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Defender Picks



December 1st

Pelicans v. Grizzlies

Smoothie King Center, 7p.m.

Memphis takes on Nola


The Art of Giving

Ogden Museum, 5p.m.

A holiday shopping events


Until The Beat Stops

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

A novel by Stella Mowen


Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide

Maple Street Book Shop, 7p.m.

Compilation by Mark Yakich



Saenger, 7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit


December 2nd

Tank and The Bangas Backyard Hangout

1032 St. Maurice St., 6p.m.

Also ft. The Original Pinettes Brass Band


A Dark and Stormy Night

The Arbor Room, 6:30p.m.

An evening of cocktails and ghost stories


Pelicans v. Rockets

Toyota Center, 7p.m.

Nola heads to Houston


Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Compliation of writing about “arriving”


Cas Haley

Howlin’ Wolf, 10p.m.

In the Den


December 3rd

Ogden After Hours

Ogden, 5:30p.m.

This week ft. Roman Street


Prism Break

Zeitgeist, 6p.m.

An interactive video installation


The Butlers of Iberville Parish

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Dunboyne Plantation in the 1800s


An Evening with Lusher’s Creative Writing Program

Maple Street Book Shop, 5:30p.m.

Students read from their original work


December 4th

Newcomb Art Department Holiday Sale

Carroll Gallery, 10a.m.

Ft. works in glass, ceramics, printmaking, jewelry and more



Home for the Holidays

Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market, 8p.m.

Fundraiser honoring returned Nola homeowners


The Soul Stoned Fest

The Willow, 8:30p.m.

Art, music and visuals


Doombalaya & CakeWalk

Tipitina’s, 9p.m.

A couple Nola bands jam for the weekend


Pelicans v. Cavaliers

Smoothie King Center, 8:30p.m.

Cleveland comes to New Orelans


Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5p.m.

This week ft. Artist Perspective with John Barnes


December 5th

St. Nicholas Day Fair

French Market, 10a.m.

Ft. the Saint Nick Secondline, facepaint and more


Algiers Bonfire & Concert

Algiers Ferry Landing, 5p.m.

“A Riverfront Holiday Celebration”


12 Brews of Christmas

House of Blues, 6p.m.

$20 to taste 12 seasonal beers


NOLA Polar Express

Freret St. Publiq House, 8p.m.

Benefit for CASA New Orleans


3rd Annual Krampus Gras

The Voodoo Lounge, 10p.m.

Dancing, drinking and fundraising for Planned Parenthood


December 6th

White Christmas

Prytania, 10a.m.

Part of the Holiday Movie Series


Saints v. Panthers

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 3:25p.m.

Carolina comes to Nola


Bikes Vs. Cars

Zeitgeist, 9p.m.

Bikes for change



Saenger, 2p.m.;7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit

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. 


Krewe of Oshun
Where: Uptown parade route
When: Jan. 25, 6:00 p.m.
Perrier and Napoleon
PROCEED down Napoleon 
RIGHT on St. Charles Ave.
LEFT on Canal St.
U-TURN at University Pl.
RIGHT at Tchoupitoulas St.
DISBAND Tchoup and Poyrdras

“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.  

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Film Critic

Jason Raymond


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