2017 Bastille Day in Faubourg St. John Celebrates Joie de Vivre

Join the fun in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon for the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day block party in New Orleans on Saturday (July 15) from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The celebration will include food, music, children’s activities, and an art market. There will also be a contest for the best Marie Antoinette or Napoleon costume.

Many people will enjoy the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day block party in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon in New Orleans on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The celebration will include food, music, children’s activities, and an art market.

On July 14, 1789 more than 8,000 men and women stormed a prison fortress in Paris known as the Bastille, demanding the release of the political prisoners being held there, plus the prison’s store of weapons. The storming of the Bastille was the spark that set off the French Revolution, an event that had a significant impact not only on France itself but its colonies and former colonies as well, including New Orleans.

Arising from the tumult and chaos of the French Revolution was a young, ambitious general named Napoleon Bonaparte. In order to help finance his wars in Europe Napoleon sold off his country’s largest North American colony in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase. With that 1803 transaction, New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana – plus a vast swath of land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains – became part of the United States.

bastille-day-faubourg-st-johnBastille Day is commemorated in New Orleans on the closest Saturday preceding the 14th of July. The occasion is celebrated with a block party in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. This quiet, residential section of the city was once the home of many families of French Creole aristocracy. Most of the historic houses they lived in are still visible and in use today.

The Faubourg St. John Bastille Day party on Saturday, July 15, 2017 features live music, food and drinks to toast the memorable occasion. This is a family-oriented event with fun things for the kids to do, including arts and crafts and games. All of the neighborhood’s stores and businesses actively participate.

article courtesy neworleansonline.com



Check out this mirror that allows bar patrons to interact.


by Peter Dale Wimbrow, Sr.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Bodacious Boogaloo

by Charlie London


Since the beginning, the Bayou Boogaloo, held on the banks of Bayou St. John in New Orleans during May, has had a mission to give back to the community. The first Bayou Boogaloo in 2006 was a healing effort for the community. Many folks were still rebuilding their lives and their houses after “the storm”. The Bayou Boogaloo was a welcome respite from the daily grind. It provided much needed fun for both adults and children.

One of the often forgotten aspects of the Bayou Boogaloo is its emphasis on zero impact on the environment. I’ve personally witnessed the meticulous cleanup after the event. One would never know the music festival ever took place because the area is left as clean or cleaner than it was before the event.

The Bayou Boogaloo has promoted solar energy, recycling and encouraged folks to consider the environment. The Bayou Boogaloo has led by example. Several huge oak trees have been planted along the banks of Bayou St. John leaving a lasting positive impact on the environment and the community.

The Bayou Boogaloo gives back in other ways too! The event helps neighborhood organizations raise funds for their operations, has helped build playgrounds, has supported community sports initiatives, helped plant native habitat-building and erosion-preventing marsh grasses, and replaced trees lost during hurricanes.

The City even recognized the Bayou Boogaloo’s founder, Jared Zeller, with a proclamation for promoting an economically and environmentally sustainable event.

Join the Bayou Boogaloo this Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 20, 21, and 22. The Bayou Boogaloo is more than just a music festival, it’s a community building coalition!

More info at: http://thebayouboogaloo.com/

By Geraldine Wyckoff
Contributing Writer

It’s been less than three weeks since the last notes rang out at the Fair Grounds to close the 2016 edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Not far away, bands will strike up again at the 11th Annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo. The free event is presented from Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22, 2016 along the banks of Bayou St. John between Dumaine Street and N. Jefferson Davis Parkway. It features three main music stages at Dumaine Street, Orleans Avenue and Lafitte Street plus a Kids Stage that has both music and other activities to please the youngsters.

There are some excellent local and national headliners at the festival that didn’t perform at this year’s Jazz Fest including Nolatet (Sunday, 6 p.m.), The Lowrider Band (Saturday, 7:45 p.m.) and the Wailers (Friday, 7:45 p.m.).

Let’s start with Nolatet, a band of all-star jazz masters – drummer Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton, vibraphonist/percussionist Mike Dillon and pianist Brian Haas. This performance marks the first time many local people will have the opportunity to experience this group as they’ve only performed in New Orleans several times. Formed spontaneously in 2014 and quickly releasing its exciting debut album, Dogs (The Royal Potato Family) just this year, Nolatet has been out on tour promoting the CD and, according to Vidacovich, has been very well-received. “They liked it a lot – a lot more than I imagined,” he is quoted in OffBeat magazine. “I thought the music would be a little too orchestral. There’s a lot of things that we’re doing that are just out of the norm.”

“I can tell you what it sounds like to me sometimes when I’m involved with the music and my head is spinning,” he continued. “It reminds me of a circus and a Christmas tree with a lot of lights.”

Because pianist Haas, unlike the other members, doesn’t live in New Orleans, Nolatet is a get-it-while-you can band though all concerned express their hope and intent to do much more in the future.

Just an aside – it’s great to have Dillon, who absolutely floored the crowd at last year’s performance of his New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium – back at Bayou Boogaloo. Hopefully, the Consortium, an amazing collection of rhythm masters will return next year or be booked somewhere else soon.

The Lowrider Band, which partly due to the presence of one-time Crescent City resident, drummer Harold Brown, feels almost like its from New Orleans. It’s also got that funk and street band attitude that music lovers here can really relate to. The last time the Lowriders performed in New Orleans was in 2009 at a benefit for the Save Charity Hospital organization. Now that’s awhile ago…

The band is, of course, made up of original members of the group War, including Brown, the great harmonica player Lee Oskar, guitarist Howard Scott and bassist B.B. Dickerson, who, because of health issues will be unable to perform with his fellow Lowriders. Due to a court order, nobody in the group is allowed to mention their participation in War in any promotional material or advertisements. Fortunately, these talents have been able to retain their rights to their compositions and receive royalties.

“Here’s how we say it,” Brown explained. “We are the original composers of and performers on ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?,’ ‘The Cisco Kid,’ ‘The World is a Ghetto,’ and ‘All Day Music.’ All our friends know the Lowriders. Everybody knows exactly who we are.”

“When we come to play in New Orleans it’s like playing at home in our living room,” Brown once proclaimed. “You can drop all of your big shot attitudes. In New Orleans they want to know about your soul – your spirit. I tell people when they come into the city, to turn off the radio and roll down the windows.”

The socially conscious messages of tunes like Bob Marley’s “One Love” are much needed in today’s world. The Wailers keep that warmth, the much-loved classic songs and laid-back reggae riddims alive. Bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett is the only member of the touring band that performed and recorded with the group that backed the late, legendary Bob Marley who influenced the world with the magic of his music and his pen. Barrett was the heartbeat of the rock steady beat, the sound that could be felt to one’s core. Reggae by the Bayou seems so right.

Our local stars like bassist George Porter & the Runnin’ Pardners (Sunday, 4 p.m.), the Queen of New Orleans Soul, Irma Thomas (Saturday, 5 p.m.) and zydeco go-getter, accordionist/vocalist Dwayne Dopsie (Friday, 6:15 p.m.) also bolster the impressive schedule.

Parents might want to bring their children to the Kids Stage on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. where Daria Dzurik, the leader/steel pan player/vocalist of Daria & The Hip Drops fame will hold a percussion workshop. With her talent, lively personality and big smile, Dzurik has the qualities to educate and entertain the whole family. She and the Hip Drops certainly caught the crowd at this year’s French Quarter Festival.

On Friday, the music schedule is abbreviated and begins in the evening on two stages starting at 5 p.m. The Wailers, which hit the stage at 7:45 p.m. close it down. On Saturday and Sunday the music gets going at 11 a.m. Naturally there are food and beverage vendors aplenty and arts and crafts booths from one end of the fest to the other.

One of the beauties of the festival remains its wonderful setting and just being able to sit along Bayou St. John and relax.

This article originally published in the May 16, 2016 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

It’s 1730 and the Party is On!

In 2004, The Historic New Orleans Collection acquired the unpublished manuscript of one Marc-Antoine Caillot, clerk for the French Company of the Indies, that details his time spent in New Orleans between 1729 and 1731.

What resulted is a beautiful collaboration between Erin M. Greenwald, Teri F. Chalmers, and many scholars and researchers called A Company Man: The Remarkable French-Atlantic Voyage of a Clerk for the Company of the Indies, published by The Historic New Orleans Collection in 2013. For anyone interested in this era of our city’s history, I highly recommend this book. For our purposes today, we’ll focus on the section of the manuscript devoted to a Lundi Gras celebration along the banks of—you guessed it!—our very own Bayou St. John!

bullBefore we get to Lundi Gras, though, Caillot gives us a glimpse of what the area around Bayou St. John might have looked like in 1730: “At three-fourths of a league’s distance on the left you will find a hamlet called Bayou Saint John, where there live five or six inhabitants very rich in livestock.” tree-by-waterGreenwald’s footnote explains: “In 1727 the population along Bayou Saint John totaled 121, including forty-one whites, three indentured servants, seventy-three blacks, and four Indian slaves.” [2] Caillot was probably referring to those several landowners that had settled their large concessions along the bayou’s banks in the early years of the 18th century, resulting in a rural “hamlet” consisting of those landowners’ families, servants, and slaves.

And now, back to the Lundi Gras revelry. Caillot explains: “We were already quite far along in the Carnival season without having had the least bit of fun or entertainment, which made me miss France a great deal…. The next day, which was Lundi Gras, I went to the office, where I found my associates, who were bored to death. I proposed to them that we form a party of maskers and go to Bayou Saint John, where I knew that a lady friend of my friends was marrying off one of her daughters….”

1730attireCaillot explains that his associates were like, Oh cool, yeah that sounds fun…it’d be cool to crash the wedding party…but uhhh we don’t have anything to wear…. and kind of lost motivation to make it happen. “But, upon seeing that no one wanted to come along, I got up from the table and said that I was going to find some others who would go, and I left.” Caillot couldn’t be deterred. “…I did not delay in assembling a party, composed of my landlord and his wife, who gave me something to wear. When we were ready and just about to leave, we saw someone with a violin come in, and I engaged him to come with us. I was beginning to feel very pleased about my party, when, by another stroke of luck, someone with an oboe, who was looking for the violin, came in where we were, to take the violin player away with him, but it happened the other way around, for, instead of both of them leaving, they stayed. [Doesn’t this sound like just the kind of Carnival fortuitousness we’re used to in modern-day New Orleans?! An impromptu party, and then some guy with a guitar just happens to walk by….] I had them play while waiting for us to get ready to leave. [Oh, we all know this story: the hours and hours it takes for everyone to get out of the house and to the parade!] The gentlemen I had left at the table…came quickly upon hearing the instruments. But, since we had our faces masked, it was impossible for them to recognize us until we took them off. This made them want to mask, too, so that we ended up with eleven in our party. Some were in red clothing, as Amazons, others in clothes trimmed with braid, others as women. As for myself, I was dressed as a shepherdess in white. I had a corset of white dimity, a muslin skirt, a large pannier, right down to the chemise, along with plenty of beauty marks too. [Love the attention to detail. This is what a good Carnival costume requires.] I had my husband, who was the Marquis de Carnival; he had a suit trimmed with gold braid on all the seams. Our postilion went in front, accompanied by eight actual Negro slaves, who each carried a flambeau to light our way. It was nine in the evening when we left.” [3]

bearsOn the way to the bayou, presumably along the path occupied by present-day Bayou Road, the travelers came upon several bears, which they scared away with the flambeaux. When they got to the bayou, they sent a slave to go check out the wedding party and see what was going on – as in, are they done with all the boring parts yet? Are they dancing yet or not?

The slave returned with the news that, yes, they had just begun dancing. “Right away, our instruments began playing, the postilion started cracking his whip, and we walked toward the house where the wedding celebration was taking place.” Caillot goes on to describe the wedding party receiving them with excitement, requesting that they join in and dance, and then forcing them to finally remove their masks. Everyone was recognized very quickly, aside from our cross-dressing young friend: “What also made it hard for people to recognize me was that I had shaved very closely that evening and had a number of beauty marks on my face, and even on my breasts, which I had plumped up. [!!!] I was also the one out of all my group who was dressed up the most coquettishly. Thus I had the pleasure of gaining victory over my comrades, and, no matter that I was unmasked, my admirers were unable to resolve themselves to extinguishing their fires, which were lit very hotly, even though in such a short time….” [4] Our narrator was so sexy and convincing as a lady, the menfolk in the crowd were hard pressed to “extinguish their fires”!

To hear more about the festivities that took place on this 1730 Lundi Gras, and to experience more of Caillot’s adventures, go find A Company Man. And when you go out this Lundi Gras, perhaps you’ll plump your breasts with a little extra gusto—and contemplate, on your way to the parades, some of the ingredients of our city’s founding: the violence, the struggle, the bizarre revelry….

  1. Marc-Antoine Caillot, A Company Man: The Remarkable French-Atlantic Voyage of a Clerk for the Company of the Indies, ed. Erin M. Greenwald, trans. Teri F. Chalmers (New Orleans: The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2013) 82.
  2. Caillot, A Company Man, 134-135.
  3. Caillot, A Company Man, 135-136.

Cassie Pruyn is a New Orleans based poet who is currently working on a narrative history of Bayou St. John in New Orleans. You can see her posts and poetry on her website.

Elvis Lives at the Deutsches Haus

Deutsches Haus has partnered with Faubourg St. John each year for several years to help feed the 1st District police officers during Mardi Gras. It’s just one of the many things the Deutsches Haus does for the community. Join the fine folks at Deutsches Hause for Elvis Week!

Elvis-Germany connection:  Elvis served honorably in the U.S. Army from March 24, 1958 – March 5, 1960, Sergeant E-5. His unit was stationed in Friedberg, Germany for 18 months.

Purchase Vince Vance & the Valiants tickets here.


Celebrate the “King’s” birthday over 4 BIG nights.

Drink Specials: Elvis Cocktail, Blue Hawaiian, Hound Dog, Jailhouse on the Rocks, All Shook Up, Blue Suede Shooter
King Cake available!


Wednesday, January 6th

Celebrate King’s Day and Twelfth Night with King Cake and Elvis Cocktails!

Doors open 4pm (movies begin promptly)
4:45 “Viva Las Vegas”
6:30 “GI Blues”
8:30   “King Creole”

Free Admission
Food will be available for purchase.
see below for movie descriptions


Thursday, January 7th

Compete in New Orleans’ Best Elvis Contest. Semifinalists will return on Saturday during the Vince Vance Show for the final round of competition.

Doors and food 6pm
Karaoke 7pm to 10pm
Free Admission
Food will be available for purchase

Competition categories (Finalists selected on Saturday during the show)
– Most Original Elvis theme (Space Elvis, Reincarnated Elvis, etc)
– Best Dressed Elvis
– Best Singing Elvis (Elvis songs only)

Come sing your favorites, even if they are not by Elvis.


Friday, January 8th

Elvis trivia, celebrate and toast the King for his Birthday!

Doors and Food 6:30pm
Trivia 7:30pm
Free Admission
Food will be available for purchase
Prizes for top 3 trivia teams


Saturday, January 9th

The grand finale – winner for New Orleans’ Best Elvis

Trophies and $30 bar tabs will be awarded to the winners. 3 awards
Doors 6pm
Pre-show music by Eric Hahn Food (available for purchase) 6pm
Special offering: Elvis Burger (with bacon, banana, and peanut butter of course)
Showtime 7pm

The Rolling Elvi’s dance troop, The Jailhouse Rockers
will be at Deutsches Haus on Saturday night.

$10 Attendees in Elvis costume and Deutsches Haus Members (in advance)
$15 Non-members without Elvis costume (in advance)
$20 Everyone (at the door)

Silent Auction to raise money for the new Haus on Moss St.

Tickets available online here.




Starring: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau

Wednesday, January 6th, 8:30 pm

Having flunked graduation for the second time and needing cash to support his unemployed father, Danny Fisher takes a job as a singer in the King Creole nightclub – about the only joint around not run by smarmy crook Maxie Fields who wants him for his own place. He gets on pretty well with Fields’ floozy, though, and all this plus his involvement with Fields’ hoods and with innocent five-and-dime store assistant Nellie means Danny finds his world closing in on him all ways round.

Crime, Drama, Musical (PG)
Run Time: 116 min (1 hr, 56 min)
Director: Michael Curtiz
Release date: 2 July 1958 (USA)





Starring: Elvis Presley, Juliet Prowse, Robert Ivers

Wednesday, January 6th, 6:30 pm (food available)

Tulsa is a US Army specialist stationed in Germany. He loves to sing and has dreams to run his own nightclub when he leaves the army….but dreams don’t come cheap. Tulsa places a bet with his friend Dynamite that he can spend the night with a club dancer named Lili, who is rumored to be hard to get. When Dynamite gets transferred, Tulsa is brought in to take his place. He is not looking forward to it, but in order to keep his money, he must go through with it.

Comedy, Musical (PG)
Run Time: 104 min (1 hr, 44 min)
Director: Norman Taurog
Release date: 23 November 1960 (USA)




Starring: Elvis Presley, Ann Margret

Wednesday, January 6th, 4:45 pm (food available)

Race car driver Lucky Jackson goes to Las Vegas to earn money to pay for a new engine for his motor car. Working as a waiter, he still finds the time to court young Rusty Martin.

Musical, Comedy (PG)
Run Time: 85 min (1 hr, 25 min)
Director: George Sidney
Release date: 20 May 1964 (USA)

Lark in the Park

Enjoy a fabulous gala to celebrate New Orleans City Park!
Ten years ago, in March 2005, the Board of Commissioners of the City Park Improvement Association approved a master plan to return a world-class urban park to the citizens of Greater New Orleans before the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018. No one would expect the devastation that City Park would face six months later in August 2005. With the insurmountable support of individuals and organizations like yours, New Orleans City Park has already undergone so many improvements that it can easily be considered one of the premiere urban parks in the world.

It’s time to celebrate all of these wonderful accomplishments, and ensure that future generations of people living in or visiting New Orleans can create memories that will live on forever. Join us in this unforgettable opportunity to Celebrate Your Park and Your Past, Present, and Future Memories.

Lark in the Park 2015 Co-Chairs: Robin Bordelon Borne, Annie Orillac Thibodeaux, and Leigh Morgan Thorpe

Honorary Chair: Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson

Patron Party
7 til 8 o’clock
Pavilion of the Two Sisters
Passed hors d’oeuvres by Commander’s Palace

Gala Party
8 til 11 o’clock
New Orleans Botanical Garden
Upscale cuisine provided by more than 40 local restaurants
Festive libations by Republic National Distributing Company

Gala Tickets:
$100 per person
$90 per person for members of FOCP
$75 Party Flock (ages 21-35)

Patron Party Tickets:
$500 Oak Leaf Level
2 Patron Party & Gala Tickets

$1,500 Camellia Level:
4 Patron Party & Gala Tickets
Reserved table and access to the VIP Lounge Area

To stay up to date on this sizzling event, be sure to like Friends of City Park on Facebook and follow Friends of City Park on Twitter.

If you have a question about Lark in the Park, please call (504) 483-9369 or email Jennifer at jmontgomery@friendsofcitypark.com.

For additional sponsorship opportunities and information click here.

Friday, March 13, 2015 | Patron Party 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Gala 8:00pm-11:00pm | New Orleans Botanical Garden
Attire: Cocktail

buy tickets now

Acme Oyster House
Canal Street Bistro
Commander’s Palace
NOLA Snow Snoballs
Quintin’s Ice Cream
Tivoli & Lee



Capital One Bank

EARTHSAVERS/Hahn Enterprises, Inc.

First NBC Bank
Peoples Health
Postlewaite and Netterville
Schrenk, Endom & Flanagan

Jeanie Favret and Family
Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Fortino
Lupo Enterprises
Textron Systems Marine and Land

International Coffee Corporation
Bank of New Orleans
Charlotte Bollinger
Duplantier Family
Dyna-Play LLC
Denise and Bill Hoffman
Mr. and Mrs. Dick Piner
Jackie and Bruce Shreves
Whitney Bank

Brian and Michelle Barkemeyer
Elizabeth A. Boh
Terry and Lynette DuFrene
Bart and Cherise Farris
Dessa and David Giffin
Robert Hahn/Peggy McCranie
Larry Holmes/Bourgeois Bennett, LLC
Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman
Susan and Bill Hess
Dots Diner – JoAnn and Larry Katz
Martin Insurance Agency
Nancy and Mike Marsiglia
Dan A. Robin, Jr.
Annie and Paul Thibodeaux
Leigh M. Thorpe
Gretchen and Scott Wheaton



Dec 6: Les Marche des Fetes


1440 Moss Street | New Orleans | 504-482-0312

Join the fun Saturday, December 6th from 10:00 – 4:00
for Le Marché des Fêtes, a celebration of
the grapefruit harvest and creole holiday traditions.

Shop over 30 vendors for one-of-a-kind, handmade art and accessories, tasty local delicacies, as well as garden bulb varieties from the Pitot House parterre garden. Live entertainment will be provided by John Rankin, the 101 Runners, and Encore Academy Choir. Book-signings by Poppy Tooker and Bonnie Warren. Craft demonstrations on the grounds of the Pitot House and a visit from Papa Noël!

Join your friends at 1440 Moss Street in New Orleans on December 6th! Proceeds from this celebration support the Pitot House and its gardens, and further the work of the Louisiana Landmarks Society.

Learn more at: www.louisianalandmarks.org

Many thanks to sponsors Avis R. Ogilvy and Lyn Tomlinson.



Parterre Garden Lecture and Tour
by Anna Timmerman, Pitot House Gardener

Saturday, November 22, 10:00—11:30 AM at the Pitot House

lemarchdesfetes1The parterre garden fronting the historic Pitot House has endured many changes, but the essential design can be traced back over 150 years. Gardener Anna Timmerman will provide examples of French parterre gardens from the fifteenth century to the present, as well as formal and contemporary examples here in New Orleans and abroad. A short garden tour and discussion of plans for future additions to the gardens and restoration of the Pitot House parterre will take place following a slide presentation.

The lecture is free for LLS members and $10 for non-members.
Tickets can be purchased at the door.


To mark the 50th Anniversary of the acquisition and relocation of the Pitot House by Louisiana Landmarks Society, we are proud to announce the publication of The Pitot House: A Landmark on Bayou St. John.

Written by James Wade, with photography by Robert S. Brantley and Jan White Brantley, as well as a foreword by Eugene D. Cizek, this new book captures the history and beauty of the Pitot House. Buy your copy today!