Parades, Irish/Italian 2019


Pace Yourself

Thu, March 14

Irish Channel block party – 1:00 p.m. starts on Magazine & Felicity at 1:00p.m.

The parade follows Noon Mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church and is returning to a previous route following the completion of road construction on Louisiana Ave. The parade marches from Magazine St. to Jackson Ave., to St. Charles Ave., to Louisiana Ave., to Magazine St., and ending after turning river-bound on Jackson Ave.

Fri, March 15

Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade – 6:00 p.m.

Jim Monaghan’s parade rolls Friday (March 11) at 6:30 p.m. The parade takes its leave from Molly’s at the Market (1107 Decatur. St.), then the route will lead marchers down Decatur Street to take a right on Bienville Street, then take a right on Dauphine Street to loop past Erin Rose (811 Conti St.). They’ll march down Bourbon then finally take a right on Gov. Nicholls St. to return to Molly’s.

Sat, March 16

Parasol’s Block Party 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

3rd and Constance 10am to 8pm. Music, green beer, food and surprises. The start of the block parties on the day of the Irish Channel Parade.

Tracy’s Block Party 11 a.m. – ’til

Annual celebration in the Irish Channel – 2604 Magazine Street.  They are the party at the end of the Irish Channel Parade
Irish Channel Parade – 1:00 p.m.

The parade follows Noon Mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church, and marches from Magazine St. to Jackson Ave., to St. Charles Ave., to Louisiana Ave., to Magazine St., and ending after turning river-bound on Jackson Ave.

Sun, March 17

Downtown Irish Club Parade – 6:00 p.m.

The annual downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade begins on the corner of Burgundy and Piety in the Bywater, proceeds up Royal, across Esplanade to Decatur, up Canal to Bourbon. The parade makes several “pit stops” on its way to Bourbon St
St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Rd. – 12 Noon

The annual Metairie Road St. Patrick’s Day parade will take place at noon in front of Rummel High School on Severn Avenue, goes down Severn to Metairie Road, then Metairie Road to the parish line.

Sat, March 23

Italian-American St.Joseph’s Parade – 6 p.m.

The floats and Maids will start the parade at Canal Street and Charters at 6:00 p.m; the marchers will then follow. The only difference between the route for the floats and Maids and the route for the marchers is that when the floats and Maids turn onto St. Ann, they will proceed to Decatur Street and back to the Hilton Hotel instead of turning onto Royal Street like the marchers.

Sun, March 24

Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade (Metairie) – 12 Noon

The Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade will roll at 12:00 noon, onVeterans Highway in Metairie.

Sat, April 6

Irish-Italian/Islenos Parade

The parade starts at 12noon along the W. Judge Perez route in Chalmette. It consists of 53+ floats, 35+marching groups 1,500+ members and 350,000 pounds of produce.


89th Pirate’s Alley Art show April 6, 7

Apr 6- Apr 7
What:  an art event featuring exciting artwork by regional artists ,plus an opening parade, food and beverages for purchase, and painting demonstrations by some members of the association.

Visit, or contact Wanda at for a prospectus, if you want to be an artist- participant.

Golden Age of Tuesdays

One of my favorite local writers, Charles Cannon, wrote something a few years back about Carnival that I think about each year. He said firmly to not believe those precious commentators who say that the 19th century was the Golden Age of Carnival-

THIS is.

In case you care, some of the key attributes he assigns to the classic “Carnivalesque” narrative include:

-a satirical impulse of a bawdy kind that literary critic Bakhtin called “grotesque realism,”

-the inversion of normal prevailing social hierarchies,

-and mass participation…

But of course those have long been present in New Orleans and have remained so across many eras, including those not as wonderful. So why a Golden Age?

Cannon makes his case by outlining more recent developments:

-The desegregation of Carnival, which began in the 1980s. Yes I said the NINETEEN 80s. That certainly changed the dynamic of Carnival, even while most of those players remain in control in terms of Carnival and therefore in the city.  Some of the old line racist krewes gave up their public role in Carnival rather than integrate, and other of these power centers actually began to do community work (they said) that they had been organized to do long ago. All of those changes were much less than they should have been (and still need to be) , but many did happen. Maybe most importantly, those few krewes are no longer the only authority.

-The profusion of smaller parading organizations like the early ones of Pussy Footers and the 610 Stompers, and the later, ingeniously designed Laissez Boys (yes they parade on motorized Lazy Boys), among the many, many working on intricate dance steps and humorous jabs at modern life, all to add life at people-level in between the massive floats.

-where else are school bands and dance/flag troops so revered but in New Orleans? That is a direct effect from performing brilliantly on their own streets in parade after parade.


Artist Peter Boutte’s 2019 picture of his block this weekend. School bands use the streets to practice for parade marching to our great delight… Some renowned bands will participate in a half dozen parades just during Carnival week. Performers are paid, and this can mean a first-rate music program can operate at one of our underfunded public schools.


-Cannon also suggests that the downtown walking parades revived in the Quarter (after float parades were banished from the old part of the city around 1970) are a main reason for the golden age. I can’t say I disagree with him, even the number of these parades remains much lower than the Napoleon/St. Charles parade traffic jam that is the last week of Carnival. Still, it is clear that their effect on the culture is significantly higher, and I nominate my favorite parade of ‘titRex to show that. Utilizing the local school tradition of shoebox float making, this small krewe offers a much appreciated satirical but tiny view of handmade New Orleans, unlike any other. Krewe du Vieux is rightly the best known of the parades and the one that Cannon is using in his description as it is the only true float parade in the Quarter.

I’d also add the increase in handmade costumes including the gorgeous hand beaded homage that white residents make to honor our deep and prevailing Mardi Gras Indians authenticity- specifically, the beaded work of Dames De Perlage, and the dried beans and glue masterpieces of the Lundi Gras’ Red Beans Parade , which I believe spun off another called the Dead Beans Parade.  All of the new iterations are meant to honor the Indians African American and Native tradition of year-round blue-collared heroes beadwork. (One of the Dames De Perlage said on social media this year that a Mardi Gras Indian told her that she had some “good patches” which they knew was the highest compliment possible.)

And he doesn’t mention it, but the gay Carnival in the Quarter which was a stalwart in the otherwise dreary 1970s, holding the creative fort until the rest of us showed back up is absolutely is one of the reasons for this Golden Age. The Bourbon Street Awards alone deserve mention, both for the community and glamor they have added and for their unlikely attendees..

Which is part of his main point that the public Fat Tuesday revelry downtown is what makes this the Golden Age. From Skull and Bones Gangs banging on doors at daybreak, to the appearance of the Indians and Baby Dolls, to the citywide crockpot red beans and gumbo offered to new and old friends along the routes to refortify, to the almost never-ending Tuesday walking parades (at least one of has participants that take the time to honor its dead) and last but not least, the day-long perambulation and public visitation that happens everywhere, but really is centered between Canal and the 9th ward, with a special nod to Orleans and Claiborne on what we all say to each other “is just a Tuesday every where else.”

…But the ultimate expression of the carnivalesque instinct in our time is what happens downtown on Fat Tuesday itself. Here the line between spectator and performer is almost totally erased as thousands — whether costumed, masked or merely bystanders — converge in the streets in a utopian vision of mass civic participation. And on this day — if only for a day — we also witness New Orleans’ idealized sense of itself come down to earth to shape the city’s social reality.

Working artists

Today, I ran across two old friends, both working in the Quarter. The great photographer and musician Zack Smith was doing a shoot for Dirty Coast on Royal. His photography spans all of the different cultures that Southeastern Louisiana encompasses, and his work with the indie rock band, Rotary Downs is worth a deep listen. It’s on my regular rotation.



Sam Mee is someone I have known since I was a teen, when I used to run with his old employer, Roger Simonson. (Sam worked at Roger’s Royal Street store, A Better Mousetrap which had its heyday in the early 1970s.)  Sam has been a working artist for decades, and shows up on the Square from time to time. As these things usually go, I had just been thinking about him recently, realizing I had not seen him in some time. And then, there he was.


I even bought an original of his today:


I talked to both of them about how they are doing with the “job, gig, hustle” lifestyle we have here in town. Zack is doing well, but still takes the cycle of business very seriously; Sam is a little less sanguine about sales, but still very good at keeping it going after all of these years.

Eleven million visitors and less than half a million residents — and most still struggle. Since the levee breaks, the cost of everything has been doubled, tripled and the number of opportunists arriving has easily quadrupled.

It is in everyone’s interest to see our creative community succeed, yet the very infrastructure works against it.

Botton line: if you see an honest hustler or gigger, pay your respects in some way.