardi gras parade for dogs

mardi gras parade for dogs

We just finished shopping for the last bits for our costume for our favorite Mardi Gras parade- the Krewe of Barkus- which rolls tomorrow afternoon in the French Quarter.  The little one is going as Scooby Doo and we’re dressing up as Fred and Daphne.

The theme for this year’s parade is BattMutt, the Bark Knight, so we have a batman costume for our Great Dane and a Robin costume for our German Shepherd.  The Great Dane went last year as a flamenco dancer but this will be the German Shepherd’s first time.

The 2009 Parade starts at Armstrong Park promptly at 2pm and proceeds on their traditional 15-block route through the Vieux Carré, stopping at the VIP Reviewing Stand at Good Friends Bar, corner Dauphine and St. Ann, where VIPs (and those who desire to be VIPs) will toast the Royal Court.

The Pawty (before, during & after parade) at Armstrong Park is open to all at no charge to hear the music and see the sights! Edibles and potables available. Armstrong Park opens to all at 10:30am and is the staging area for the parade participants.  For more info, click here.

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will present the first annual Treme Creole Gumbo Festival on Saturday, Dec. 13, and the third annual Holiday Bazaar Dec. 13 and 14.

The Treme Creole Gumbo Festival celebrates the history of Faubourg Treme as a hotbed of New Orleans’ musical and culinary culture.

The festival takes place on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the parking lot of the new Jazz & Heritage Center (formerly the Tharp-Sontheimer- Laudumiey Funeral Home) at 1225 N. Rampart Street. Admission is free.

This unique event features outstanding musical performers, including:

9:45 a.m. – The Heritage School of Music Allstars
11:00 a.m. – Davis Rogan
12:30 p.m. – The Treme Brass Band
2:00 p.m. – Shannon Powell Quartet
3:30 p.m. – Shamarr Allen
5:00 p.m. – John Boutte, Leroy Jones, Paul Sanchez and Todd Duke

In addition, two famous Creole chefs will demonstrate the secrets to making the perfect gumbo:
11:45 a.m. – Chef Alfred Singleton (Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse)
1:15 p.m. – Chef Leah Chase (Dooky Chase Restaurant)

Several of the most outstanding New Orleans Creole restaurants will be on hand selling their own takes on gumbo and other local delicacies.

Participating restaurants include: Dookey Chase, Dunbar’s Creole Cooking, Li’l Dizzy’s and Olivier’s Creole Restaurant.

The festival coincides with the third annual Jazz & Heritage Holiday Bazaar – a special sale of official Jazz Fest t-shirts, posters and other collectibles, plus locally made wearable art, jewelry and fine crafts for the home.

The Jazz & Heritage Holiday Bazaar takes place in the Jazz & Heritage Gallery, 1205 N. Rampart Street. The Holiday Bazaar hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, and noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Co-sponsors include the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest for year-round activities in the areas of education, economic development and cultural programming.

For more information, please call (504) 558-6100, or visit the Foundation’s website.

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One of the most famous watering holes in the world will celebrate their 75th anniversary on Wednesday Dec. 3, with a block party on St. Peter St. The Pat O’Brien’s Block Party starts at 5 p.m., featuring the Bucktown Allstars.

A 75th anniversary glass will be sold, and all profits go to 8th district NOPD and Firefighters.

History of Pat O’Brien’s Bar

Hurricanes, the Piano Bar, the Flaming Fountain, and green-jacketed waiters await behind the doors of 718 St. Peter in the French Quarter, New Orleans. For 75 years, world-famous Pat O’Brien’s has treated its customers to days and nights of merriment that have certainly upheld the establishment’s motto of “Have Fun!”

During the days of Prohibition in the 1930s, B. H. “Pat” O’Brien operated “Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary,” one of many speakeasies in New Orleans, whose doors opened only to the select few who knew the passwords, “Storm’s Brewin.” When the Prohibition Amendment was repealed in 1933, Mr. O’Brien moved his now legal drinking establishment across the street from the speakeasy to Pat O’Brien’s original location in the 600 block of St. Peter.

Once the Bar’s name was established as the place to be, a much larger facility was needed. The present site of Pat O’Brien’s now at 718 St. Peter Street was built in 1791. This location originally housed the country’s first Spanish Theater, then later became the private residence of the Deflechie Family. Pat O’Brien purchased the building in 1942 and moved his establishment. Under the management of Pat O’Brien, Charlie Cantrell, and George Oechsner, Jr., the bar with the modest green-and-white sign began to flourish.

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