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Garden District Book Shop, 6PM
From her new book "Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, & Speakeasies"
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 7PM
Book publishing workshop
Dillrd University, 7PM
Olympic gymnast talks fame and fitness
The Carver, 7PM
World soul jazz music
Loyola University, 7PM
Clowns for a cause, to benefit Syrian refugees
St. Roch Tavern, 8PM
Tonight: beer, haircuts, karaoke
Bayou Beer Garden, 8PM
Blue Nile, 9PM
Interstellar future funk
Snug Harbor, 10PM
Galactic drummer’s side project - also at 8PM
Botanical Garden, 10AM
Art exhibit and sale en plein air
Alex Beard Studio, 5PM
Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening
Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM
Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle
Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM
Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party
New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM
Coastal scientist discusses his work
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
The Birds and the Mavs go head to head
Allways Lounge, 7PM
Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night
2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM
Cocktails for a cause
Saenger Theatre, 8PM
The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds"
Catahoula Hotel, 8PM
Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!
BJs in the Bywater, 8PM
Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo
Bar Redux, 9PM
NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts
Howlin Wolf, 10PM
Bronx hip hop comes south
Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM
Live art in the air
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Mia Borders
New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM
Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain
Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM
Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume
Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM
8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden
The Republlic, 7PM
Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show
Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM
DIY rock, pop, punk show
Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM
Joy Theater, 8PM
The Carver, 9PM
NOLA brass all-stars
Gasa Gasa, 9PM
Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support
Allways Lounge, 10:30PM
Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers
One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM
80s dance party
Oshun of Bliss
African-American Krewe Rolls First on St. Charles
While Zulu and their golden coconuts tend to steal the spotlight as the last and oldest African-American parade to round out the Carnival season, no one can forget about the first float out of the gate. For more than 15 years, the all African-American Krewe of Oshun has rolled down the Uptown streets, kicking off the carnival season with their mix of vibrant floats and African inspired themes.
“Oshun is the goddess of fountains, love and wealth for the African people of Brazil, Haiti and Cuba,” said Ann Clark, captain of the Krewe of Oshun.
Oshun takes many forms depending on the different religions, such as West African Yoruba, Brazilian Ketu or Cuban Santeria, but despite cross-cultural differences, she maintains all the positives of a beneficent goddess in each representation.
“The Oshun symbol is the peacock,” said Clark. Like Oshun, and the parade itself, the peacock feathers represent an exotic beauty. The peacock makes a specifically strong appearance in Cuban polytheistic religion and will make an even stronger appearance in the Mardi Gras loot.
“We have the Oshun medallion beads. This year we’re going to do beautiful peacock bracelets, Saints hand clappers, Saints cowbell, Saints beads, and Oshun lighted peacocks,” said Clark, only naming a few favorites.
When the Krewe first came together in 1996, they felt the goddess best reflected the ideals and emotions of the Krewe. As a goddess who projects beauty and love both on the surface and within, the Krewe couldn’t have taken on a more fitting choice. Each year, the parade has been a hit, delighting families and Mardi Gras goers with colorful themes and throws.
“The theme [this year] is the children of our future and it really has to do with the professions that the children can aspire to,” said Clark.
A procession of 18 floats and seven vans will represent a range of vocations from education careers to sports careers to music career and more. The floats aim to inspire young people in the often unsettling search for a stable job, as well as excite smaller children about future prospects.
“This year we are going to have the Rebirth Brass Band. They won a Grammy. We are also going to have the New Orleans Saints super fans,” said Clark.
With all that who dat spirit up in the air, the parade has to represent. Clark also mentions a van contest, where drivers compete for the best look, but they’ll have to work hard to stand out against the bevy of floats.
In the end though, we know what Mardi Gras is really about: monarchy. And this parade proudly hails to the lovely King and Queen, or rather Shango and Oshun, Taisha Williams-Payne and Damon Payne Sr.
Check out the Krewe of Oshun at 6 pm on Friday, January 25.
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz