Cruisin’ the Crescent – March 2013

By the time you read this all of the events I’m about to discuss will be over, but I have no doubt in my mind that this time in New Orleans won’t be forgotten. I am writing this right before the Super Bowl, which means our city is bracing for the giant party cyclone that’s only formed when you put Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl in the same city at the same time. Our city has been preparing for this for months. Everyone has been stuck in traffic and inconvenienced due to the construction, but we got through it and right now our city looks great!

New Orleans can host a party with thousands of guests with its eyes closed; we do it several times a year. But gearing up for these two historic events back to back took everyone working together. I am so impressed with all of the planning and preparation that went into it and I’m proud to show off our city. After watching a lot of national news you can tell how excited people are to come here. For instance, when watching ESPN the other night I learned more about where the anchors wanted to eat when they got here than their actual thoughts on the game!

At this point we know who won the Super Bowl, we know who Rex and Zulu are and we know what we’re giving up for Lent. But as I sit here now, the beer is chilling on ice, the streetcar is running and the floats are sitting in the dens ready to roll. I couldn’t be more excited. So whatever the outcome of the game, the Saints are still No. 1 in our hearts. Happy spring and Who Dat!

This year the Fair Grounds hosted the first ever zebra race in the South! New Orleanians gathered at the Miller Time Beer Garden for a premium view of the event. In between races DJ Rob Nice entertained while the zebra enthusiasts dined on Fry Bar Nola, La Cocinita and Woody’s Fish Tacos. The daylong event, which was paired with the ostrich race, went on well into the evening and was very well attended.

Mason Talbert and Jessica Carvin getting ready for the race 

Ryan Adkerson and John Mills

We all know that the Big Easy doesn’t sleep, so it isn’t surprising that after Christmas and New Year’s and before the Carnival season and Super Bowl, the 79th Allstate Sugar Bowl was held with Jack Laborde at its helm. The initial Sugar Bowl game was held in Tulane Stadium, which is of particular interest to Laborde since he played football for the Green Wave 1968-’70 and was part of the Liberty Bowl squad that beat Colorado. New Orleans rolled out its red carpet for both the Florida Gators and the Louisville Cardinals, and many events leading up to the battle were planned. Some of the highlights for the “ladies” were a tour of Archie and Olivia Manning’s home and the Rex Den (all loved the new Butterfly King float) followed by a lunch at K Paul’s. Included in the gift bags was a scarf designed by Patsy Hardin, Stealing Magnolias autographed by writer Debra Shriver, a Women of the Storm mini football reminding everyone that “a football field of wetlands is lost every 30 seconds” and The Scout Guide: New Orleans, a new endeavor by Taylor Morgan. The following day the ladies met at Pat O’Brien’s with personalized umbrellas used to second-line with the St. Augustine band, along with special Sugar Bowl beads to toss, and proceeded to Arnaud’s Restaurant. Saks Fifth Avenue provided a fashion show. Then came the gala at the Riverside Hilton featuring New Orleans as the “Greatest Show on Earth” and a president’s dinner at Restaurant August. According to Peggy, “the biggest winner was our beloved city. No one knows how to put on a mega spectacle like we can!”

TOP LEFT: Olivia Manning, Carol Muschamp and Peggy Laborde

TOP RIGHT: Deb Shriver and Jack Laborde

BOTTOM LEFT: Jack Laborde leading the St. Augustine band in a second-line.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Sugar Bowl Party at Arnaud’s

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Categories: Lifestyle