new-orleans-341I was walking in this morning, cold, the sound of ice crunching as I walked. But, I was heartended by the fact that days are getting longer and…six weeks from today, exactly, we’ll be heading to New Orleans!

I checked the Times-Picayune online to see what’s going on in the Crescent City and found the schedule of events for the many festivals that will be going on when we are there. The biggest news: rumor has it that the Mardi Gras Indians will process on Sunday, March 15th, rather than a week later, as I had feared. Keep in mind, things with the Indians are always tentative and subject to their schedule, but this is a hopeful sign. Keep your fingers crossed!

There is a complete list of events, but highlights include: Saturday, March 14th, Italian-American St. Joseph’s Day parade, 6:00 p.m., French Quarter; Sunday, March 15, Mardi Gras Indian’s Super Sunday, around 1:00 p.m. (I’m still a little leary of this, though.); and the Tuesday, March 17th, the Downtown Irish Club Parade, 6:30 p.m., Bywater/French Quarter. This starts outside of the French Quarter and participants stop frequently for “refreshments,” so it takes a while for it to hit Bourbon Street. In addition, Thursday, March 19th is St. Joseph’s Day and there will be altars set up throughout the city. For the parade listing, see: http://blog.nola.com/festivals/2008/02/st_patricks_day_events_for_200.html

Finally, as the nation celebrates Abrahm Lincoln’s bicentennial (February 12th, to be exact), New Orleans is celebrating the centennial of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club. The Louisiana State Museum (housed in the Cabildo and Presbytere) has opened a year-long exhibit: “From Tramps to Kings: 100 Years of Zulu.” The $6.00 admission will get you into other exhibits, as well, including their permanent Carnival exhibit, “Mardi Gras in Louisiana.” For the website on the exhibit, see: http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/zulu/

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