In 1963, Arthur Jacobs came up with a great idea to drum up business for his Bourbon Street diner, The Clover Grill. He would host a costume contest on Mardi Gras, late in the afternoon after the Rex parade. Because the Clover Grill was located in the “gay” section of Bourbon Street, directly across from Café Lafitte in Exile (the city’s oldest gay bar), the contest drew … [Read more...] about A Treasure Trove of Vintage Gay Mardi Pictures
When Endymion recently caused an uproar by announcing anti-Semite and racist Mel Gibson would be its Co-Grand Marshal, I rolled my eyes and thought “Here we go again.” The public outrage over such a poor choice was predictable and certainly understandable but all the pearl-clutching and shocked gasps, especially among newcomers to the city, made me chuckle and think, “If they … [Read more...] about Endymion and the Problem with Parades
Have you browsed through some of the Southern Decadence groups on social media lately? If you didn’t know any better, you might get the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is completely behind us. Sure, there are occasional posts about masks, but on the whole, one gets the impression that the hordes of Southern Decadence devotees who did not come last year are … [Read more...] about “For the Love of Mardi Gras, Get Vaccinated!”
Having lived in New Orleans my entire life, I have discovered two very important things about our city and its citizens. We love to party. And we are resilient beyond all expectations. Like the old Air Supply song, we New Orleanians know about “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.” So when the COVID threat forced parades, balls and parties to shut down completely during Mardi … [Read more...] about Mardi Gras 2021: A Lesson In Pivoting and Partying
If you’re like me, you’ve got friends outside of New Orleans (or new to New Orleans) asking “Is it Mardi Gras already?” Here’s a handy explanation/retort. Dear Non-New Orleans Friends: You’ve got Mardi Gras wrong. Many folks think Mardi Gras is the day, prior to Ash Wednesday, where everyone drinks heavily, fights for beads, and topless ladies climb greased poles on … [Read more...] about Is It Mardi Gras Already?