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February 9, 2017

Headed To The French Quarter? Some Tips For Mardi Gras Fun

By Kevin McGill

Associated Press

New Orleans (AP) - Revel in the bawdy French Quarter or catch a parade? Which parade?

Do you plan to wear a costume on the big day? Politically themed? Historic? Risque? All of the above?

New Orleans is entering the height of its annual pre-Lenten Carnival season, culminating on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 28 this year. Travelers to the city face an abundance of choices on how, when and where to take it all in.

Among the things to do:

WATCH A PARADE

This isn’t as simple as it sounds. Deciding where, when and how to catch any of the dozens of New Orleans area parades - and which ones to watch - involves planning.

New Orleans’ major parades, the ones with marching bands and masked riders who throw beads and other trinkets from elaborate floats, begin this year on Feb. 17.

Mardi Gras revelers

Most follow a route along historic St. Charles Avenue onto Canal Street, the broad downtown boulevard at the edge of the French Quarter - although the giant floats of Endymion, the celebrity-studded procession set for Feb. 25, lumber through the Mid-City neighborhood.

You can join the throngs on the route. They show up with lawn chairs, ice chests, trays of barbecue, buckets of fried chicken and step ladders with little seats bolted to the top to give the kids a better vantage point.

You can pay big bucks at one of the fine-dining restaurants that erect bleachers out front so you can catch the processions while sipping your Sazerac cocktail.

Often overlooked are smaller processions. For instance, Krewe du Vieux’s satirical and raunchy parade with smaller, hand-drawn floats rolls through the French Quarter and neighboring areas on Feb. 11. A week later, sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans don costumes evoking any of a variety of pop culture icons from Ewoks to zombies for the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus stroll through the Marigny neighborhood.

BE IN A PARADE

Getting a spot in a Carnival parade is the ultimate participatory Mardi Gras experience.

Some of the old-line parade ``krewes’’ are famous for their exclusivity (some so exclusive that they stopped parading years ago rather than comply with a city non-discrimination ordinance). But others are open to anyone who can afford it, although spots are limited and sometimes have to be reserved well in advance.

Costs including membership fees, costumes and ``throws’’ (beads, little stuffed toys, etc.) can be hefty for the major parades. Some travel agency and hotel packages include a four-night stay with a spot in Harry Connick Jr.’s Feb. 27 Krewe of Orpheus parade for more than $4,000. On the other end of the cost scale are the walking clubs, like Chewbacchus, which has annual dues of $42.

SEE THE COSTUMES

Mardi Gras is a day-long costume party in the French Quarter and along the parade routes.

Sometimes the costumes are simple: multi-colored wigs, glittery masks, oversized hats.

Sometimes they are elaborate: shimmering bodysuits with huge feather headdresses fanning out from the wearers’ heads and shoulders like peacock tails.

Some of the most intricate, elaborate and, sometimes, outrageous are on display at the annual Bourbon Street awards at the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann, where prize categories include best drag and best leather.

WEAR A COSTUME

Feathered masks, funny hats and boas are available at souvenir shops in the Quarter and from vendors who wheel their goods up and down the main parade route.

Many visitors fashion their own, sometimes topical get-ups. Coveralls splotched with black were among the 2011 costumes lampooning BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Some go for professionally made store-bought or rented regalia.

``Business really starts picking up two weeks before Mardi Gras,’’ says Dennis Villadeleon, a costume designer at New Orleans’ Southern Costume Company, which rents and sells costumes.

``It’s hard,’’ he said when asked if he’s noticed any trends or themes in any given year. ``Some years, the guys really want to be pirates. There seems to be a pirate contingent here in New Orleans.’’

BEHAVE YOURSELF

Yes, it’s often touted as the world’s biggest free party and it takes place in a city famous for all-night bars and drinking in the streets. But there are limits. More than 170 state troopers are coming to supplement the nearly 1,200-member police force. And arrests are made: 334 arrests were reported last year in the 10 days leading up to Mardi Gras along the parade route and in the police district that encompasses the French Quarter.

Black History Month Started With The Son Of Freed

Slaves, Dr. Carter Woodson, And A Deep Concern

By Jesse J. Holland

Associated Press

Washington (AP) - Black History Month is considered one of the nation’s oldest organized history celebrations, and has been recognized by U.S. presidents for decades through proclamations and celebrations. Here is some information about the history of Black History Month.

HOW DID IT START?

It was Carter G. Woodson, a founder of the Association for the Study of African American History, who first came up with the idea of the celebration that became Black History Month. Woodson, the son of recently freed Virginia slaves, who went on to earn a Ph.D in history from Harvard, originally came up with the idea of Negro History Week to encourage black Americans to become more interested in their own history and heritage. Woodson worried that black children were not being taught about their ancestors’ achievements in American schools in the early 1900s.

``If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,’’ Woodson said.

WHY FEBRUARY?

Woodson chose February for Negro History Week because it had the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, and Douglass, a former slave who did not know his exact birthday, celebrated his on Feb. 14.

Dr. Carter Woodson

Daryl Michael Scott, a Howard University history professor and former ASAAH president, said Woodson chose that week because black Americans were already celebrating Lincoln’s and Douglass’s birthdays. With the help of black newspapers, he promoted that week as a time to focus on African-American history as part of the celebrations that were already ongoing.

The first Negro History Week was announced in February 1926.

``This was a community effort spearheaded by Woodson that built on tradition, and built on black institutional life and structures to create a new celebration that was a week long, and it took off like a rocket,’’ Scott said.

WHY THE CHANGE FROM A WEEK TO A MONTH?

Negro History Week was wildly successful, but Woodson felt it needed more.

Woodson’s original idea for Negro History Week was for it to be a time for student showcases of the African-American history they learned the rest of the year, not as the only week black history would be discussed, Scott said. Woodson later advocated starting a Negro History Year, saying that during a school year ``a subject that receives attention one week out of 36 will not mean much to anyone.’’

Individually several places, including West Virginia in the 1940s and Chicago in the 1960s, expanded the celebration into Negro History Month. The civil rights and Black Power movement advocated for an official shift from Black History Week to Black History Month, Scott said, and, in 1976, on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Negro History Week, the Association for the Study of African American History made the shift to Black History Month.

PRESIDENTIAL RECOGNITION

Every president since Gerald R. Ford through Barack Obama has issued a statement honoring the spirit of Black History Month.

Ford first honored Black History Week in 1975, calling the recognition ``most appropriate,’’ as the country developed ``a healthy awareness on the part of all of us of achievements that have too long been obscured and unsung.’’ The next year, in 1976, Ford issued the first Black History Month commemoration, saying with the celebration ``we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.’’

President Jimmy Carter added in 1978 that the celebration ``provides for all Americans a chance to rejoice and express pride in a heritage that adds so much to our way of life.’’ President Ronald Reagan said in 1981 that ``understanding the history of black Americans is a key to understanding the strength of our nation.’’

President Trump issued a proclamation Thursday, Feb. 2, declaring February as National African American History Month. The text names Katherine Johnson, a mathematician and one of three black women whose roles in the space race were featured in the recent film ``Hidden Figures.’’

Jesse J. Holland covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. Contact him at jholland@ap.org, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jessejholland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Researchers Seek To Teach Computer Common Sense, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, New Trend For Vets Helps Pets & Owners: Euthanasia At Home, Florida Archaeologists Carefully Ponder & Paw Mystery Site

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words, This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds, German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back, Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

This Week In The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address, NC Student, A ‘Modern Hippie,’ Treasures His 1977 VW Bus, 1869 Account Of Yellowstone Was Disbelieved, Nearly Lost, Amazing Story Of 17th Century Gem & Its Princess Savior, BBB: Tips For Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief

2013 Meteor Crash In Russia Is More Likely Than Realized, This Week In The Civil War

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates’ Knoxville Move, Was The Exorcist A True Story? The Answer Remains Elusive, OK, Weather Nerds! Here’re Some Weird Sandy Facts, LA’s La Brea Tar Pits Mark 100 Years Of Excavations

Inspired By Hugo’s Wrath, SC Building Arts College Thrives, This Week In The Civil War, Evidence Found Of Yeti: Oxford’s DNA Analysis Irrefutable

Remembering The Civil War, Graves Spanning Decades Of Tragedy Featured On Hike, NC Twins Meet Biological Mother On Their 20th Birthday

In Debate Over Redskins’ Name Whose Opinion Matters Most?, ‘Appearance Isn’t Everything’ & Model Finds Attention ‘Creepy’

Texas Historical Commission Look For Old Socorro Mission, At 86, Man Continues Career As Mason: ‘I love to do it’

Burger King Seeks To Make Fries Less ‘Painful’, Pirate Ship Which Sank In 1717 Yields Valuable, Rare Booty, Miss Piggy Sets Up House With Kermit & Fozzie At Smithsonian

Beep Baseball Helps Blind Players Gain Confidence

Woman Loses 160 lb. In Two Years, Without Suffering, US Wind Farms Responsible For Dozens Of Raptor Deaths

Detroit Asserts Driverless Cars Are Only Eight Years Away, Beloved Irish Poet’s Final Words: “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Report Highlights Importance Of Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Access In North Carolina, Area Of Brain Where ‘Normal’ Memory Loss Occurs Is Found

Life After TV’s Smash Still Busy For Its Songwriters, Free Dogwood Trees For Joining Arbor Day Foundation, August, Back To School Sleep Habits: Tips For Getting Kids In Gear!

NOAA Features Live Ocean‘TV’ Through August 16, Amazing Mayan Frieze Is Found In Guatemala, New Film The Butler Bridges Decades Of Struggle For Blacks

Elvis Week Honored With Release Of Elvis At Stax, Agencies Now Track The Biggest Fish: Whale Sharks, Suburb Seeks To Reduce Deer Population With Birth Control

Tick-Killing Robot May Change The World - And Your Backyard, Research On Monogamy In Animals Yields Varied Results, Back To School Overview Of Cool Stuff For Kids!

Retired Professor Sweeps Village Streets For The Good Of All, Particle Bs Sighting Confirms Clue To Universe’s Origin, Native Artist Seeks To Redefine What It Is To Be An Indian

Chance Meeting At Auschwitz Leads To Understanding, High Point Man Recalls Days On Lone Ranger Radio Show, Monks’ Sand Mandala Tour Spreads Cultural Tolerance

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Historical Journey In NYC, Raising Butterflies Is Spiritual Medicine For SC Man, More People Are Donating Bodies To Science

Teaching Each Other How To Live, Inmates & Dogs Reform, Easy July 4th Dessert! Raspberry Coconut Pie, Freshly Made Lemonade With Fresh Berry Ice Cubes, Utah Man Submits Bigfoot Skull Fossil To Science For Exam

NC WW II Veteran’s Family Receives His Bible, Missing Nearly 70 Years In Europe, Greensboro Science Center Works 24/7 To Save Little Duke

Formerly Obese Man Will Cycle To The South Pole, Site Of Native American Chiefs In Virginia Is Now Protected, Infant Left In Phone Booth Grows Up & Seeks Birth Family, Yummy Hobby! Mushrooms In A Grow-Your-Own Kit

Search For First Web Page Leads To North Carolina, Myspace Is Reinvented (by Justin Timberlake) As A Home For Musicians, Artists & Writers, Keep It Down! New Products Help Soften Noise Sensitivity

Staying At Historic Inns Requires Some Homework - Do It!, Retired From ‘Real Jobs,’ People Embrace New Lives As Artists

Modern Home Classics: Noguchi’s Light Sculptures, Facial Recognition Technology To Stop Crime...Invade Privacy?

At 100, ACS Has Made Huge Strides In Reducing Cancer, Authors Seek To Align Horses With Owners’ Personalities, Honeybees Trained In Croatia To Find Land Mines

Dan Brown’s Very Latest, Inferno, Is An Engrossing Read, Man Hits The Road On Harley To Collect WWII Vets’ Stories, Fitzgerald’s Obscure Grave Garnering More Visitors Now

Sundance Takes A Look At Animal Moms On Mother’s Day, It’s All The Rage: Moms & Dads Taking ‘Stroller Hikes’

Britain’s Pinewood Studios Opens Its Branch In Atlanta, Fido Swallowed A Sock? That’ll Be Expensive And Maybe Fatal, Replica Of 8th Century Buddhist Caves Now On Exhibit

Planets With Life, “Goldilocks Planets,” Are Everywhere

A Place For Artists & Poets, Marked By A Big, Big Head, Woman Gets Book & Movie Deal After Self-Publishing On Amazon

Are You A Lilly Girl? It’s Hard To Resist The Sunny Lilly Lifestyle, NYC Pay Phone Project Features Neighborhoods’ Past

Everything You Need To Know About Backyard Chickens, History Buffs Gather To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Air Disaster, Hurricane Uncovers Sadness Of Unclaimed Patients’ Remains

Love Hummingbirds? Tips For Attracting These Tiny Miracles, Haiti Paints A Slum And Honors Artist Prefete Duffaut

PA Exhibit Features Local Reading Railroad Artifacts, Rite Of Spring Gives Right Of Way To Jersey Salamanders, Restoration Of Last Wooden Whaler Nears Completion

Stonehenge A emetery?, What’s A Rogue Taxidermist?“Cat” Grey Is, For Example

Community Helps Excavate Oldest Street In The US, For Fun & As Collectibles, Retro-Style Toys Remain Popular

Email, Text, Instant Message: Does Lack Of Response Bug You?

Re-enactors Skill At Acting Out History Has Dual Purpose, Team Retraces Shackleton’s Amazing 1916 Rescue, Virginia Volunteers Offer Chocolate & Hugs

Helping Kids & Adults Heal From Trauma: There’s No Clear Path, Cat Stars Of The Internet: How Did This Happen?

Shoah Foundation Produces Holograms Of Nazi Survivors, Museum Mounts Exhibit Of Ice Age Masterpieces, Family Restores Rare Airplane After ‘Coyote Chase’ Crash


 

 

 

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