by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com
French Quarter Fest 2000 Apr. 14-16
The 17th annual French Quarter Festival, Apr. 14 -16, is New Orleans' own unique celebration. The streets of the Vieux Carre are transformed into a huge free concert, with 13 stages featuring traditional and contemporary jazz, rhythm & blues, Cajun & Zydeco, New Orleans funk, classical, swing, rock, international and the many diverse sounds that are part of the city's rich cultural gumbo. Jackson Square and Woldenberg Riverfront Park will become the site of the "world's largest jazz brunch" with nearly 60 booths serving a variety of beverages and specialities from well-known New Orleans restaurants, with most dishes' prices at $2-$4. The brunch will operate amidst musical performances from 11am to 7pm daily in Jackson Square and 11am to 10pm in Woldenberg Riverfront Park; the Park will close at 9pm Sunday.
The Fest will kick-off with a T.G.I.F. "Fund-raising" Party Thurs., Apr. 13, at The Storyville District on Bourbon St. For $40, party goers can dance to sounds of New Orleans' own Deacon John & the Ivories in Jazz Alley and listen to the mellow sounds of John Boutte in the Jazz Parlor, enjoy a party buffet and open bar, plus support the nonprofit organization that makes the free weekend festival possible. Fri. At 10am, just outside The Storyville District, City officials will lead a brass band, revelers, musicians and costumed characters down Bourbon St. in a second line parade to Jackson Square for opening festivities.
Throughout the weekend there will also be free tours of private patios and courtyards, the Pirate's Alley Art Show, a Bartenders' Contest, fireworks over the Mississippi River, Islenos Crafts Demonstrations at the Cabildo, Mardi Gras Mask Making at the Presbytere, and the FQF's "Little Red Schoolhouse" 5-K Race to benefit McDonogh #15 School. The St. Louis Cathedral School will present a variety of fun-filled activities and musical performances for children in St. Anthony's Garden, behind the Cathedral.
FQF 2000 will include a New Orleans International Music Colloquium and Jazz Workshop on "The Latin Tinge: New Orleans, the Gulf and the Caribbean" at the Old U.S. Mint on Fri. and Sat., featuring some of the city's premiere music scholars addressing such topics as "Cuba & New Orleans Music," "Mexican Influences on New Orleans Music," "History of the Banjo," and "Alcide Nunez: A Look at Early Jazz." Free advance admission is available by calling 504.895.7450; a nominal fee of $5 will be charged at the door each day.
From approximately noon until 5pm Fri.-Sun., traditional jazz will be performed on four Bourbon St. stages by the likes of the Dukes of Dixieland, Connie Jones & the Crescent City Jazz Band, Jacques Gauthe & the Creole Rice Jazz Band, Lard Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Duke Heitger & the Steamboat Stompers, and Jimmy Larocca's Original Dixieland Jazz Band. A fifth stage will feature visiting international bands from places such as Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands and Denmark playing their renditions of New Orleans jazz. The annual BATTLE OF THE BANDS on Sat. night will provide a venue for Steve Yocum & the Dog Paque, Roy Liberto & his Bourbon Street Six and Milton Rich & the Dixielanders to compete for a coveted trophy.
In Jackson Square, from 11am - 7pm each day, there will be performances by Lillian Boutte, Charmaine Neville, Quintology, Ronnie Kole, Los Calientes del Son, Big Al Carson and the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band with Leah Chase and Leif Pedersen. The Riverfront will feature brass bands on the Toulouse Wharf from 11am - 9pm daily and the stages of Woldenberg Park will operate from 11am - 10pm Fri. and Sat. And 11am - 9pm Sun.
Amidst the art and antiques of Royal St., the music will have classical and international sounds. Performances on Royal St. stages will be presented Sat. and Sun. From 11am - 5pm. There will also be Cajun and Zydeco performances at the French Market from 1 - 3pm Sat. and Sun.
For a complete entertainment and event schedule for the Apr. 14-16 F. Q. Festival, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.673.5725 within the U.S. or 504.522.5730 outside. The schedule may also be accessed via www.frenchquarterfestivals.org and written inquiries may be directed to 100 Conti St., New Orleans, LA 70130.
1st Official Gay Easter Parade Set For Apr. 23
Lance Ford will present New Orleans' 1st Official Gay Easter Parade: Eastbank & Westbank: 1 Community, Easter Sunday, Apr. 23, 3pm. The excitement begins at 2pm as Parade participates meet at Rubyfruit Jungle, 640 Frenchmen, to dress and ready themselves for the festivities. The parade will showcase the fashion and creativity of the entire GLBT community with ladies in gowns or summer suits with Easter Hats and gentlemen in summer suits or tuxedos.
Ford chose Marsha & Rip Naquin-Delain to lead the Parade as Easter Grand Marshals I. The couple's extensive support of the GLBT community led to their selection. The Naquin-Delains will be honored at the Official Grand Marshal's Reception: The Purple Party on Sat., Apr. 22nd, 7-10pm, at Lance's Pub & Dance Pavilion, 3714 Westbank Expwy, across the River in Harvey.
The Parade on Easter Sunday winds through the streets of the French Quarter beginning at Washington Square Park, 3pm, via Royal to St. Louis to N. Rampart to St. Ann to Bourbon to St. Philip ending at MRB. Following the Parade, MRB will host the Official Parade Party & Reception with Happy Hour 4-6pm.
The Official Post Parade Party will be hosted by Lance's Pub & Dance Pavilion, 3714 Westbank Expwy, Harvey, beginning at 7pm.
Pansies & Dirt
Our whirlwind extravaganza weekend, Mar. 31-Apr. 2nd began with the 8th Anniversary blowout cocktail party at 4 Seasons in Metairie. Owners Chuck and Bill were also celebrating their 29th anniversary. Bill bought 4 Seasons for Chuck's anniversary present 8 years ago, and the rest is now history. They also own two other clubs, Angles in Metairie and Billy's in Slidell.
The fellas rolled out the red carpet showering party goers with free cocktails and a huge sumptuous buffet.
On Sat. 4 Seasons hosted the Illusions Show direct from Angles and, on Sun., it was Chuck and Bill's annual steak bbq blowout.
Then it was off to Angles to catch the club's hot Fri. night show Illusions. Hostess was Raquel Chevallier joined by the talents of Dominique Delorean and Tamara Seene. Although Raquel and Dominique's talents are well know in this town, Tamara has just arrived from Pensacola. This young entertainer will surprise you giving you a combo burst of talent reminiscent of Zette and Aux Shea. Keep your eyes on this girl! She is definitely going places.
Sat. kicked off with the Grand Re-Opening of the Country Club. Gone are the days of a shabby, rundown, unpopular club. Owners Blake Miller and Kurt Tande have outdone themselves converting this club into the showplace of the Crescent City's GLBT community. The lavish decor is accented by chandeliers, lighted wall sconces, paintings, antiques and beautifully refinished wooden floors.
The giant pool has been completely resurfaced, the deck expanded and all of the buildings in the complex repainted.
The reopening bash sported handsome men, and even unofficial hostesses Shelby and Blake in Cabana attire.
After a long power nap, it was time to head on over to MRB's Re-Grand Opening bash. Mgr. Drake Higginbotham and buddy Scott Garrett spruced up this popular St. Philip St. club, changing the color scheme and atmosphere giving you that "down the bayou" feel.
Drake also had the multitalented Bianca Del Rio and Miss Gay Louisiana Universe Felina Colby Shane emcee the hot strip show complete with a whole new stable of dancers. Even director John Waters was in the house.
Sunday brought us first to Rubyfruit Jungle and the Spoken Word Live Music Benefit. Over $1,400 was raised for the YWCA Battered Women's Program. The packed house was treated to readings and music by area celebrities and performing artists including Jennifer Puckett, Peter Orr and Sky Covington.
Show Bar of the Year Footloose followed with its standing room only 6th Anniversary Bash. Owners Todd and Patrick gave Quarterites what they wanted, free drinks and food, plus a show to stop all shows. The boys jetted in Miss Do and Ms. Fly direct from St. Louis St., along with the talents of Miss Gay Louisiana Universe Felina Colby Shane, Queen of Rampart Sy'ria Synclaire, Entertainer of the Year TT, Marcy Marcell, Jessica Champayne, Ava Synclair and a bevy of other beauties.
Lorenzo's Drag Fest 6 closed out our weekend with its April Fool's Show led by Rusty Lareaux. Page Turner joined in the follies along with Bobbie Ramone, Savannah and two hot boyz, one being "Sexiest Man" Ferman.
Popular bartender Bozz was behind the bar slinging cocktails along with owner Mike. The crowd was quite festive keeping this entertainment extravaganza hot, hot, hot!
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