Mardi Gras in New Orleans – Part 1

The holiday of Mardi Gras is celebrated in Southern Louisiana, including the city of New Orleans. Celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (the start of lent in the Western Christian tradition). Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the Mardi Gras season. In the final week, many events occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities, including parades and balls (some of them masquerade balls).

The parades in New Orleans are organized by social clubs known as krewes; most follow the same parade schedule and route each year. The earliest-established krewes were the Mistick Krewe of Comus, the earliest, Rex, the Knights of Momus and the Krewe of Proteus. Several modern “super krewes” are well known for holding large parades and events, such as the Krewe of Endymion (which is best known for naming celebrities as grand marshals for their parades), the Krewe of Bacchus (similarly known for naming celebrities as their Kings), as well as the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club—a predominantly African American krewe. Float riders traditionally toss throws into the crowds. The most common throws are strings of colorful plastic beads, doubloons (aluminum or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic “throw cups”, Moon Pies, and small inexpensive toys, but throws can also include lingerie and more sordid items. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year.

While many tourists center their Carnival season activities on Bourbon Street and in New Orleans and Dauphin, major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St. Charles Avenueand Canal Street, on the upriver side of the French Quarter. Mardi Gras day traditionally concludes with the “Meeting of the Courts” between Rex and Comus.

History

The first record of Mardi Gras being celebrated in Louisiana was at the mouth of the Mississippi River in what is now lower Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, on March 2, 1699.IbervilleBienville, and their men celebrated it as part of an observance of Catholic practice. The date of the first celebration of the festivities in New Orleans is unknown. A 1730 account by Marc-Antione Caillot celebrating with music and dancemasking and costuming (including cross-dressing). [1] An account from 1743 that the custom of Carnival balls was already established. Processions and wearing of masks in the streets on Mardi Gras took place. They were sometimes prohibited by law, and were quickly renewed whenever such restrictions were lifted or enforcement waned. In 1833 Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, a rich plantation owner of French descent, raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration.

James R. Creecy in his book Scenes in the South, and Other Miscellaneous Pieces describes New Orleans Mardi Gras in 1835:[

Shrove Tuesday is a day to be remembered by strangers in New Orleans, for that is the day for fun, frolic, and comic masquerading. All of the mischief of the city is alive and wide awake in active operation. Men and boys, women and girls, bond and free, white and black, yellow and brown, exert themselves to invent and appear in grotesque, quizzical, diabolic, horrible, strange masks, and disguises. Human bodies are seen with heads of beasts and birds, beasts and birds with human heads; demi-beasts, demi-fishes, snakes’ heads and bodies with arms of apes; man-bats from the moon; mermaids; satyrs, beggars, monks, and robbers parade and march on foot, on horseback, in wagons, carts, coaches, cars, &c., in rich confusion, up and down the streets, wildly shouting, singing, laughing, drumming, fiddling, fifeing, and all throwing flour broadcast as they wend their reckless way.

In 1856 six businessmen gathered at a club room in New Orleans’s French Quarter to organize a secret society to observe Mardi Gras with a formal parade. They founded New Orleans’ first and oldest krewe, the Mystick Krewe of Comus. According to one historian, “Comus was aggressively English in its celebration of what New Orleans had always considered a French festival. It is hard to think of a clearer assertion than this parade that the lead in the holiday had passed from French-speakers to Anglo-Americans. … To a certain extent, Americans ‘Americanized’ New Orleans and its Creoles. To a certain extent, New Orleans ‘creolized’ the Americans. Thus the wonder of Anglo-Americans boasting of how their business prowess helped them construct a more elaborate version than was traditional. The lead in organized Carnival passed from Creole to American just as political and economic power did over the course of the nineteenth century. The spectacle of Creole-American Carnival, with Americans using Carnival forms to compete with Creoles in the ballrooms and on the streets, represents the creation of a New Orleans culture neither entirely Creole nor entirely American.”[

In 1875 Louisiana declared Mardi Gras a legal state holiday.  War, economic, political, and weather conditions sometimes led to cancellation of some or all major parades, especially during the American Civil WarWorld War I and World War II, but the city has always celebrated Carnival.

(information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Colors Of The Rainbow

Colors Of The Rainbow In Order

Rainbow colors Image source: Wikipedia

The colors of the rainbow in order are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. You can remember them with the acronym Roy G Biv!

At one point or another, we have all seen a rainbow. But, although they are fairly common occurrences, it is remarkable how little most people actually know about rainbows.

In fact, most people couldn’t even name the 7 colors of the rainbow in order. If you’ve ever tried closing your eyes and name those colors in the right order, you’d have found that it’s a lot harder than it may seem to get it right.

The most common mnemonic techniques are to either memorize the initials for each color in order (VIBGYOR) or turn it into a name by reversing the order (ROY G BIV).

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second. – Mattie Stepanek

What Are The 7 Colors of The Rainbow in Order?

The white light that emits from the sun can be broken down into the colors of the rainbow in order:

  • Violet
  • Indigo
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Red

So, just memorizing the first letter of each color is perhaps the best way to remember them.

There is, however, not a universal agreement of this. Most notably, science and science fiction writer and thinking Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) said the following about it:

It is customary to list indigo as a color lying between blue and violet, but it has never seemed to me that indigo is worth the dignity of being considered a separate color. – Isaac Asimov.

Despite what Asimov said, it seems to have become generally accepted that the colors of the rainbow are seven and that they indeed include the color indigo. This is probably because more ordinary people who look at a rainbow (both directly or a photograph or video recording of one) will be able to see and identify the seven colors.

Color Of The RainbowColor Wavelength (nm)
Violet455 – 390
Blue492 – 455
Green577 – 492
Yellow597 – 577
Orange622 – 597
Red780 – 622

But there’s a lot more to know about the colors of the rainbow other than just the order.

What Is The Origin Of The 7 Colors of the Rainbow?

17th Century English theologian, astronomer, and mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1726 or 1627), was the first person to realize that it was possible to see the view all the full-color spectrum by breaking apart white light.

The most natural way to create a prism would be to use raindrops. That is why a great way to observe the visual spectrum is by looking at a rainbow.

Even a quick look at the full-color spectrum makes it evident that the colors are not discrete categories. Looking closely at it, you will notice that each color bleeds into the one next to it.

Image source: Wikipedia

So, the color violet bleeds into the color indigo, the color indigo bleeds into the color blue, the color blue bleeds into the color green, the color green bleeds into the color yellow, the color yellow bleeds into the color orange, and the color orange bleeds into the color red.

What what’s on either side of the spectrum? Ultraviolet or UV is violet’s neighbor and infrared or IR is red’s neighbor.

Because all the colors bleed into each other, settling for seven colors may seem a bit arbitrary. Contemporary observers may not question this, though, because we have accepted that there are seven colors. That’s what we’ve been told so it can be hard to see anything else. But, deciding that there were only seven colors and, therefore, ignoring everything that is “between” each of these colors has very deep historical roots.

What’s The History Behind The 7 Colors of the Rainbow?

The fact that we have settled for 7 colors is no accident. The number 7 has a long history in Western culture.

It all began in Ancient Greece. Back in the 6th century BCE, a mathematician called Pythagoras (c. 570 – 495 BCE) believed that numbers were intricately linked to the real world. For him, numbers weren’t just abstractions but had almost magical qualities.

Image source: Wikipedia

It was Pythagoras the first one to apply numbers to pretty much everything that happens in real life. For example, he discovered that the seven musical notes could also render as mathematical equations (or at least he gets the credit for it).

He observed that most phenomena in nature or, more broadly, in the real world had something to do with the number seven. In Pythagoras’s thought, mathematics and mysticism are combined. Pythagoras’s thought was hugely influential in the Classical world among philosophers.

If you are not sure if any of this is still relevant in the 21st century, just consider how many different concepts are ordered using the number seven, many of which go as far back as the Ancient world.

For example, we still talk about the Seven Wonders of the World, Christians believe in the Seven Daily sins, there were seven dwarfs in the Snow White fairy tale, etc. But not only that, there are also seven days of the week. Everywhere you look, you will see the number seven.

Why Are There 7 Rainbow Colors?

The key fact here is that Isaac Newton was an admirer of not only Pythagoras but also of anyone who was influenced by his thought throughout the years, particularly the likes as Philolaus (c. 470 – c. 385) and, particularly, Copernicus (1473 – 1543).

This influence can be seen in how Newton’s thinking on the full-color spectrum evolved. Initially, the English thinker only saw five colors in the spectrum in the following order: red, yellow, green, blue and purple. He only added orange (between yellow and red) and indigo (between violet and blue) after he considered Pythagoras’s link between music and color.

Because, as Pythagoras thought and has been accepted ever since, there are seven music notes, then there should be seven colors. Obviously, there are more colors than those seven but they are all the result of combining two or more of those main seven colors.

So, as you can see the history why there are seven colors in the rainbow is very complex, very long, and very old. But it is also surprising because it includes elements of math, numerology, and, even, music. Although most people have accepted the seven colors as fact, in Isaac Asimov’s estimation, indigo should be removed and the rainbow should just have six colors. So, can you name the 7 colors of the rainbow in order now?

https://sciencetrends.com/7-colors-rainbow-order/

NEW ORLEANS’ BEST KING CAKES – PART 2

Image result for king cakes

Breads on Oak

Nestled on Oak Street, a quaint Uptown hub is Breads on Oak – an artisan vegan bakery. Enjoy all the treats and fun of Mardi Gras with their vegan-friendly, organic king cakes. In addition to traditional cinnamon king cakes, Breads on Oak also offers vegan-friendly cream “cheese” filled, almond cream and praline pecan king cakes. Starting in January, you can pick-up king cakes in store or have them shipped every Wednesday until Mardi Gras day.

Bywater Bakery

Located in the heart of the Bywater, stop by Bywater Bakery for a selection of unique and freshly baked king cakes this Mardi Gras season. Like many others, Bywater Bakery begins its king cake storm Jan. 6. Their array of cakes includes cheesecake filled, chantilly filled, pop rocks incrusted and many more. Shake up your king cake selection this year at Bywater Bakery!

Loretta’s Authentic Pralines

It should come as no surprise that the queen of pralines makes her mark on another legendary New Orleans dessert. Alongside her specialty pralines, beignets, cookies and pies – Ms. Loretta also serves seasonal king cakes. Lemon, cherry and apple-filled cakes are available, but all bets are placed on her praline cream cheese filled king cake. Beginning in December, stop in for a slice or even a whole cake.

Angelo Brocato

For over 100 years, Angelo Brocato’s has made its mark as a local Italian sweet shop offering gelato, cannolis, biscotti and other pastries and treats. With the aid of the Harahan-based Caluda’s King Cakes, Angelo Brocato’s offers up some of the tastiest king cake in the city. Traditional, praline filled, raspberry cream cheese and more are brought from Harahan to Mid-City each and every Mardi Gras season!

This is just a short and very sweet list of must-try king cakes across the city. For more bakeries offering king cake and to learn more about the history and tradition of king cakes in New Orleans, visit neworleans.com/events.

(Information from www.neworleans.com/blog)


NEW ORLEANS’ BEST KING CAKES – PART 1

While everyone else is beginning to track their new year’s resolutions and saying goodbye to sweets, New Orleans is preparing to welcome back one of their sweetest and most beloved delicacies: King Cake. If this is your first time in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and you’re ready to indulge like a native, check out a few of these places listed below to fulfill your king cake curiosities. Want to bring some of the sweetness home? Check with the individual bakeries, as many will ship king cakes all across the country.

Image result for king cakes

OUR FAVORITE KING CAKES IN NEW ORLEANS

Manny Randazzo’s King Cakes

Boasted by locals far and wide as the best king cake in the state, Randazzo’s is a Metairie-based bakery dedicated to king cakes and only king cakes. Once the shop opens in mid-December, patrons can expect lines wrapped around the building and down the block for one of their famous king cake creations. You can choose from flavors such as strawberry cream cheese, pecan praline, lemon, apple and more, but most will tell you that the traditional king cake does the trick from Randazzo’s. Won’t be in the city for Mardi Gras? No worries. Order one of Randazzo’s specialty king cakes online with their overnight delivery.

Dong Phuong

Praised by the James Beard Foundation, Food Network and even the New York Times, Dong Phuong is a Vietnamese bakery located in New Orleans East. While they specialize in French bread used to make their signature Banh Mi, this beloved bakery offers king cakes every Mardi Gras season. Each year, beginning January 6, Dong Phuong expands its menu of sweet and savory baked goods to include this New Orleans classic.

Adrian’s Bakery

Known for her treats that offer a “taste of New Orleans,” Adrian’s Bakery offers a selection of their special king cakes year-round. Ask about their double-filled or supreme king cakes so you never have to choose between flavors again! For orders outside of Mardi Gras season make sure to call two days in advance and you can enjoy king cake on any given day of the year.

Sucre

Voted a fan favorite by the Times-Picayune in 2012 and Best King Cake by a 2011 Washington Post blind taste test, Sucre is a boutique sweet shop known for its decadent and fanciful desserts. Their housemade king cake is no exception to the stellar lineup of treats that they offer. Beginning January 6 of each year, Sucre rolls out their award-winning king cakes for Mardi Gras. Made with Sucre’s signature butter danish, sweetened with cinnamon and raw cane sugar and then baked with a light layer of Creole cream cheese and topped with edible glitter, Sucre’s shimmering king cake is as beautiful as it is delicious.

(Information from www.neworleans.com/blog)

The world’s safest (and least safe) countries

Revealed: The world’s safest (and least safe) countries – Zimbabwe and Nicaragua beat the UK

This is the safest country on Earth, according to the World Economic Forum
This is the safest country on Earth, according to the World Economic Forum CREDIT: VITALYTITOV – FOTOLIA

Are you a nervous traveller? Then you might want to consider a trip to Finland, the safest country on Earth according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Those countries shown in lighter colours on the map above rated highest for “safety and security” in the foundation’s latest biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, published last week; those in darker colours recorded the lowest scores. 

The presence of the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the top five, and Qatar in the top 10, will no doubt surprise many given their location in the troubled Middle East. Rwanda, in ninth, ahead of countries such as Portugal and New Zealand, to name just two, will also raise eyebrows. 

Oman (pictured) and the UAE were also among the five safest
Oman (pictured) and the UAE were also among the five safest CREDIT: CRISTIAN ANDRIANA/CRISTIAN ANDRIANA

The world’s 20 safest countries, according to the WEF

  1. Finland – rating: 6.65
  2. UAE – 6.6
  3. Iceland – 6.57
  4. Oman – 6.49
  5. Hong Kong – 6.47
  6. Singapore – 6.45
  7. Norway – 6.41
  8. Switzerland – 6.41
  9. Rwanda – 6.39
  10. Qatar – 6.33
  11. Luxembourg – 6.32
  12. Portugal – 6.32
  13. New Zealand – 6.31
  14. Austria – 6.28
  15. Estonia – 6.26
  16. Sweden – 6.22
  17. Slovenia – 6.2
  18. Spain – 6.16
  19. Netherlands – 6.14
  20. Morocco – 6.14

Equally remarkable is the UK’s lowly position. It’s down in 78th, below the likes of Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia and Nicaragua, among others. 

Zimabwe: safer than Britain, reckons the WEF
Zimabwe: safer than Britain, reckons the WEF CREDIT: © PASCAL BOEGLI / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO/PASCAL BOEGLI / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

15 countries that are safer than the UK, according to the WEF

  1. Rwanda
  2. Qatar
  3. Morocco
  4. Bhutan
  5. Armenia
  6. Azerbaijan
  7. Jordan
  8. Tajikistan
  9. Mongolia
  10. The Gambia
  11. Kazakhstan
  12. Zimbabwe
  13. Saudi Arabia
  14. Nicaragua
  15. Malawi

The US fares even worse, lagging behind in 84th, just below Gabon, Algeria and Benin. 

The rankings take into account “the costliness of common crime and violence as well as terrorism, and the extent to which police services can be relied upon to provide protection from crime,” the report states. 

Colombia propped up the table
Colombia propped up the table CREDIT: JOHN COLETTI

Bottom of its survey is Colombia, followed by Yemen, El Salvador and Pakistan. A handful of countries do not feature in the 2017 report, in which case we have taken their rating from 2015 to populate the map above, or else they are shown in grey if no rating has been given in either of the last two World Economic Forum reports.

Previously, Telegraph Travel has mapped those countries where the threat of a terror attack is highest, according to the Foreign Office: 

We’ve also looked at where a natural disaster is most likely to strike, according to the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security: 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/safest-countries-in-the-world/

KING CAKES – PART 2

CAN I MAKE KING CAKE AT HOME?

Yes! You can definitely start a tradition of making your own king cakes at home with your loved ones. Check out Sucre’s award-winning king cake recipe for inspiration this Mardi Gras season. Voted “A Favorite” by the Times-Picayune King Cake Contest and “BEST” King Cake by a Washington Post blind taste test. Sucre’s signature buttery danish pastry is sweetened by cinnamon and raw cane sugar then folded with a light layer of creole cream cheese.

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!! this is the strawberry almond king cake from @laboulangerienola ⚜️📿❤️ #delicious
📷: CK
.
.
.
.
#followyournola #showmeyournola #neworleans #kingcake #mardigras #foodstagram #foodies #neworleansfood #neworleanslouisiana #nola #nolafood #laboulangerie #eatnola #eatingnola #504 #louisiana #eaternola #yelpnola #gambit #southernliving #eatingood #tsgnola #goodeats #foodbeast #foodceleb #yelp #eater #opentable #nolafoodgramotw

SUCRE’S KING CAKE RECIPE

THIS RECIPE MAKES 2 KING CAKES

Dough

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature

Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milk in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed till it comes together. As dough comes together, add 1 egg at a time then add butter gradually. Continue to mix at medium speed till smooth and elastic. Do not overmix.

Place in a clean bowl and wrap with plastic wrap, keep at room temperature and allow to double in size. When doubled, “punch down” to deflate, and wrap again to allow to rise again.

At this point, make the cream cheese filling.

Filling

  • 8oz Cream Cheese (1 pack)
  • 1ea Egg yolk
  • 1/8 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

Combine all ingredients and mix till smooth. Will be divided on 2 pieces of dough

Assembly

Roll dough to an even rectangle about ¼” thick. Cut into 2 lengthwise and pipe or spoon cream cheese filling on the upper 1/3 of each piece. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon) evenly. Roll each piece into a log and twist them together to form a braid. Shape into a ring sealing the ends well.

Proof to double in size and bake in preheated oven @360*F for approx 20-25 minutes or till golden brown on the bottom surface. If top is golden brown and bottom is still not baked, cover the top with foil and turn oven down to 325*F. Allow to cool before glazing.

Glaze

  • 2 cups Powder sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients till smooth and coat top of cooled cake. Allow glaze to dry before serving. RECIPE COURTESY OF SUCRÉ – WWW.SHOPSUCRE.COM 

(Information obtained from www.neworleans.com/events/holidays)

KING CAKES – PART 1

SO, WHAT IS A KING CAKE?

The name “king cake” comes from the Biblical story of the three kings who bring gifts to Baby Jesus. A blend of coffee cake and cinnamon roll, king cake is usually iced in yellow, green and purple – the colors of Mardi Gras — and is frequently packed with fruit fillings and decadent cream cheeses. Hidden within these season sweets also lie a special surprise: a plastic king cake baby to continue the fun.

WHAT DOES THE BABY INSIDE THE KING CAKE MEAN?

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!! this is the strawberry almond king cake from @laboulangerienola ⚜️📿❤️ #delicious
📷: CK
.
.
.
.
#followyournola #showmeyournola #neworleans #kingcake #mardigras #foodstagram #foodies #neworleansfood #neworleanslouisiana #nola #nolafood #laboulangerie #eatnola #eatingnola #504 #louisiana #eaternola #yelpnola #gambit #southernliving #eatingood #tsgnola #goodeats #foodbeast #foodceleb #yelp #eater #opentable #nolafoodgramotw

Hidden in its interior, or under a slice, is a small plastic baby. Whoever finds it must either bring the next cake or throw a party, thus sparking an unending round of food and fun. Whether at the workplace, school or home – king cake is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the Mardi Gras season.

WHEN DO YOU EAT KING CAKE?

King cake is indeed a heavenly treat for residents of New Orleans when it appears in supermarkets and bakeries between early January and Ash Wednesday. Some bakeries across the city begin selling as early as December, but always at the start of Carnival – January 6. While we hold firm to our belief that king cakes taste best in New Orleans, don’t fret if you aren’t here during that special time of year. Several bakeries offer fast delivery anywhere in the United States.

WHERE DO I BUY A KING CAKE?

New Orleans is filled with a number of bakeries, sweet shops and restaurants eager to begin sharing this sweet seasonal treat. Enjoy customized, traditional and unique king cakes from across the city. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see a list of bakeries that offer king cakes, or browse a this list of some of our favorite king cake spots here.

(Information obtained from www.neworleans.com/events/holidays)

Twelfth Night in New Orleans



Unlike Mardi Gras’ ever-changing date, Twelfth Night always falls on Jan. 6. It marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, thus officially ending the holiday season. While some religious sects believe that Twelfth Night falls on Jan. 5, in New Orleans it is celebrated on Jan. 6, the 12th day after Christmas. Those who observe Twelfth Night on Jan. 5 consider Christmas starting at sunset on Christmas Eve.

Less than two weeks after Christmas, New Orleans has begun the celebrating anew with Twelfth Night. The Feast of the Epiphany which is on January 6, marks when the Three Wise Men visited the Christ child. In New Orleans it also means the launch of Carnival season. New Orleans observes it with the Joan of Arc parade that marches through the French Quarter. This is followed by the Twelfth Night Masquerade Ball and the ride of the Phunny Phorty Phellows, a group of gentlemen who board the St. Charles streetcar with great fanfare Uptown to herald the arrival of Carnival.

Twelfth Night is significant here in New Orleans because it is the official start of the Carnival season, which concludes at the end of Mardi Gras Day. Leave it to a city like New Orleans to transition directly from the Christmas holidays to Carnival season. Twelfth Night has always been important in New Orleans, being celebrated and observed as far back as colonial times. However, it wasn’t until post-Civil War in 1870 that the Twelfth Night Revelers formalized the tradition. Since then it’s been celebrated in various forms.

It’s also important to note that since Carnival season doesn’t start until Twelfth Night, staunch observers of tradition wait until that day to have their first piece of king cake for the year. Local lore goes that if king cake is eaten before Twelfth Night, it will rain on Mardi Gras day. Many wave this off as nonsense and sell king cakes year-round. However, since New Orleans is a city built on traditions and superstitions alike, the majority of people here still observe the practice of waiting until Twelfth Night for that first delicious, gooey, cinnamon-y bite of king cake.

How to Celebrate Twelfth Night in New Orleans

Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc Parade. This medieval-themed walking parade is a theatrical procession inspired by Joan of Arc’s time in 1400s France. The parade usually begins at 6 p.m. at Toulouse and Decatur Streets, goes through the French Quarter and ends up back on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Along the way there are toasts from the Historic New Orleans Collection and Vincent Sciama, Consul General of France in New Orleans, from the Williams Research Center balcony at 400 Chartres St.; a sword blessing at St. Louis Cathedral by Father Philip Landry; ending with the crowning of the king and a king cake ceremony. Revelers are invited to wear gold and join the fun.

The Phunny Phorty Phellows (PPP). The PPP’s annual ride exists to gleefully celebrate the arrival of Carnival time. As per tradition, this small but jovial krewe commandeers a single streetcar for the evening, spreading revelry and merriment all along the St. Charles Streetcar line. This year the PPP kicked off their parade at 7 p.m. Jan. 6 in Uptown at the streetcar barn on Willow Street. The route takes the festive streetcar along the entire length of the streetcar line (all the way downtown to Canal Street) and then retraces its route back to the barn on Willow Street.

Mardi Gras, like Christmas, is a whole season – not just one day. That being said, Fat Tuesday is the biggest day of celebration, and the date it falls on moves around. You’ll find that Fat Tuesday can be any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9. Carnival celebration starts on Jan. 6, the Twelfth Night (feast of Epiphany), and picks up speed through midnight on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

This year (2019) Mardi Gras is celebrated on Tuesday, March 5.

(Information from Mardi Gras New Orleans.com)

NEW AT DISNEY WORLD IN 2019 – PART 3

 

NEW AT DISNEY WORLD IN 2019 – PART 3

 

Animal Kingdom

The Lion King Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party

What's New at Disney World

January 2019

In honor of The Lion King’s 25th Anniversary, the Animal Kingdom is hosting this all-new dance party in 2019. Head to Discovery Island, January 18-September 30, to show off your best dance moves with Simba, Timon, and Rafiki.

Epcot

Transformation of Epcot

Epcot is undergoing a multi-year transformation, which means there’s a lot to look forward at this park in 2019 and in the year’s to come. The transformation aims to keep the park’s original vision intact but also make the area more family-friendly. For example, park goers can look forward to attractions like a “Beauty and the Beast” sing-a-long at the France Pavilion. As of right now, further details have not yet been released. However, rumors are circulating that two more countries will be added to World Showcase as part on the over $1 billion investment into Epcot.

 

All-New Epcot Nighttime Spectacular: Epcot Forever

Fall 2019

Disney Parks is retiring IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at the end of summer 2019. Then, for a limited time only, Epcot will feature Epcot Forever. This nighttime show is a celebration of the park set to classic Epcot tunes. Highlights will include fireworks, lasers, and choreographed special effects kites. Then, in 2020, Epcot will debut a permanent new nighttime spectacular promising to inspire people from around the globe.  So much to look forward to!!

Ratatouille Attraction

Scheduled Summer 2020

At Epcot’s France Pavilion, a “Ratatouille” inspired attraction will open. This ride will be similar to the attraction already open at Disney Park in Paris. As such, guests will “shrink” to Remy’s size, then scurry around Gusteau’s legendary Parisian Restaurants.

Guardians of the Galaxy Attraction

Schedule for 2021

Future World will be home to a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” inspired attraction. Few details have been released but we do know it will replace Ellen’s Energy Adventure and center on Peter Quill, or Star-Lord’s, visit to Epcot as a child.

 

Does all of this sound exciting?  You bet it does!  And all of these new activities is from just one of the Parks — Magic Kingdom.  There is more to come at the other Parks.  Stay tuned to Part 4.

NEW AT DISNEY WORLD IN 2019 – PART 2

NEW AT DISNEY WORLD IN 2019 – PART 2

Disney World is committed to keeping their parks fresh, fun and entertaining! The year 2019 is no exception, with the all of the parks bursting at the seams with activity.

Disney World will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2021.  Many of the new attractions for 2019 and corresponds to Disney’s 50th anniversary. That year will be a huge year for Disney and the Parks will unveil new things every year leading up to the anniversary as well.  Here’s what is scheduled for Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom

Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party

January 2019

The Magic Kingdom has several newer entertainment options. Among them is the daytime Festival of Fantasy Parade and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Stage Show. In 2019, Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party will get guests groovin’! Starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse as well as other Disney characters, this street party’s soundtrack include popular Micke Mouse Club remixes.

What's New at Disney World

Tron Roller Coaster

Scheduled for 2021

What’s new at Disney World for the Magic Kingdom? Opening near Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, there will be a “Tron” inspired attraction designed after the highly rated TRON Lightcycle Power Run at Shanghai Disney Land. As such, the attraction will be coaster-themed, offering a high-tech thrill ride aboard a train of cycle-like cars that blast riders into the video-game-like “Grid” of the films.

Disney World Transportation

Believe it or not, when it comes to what’s new at Disney World, there’s some exciting news regarding transportation.

Disney Skyliner Gondolas

Summer 2019

Move over ground transportation, the newest way to get around Disney World Theme Parks is via the sky. The Disney Skyliner Gondolas will connect Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts and other locations with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.

Does all of this sound exciting?  You bet it does!  And all of these new activities is from just one of the Parks — Magic Kingdom.  There is more to come at the other Parks.  Stay tuned to Part 3.

(Information from www.reserveorlando.com/travelguide)