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THE

Defender Picks

 

VENDREDI

July 28th

Food Truck Friday

Champions Square, 11AM

Feat. even more trucks

 

Dinner and a ZOOvie

Audubon Park, 6PM

A showing of Trolls

 

John Waters Film Festival

NOMA, 7PM

The Pope of Trash's classic 1981 film, Polyester

 

Astrology: Basics of Chart Reading

New Orleans School for Esoteric Arts, 7PM

Demystifying the chart: glyphs, houses, aspects, and more

 

Leonardo Hernandez Trio

Casa Borrega, 7PM

A night of Latin jazz

 

Akira Movie Night

Art Klub, 8PM

A night for anime

 

Corey Feldman

Southport Music Hall, 8PM

The 80's idol comes to town with his Angels 

 

Bloodsick

Siberia, 9PM

Feat. Cave of Swimmers + Smoke

 

Blue Velvet

Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Feat. Skelatin, Dusty_tupelo + The Family Band

 

Foundation Free Fridays

Tipitina's, 10PM

Feat. Rory Danger & The Danger Dangers and more

 

Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 11PM

Feat. Zander, Javier Drada 

SAMEDI

July 29th

Cocktail Treasure Hunt

Chartres House, 10AM

Hosted by the Krewe of Crescent City Dames

 

Stretch Your Day Out

The Drifter Hotel, 10AM

Poolside yoga

 

Summer Shrimp Boil-Off

Seaworthy, 2PM

Three chefs compete to make the best boil

 

Brush Lettering Workshop

Lionheart Prints, 2PM

Learn the art of penmanship

 

Cool Down Block Party

4100-4300 Magazine St., 5PM

Live music, free drinks, special sales, and more

 

GCPL Cup

Pan American Stadium, 6:30PM

Gaffa FC versus Cajun Soccer Club

 

Hot Summer Nights in the Ice Pit

Orpheum Theater, 7PM

A night of comedy

 

Bad Girls of Burlesque

House of Blues, 8PM

Monthly showcase at HOB

 

Mythological Hybrids 

Bar Redux, 9PM

Psych-rock sci-fi

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show

MechaCon Convention, 12AM

Feat. shadow cast, costumes, props 

DIMANCHE

July 30th

Brunch & Burn

St. Roch Market, 10AM

Yogalates, with food & mimosas to follow

 

Free Yoga Class

Parleaux Beer Lab, 11AM

$1 off beers for all attendees

 

Sacred Marketplace

Congo Square, 12PM

Unveiling the refurbished historic marker

 

Harry Potter's Birthday Party

Tubby & Coo's, 2PM

It's the boy wizard's bday

 

Cauche Mar & Evers

Castillo Blanco Art Studios, 9PM

Feat. Delish Da Goddess, Ekumen, Pine Box Social

 

Inception

Prytania Theatre, 10PM

Christopher Nolan's mind-bending masterpiece

LUNDI

July 31st

The Well

St. Anna's Episcopal Church, 2PM

A woman's poetry circle

 

Start-Up Institute for Small Businesses

Urban League of Louisiana, 5:30PM

Start of month-long business training program

 

Larry Correia

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

Signing and reading from Monster Hunter Siege

 

Elemental Dignities

New Orleans School for Esoteric Arts, 7PM

Working with the elements in tarot

 

August Alsina

House of Blues, 7PM

NOLA-born musician

 

Helen Gillet

Bacchanal, 7:30PM

Sip some wine and listen to the jazzy starlet 

 

Burlesque Bingo

Bar Mon Cher, 8PM

Lefty Lucy presents the art of the tease and bingo

 

Faun and a Pan Flute

Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM

Atlanta musicians take over the Instant Opus series

MARDI

August 1st

Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns

The Spotted Cat, 6PM

Jazz singer with a vintage twist

 

Yoga at the Windchime Tree

Singing Oak, 6PM

Jai Bhakti Yoga class

 

Big Easy Rollergirls

3632 Desire Pkwy., 6:30PM

Open scrimmage

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Future funk stars return home

 

Nite Jewel

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Feat. Geneva Jacuzzi, Harriet Brown

 

Rebirth Brass Band

Maple Leaf Bar, 10:30PM

Grammy-winning brass band

MERCREDI

August 2nd

Melt & Pour Soap Making 101

Central City Library, 5:30PM

Basics of soap making

 

Kitchen Medicine: The Root of Health 
Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Health starts in the kitchen 

 

Incubus

Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. Jimmy Eat World

 

Volunteer Interest & Members Meeting

Nola Community Printshop, 7:30PM

Monthly meeting

 

Dirty Dancing

Second Line Brewing, 8PM

Nobody puts baby in the corner

 

Police Squad

Bar Redux, 9PM

Noir parody night with New Orleans Film Noir Society

 

Walter “Wolfman” Washington

d.b.a., 10PM

Fiery blues on Frenchmen every week


Carrying the Torch

Flambeau Barers Shed Light on Early Mardi Gras Traditions



Between the colorful floats and raucous marching bands, a humbler – yet no less staid – Mardi Gras tradition slips between the cracks in the marching order. Keepers of the light are known to lead the way for those lost in the dark and that is a perfect way to describe a flambeau carrier.

 

 

They carry large, wooden poles with torches backed by stainless steel high above. In the original New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, the flambeau

were carried by slaves and free people of color alongside the floats. They
lit the way for the parade before streetlights.

 

Though they had a utilitarian function, the addition of the flambeau also

had a social element: to incorporate blacks in what was considered a white
carnival. The undertones have lead to much debate about continuing the
tradition, even though the way forward is well lit.

 

To many people, the tradition remains important, and helps keep the Mardi

Gras parades authentic. What many people fail to realize is that many
carriers have passed this tradition down for generations. Like many things
that never go out of style, it is also a great way to make some extra
money.

 

Flambeau carriers were never forced to be carriers. They were always paid.

Originally they were paid $1.50. After World War II, the price was raised
to $2.00. Though the carriers were already getting paid 50 cents more than
prewar prices, they wanted to increase the pay to 5.00. This caused a problem for many of the parades. It came to a point that the parades had to have fewer flambeau, and hire white men to carry them.

 

Eventually, the problems was resolved, and the flambeau were back alongside the floats. The pay is much higher these days and carriers can make up to $ 300 or $ 400 from the tips received from paradegoers.

 

“It was a hell of a lot of fun and I always made at least a $100. It was really tiring though,” said Matt ‘Slyfox’ J Thomas, a local New Orleans resident who happened upon being a flambeau carrier. “I never talked to anyone about being a carrier. It’s just something you find out about. I just went to the beginning of the parade route a few hours before the parade started and they gave me a number and a flambeau.”

 

Though Thomas never talked to anyone directly there are people out there who specifically recruit for flambeau carriers. Barry Donahue is a flambeau coordinator for three parades: Chaos, Proteus, and D’etat. Donahue has been a flambeau coordinator for the past 15-20 years and is very opinionated on how the carriers should act in the parades.

 

“New-line krewes have them dancing and twirling the flambeau, and that is the not the main idea. We want to show people what it was like in the 1800s,” states Donahue. “Old- line krewes have the carriers stand beside and light the floats like it was back in the 1800s.”

 

Old-line krewe refers to the original krewes of Mardi Gras, while new-line or super krewes refers to the newer krewes. Not all krewes have flambeaux but they are looking to add them.  Most krewes own their flambeaux but a few rent from the other krewes. Proteus actually uses the original flambeaux in which the burners used are from streetlights.

 

Nowadays, the torches are kept lit by propane, as opposed to kerosene in times gone by. They also are a lot safer and do not drip like the old ones. The flambeaux have injured no carriers or tourist. It used to be the carriers wore white, hooded gowns gowns called Dominos to protect from the flame and catch the soot from the flambeau. Proteus and Chaos have some of their carriers where the domino in white, while Orpheus have their carriers wear red dominos.

 

Even though flambeau carriers started out as slaves and free people of color, it has become more of a mixed tradition. Today, 75 percent of the carriers had previous ancestors who were carriers, and continue the tradition. But anyone can become a carrier. Carriers vary from high school coaches, ROTC members, students, to the unemployed. Some carriers travel from all over the country just to have the honor of carrying a flambeau. People who do it enjoy it because they get to experience Mardi Gras in a different way and be part of something that has been going on for centuries.

 

And even with the parades less than three weeks away, the ranks of flambeau aren't even full yet for this year. Donahue said is still looking for carriers for the parades he manages. Anyone is welcome to meet at the corner of Camp and Julia for Proteus and Chaos around 3 pm and at Jefferson and Magazine at the same time for D’etat.

 

“We want tourists to see and remember where Mardi Gras comes from. One day we will get back to the traditional way of carrying flambeau,”  Donahue said. However, one can say that not only tourists need to see and remember where Mardi Gras comes from. Seeing the parades pass by so many times, native New Orleanians could use a reminder as well.

Are those parades the only

Are those parades the only ones looking for flambeaux, or are there others?

I have witnessed the lighting

I have witnessed the lighting of the lights the flambeau cordnator is not a white man and is a very nice guy

Barry Donahue is a flambeau

Barry Donahue is a flambeau coordinator for three parades: Chaos, Proteus, and D’etat. Donahue has been a flambeau coordinator for the past 15-20 years and is very opinionated on how the carriers should act in the parades.

“New-line krewes have them dancing and twirling the flambeau, and that is the not the main idea. We want to show people what it was like in the 1800s,” states Donahue. “Old- line krewes have the carriers stand beside and light the floats like it was back in the 1800s.”

***

Translation, Mr. Donahue is an uptight white dude who wants black folks to know their place and act as they are told.

I'm sure there are plenty of other ways he would like to show people what life was like in the 1800's.

One last thing, please hand the flambeau money instead of throwing it to them, that is unless black folks scrounging for change is another quaint old timey tradition that needs to be carried on.

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily