Tag Archives: Louisiana

La Fortuna: reverting to tradition in Puerto Vallarta

“A business we can do together; something we can grow together.” Alan Mundy

Drying the coffee “cherries” (ripe beans) at La Fortuna

Just imagine light, creamy, hand crafted peanut brittle and rich aromas of organically grown Mexican coffee. Alan Mundy and Ausel Diaz Arguello did, and in the process La Fortuna Organic Coffee and PVs Finest Peanut Brittle blended their lives. Yet when Alan and Ausel met just a few years ago they were both in flux.

The date “1985” on the package of PVs Finest Peanut Brittle means more than the start of a business. It wasn’t actually the start of a business. It was Alan’s stress therapy.

PVs Finest Peanut Brittle

In Louisiana Alan was in the real estate and electronics businesses. Yet in an urge to do something creative, he started making his grandmother’s peanut brittle in 1985 as gifts for friends. That soon turned into a marketing tool – gifts to clients at the holidays.

For thirty years Alan made upwards of 2,000 pounds of peanut brittle annually as gifts. Yet his life altered several years ago when his mother’s health started to decline. For a variety of reasons, relocating to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was desirable for both Alan and his mother.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Ausel was fresh from culinary studies at Puerto Vallarta’s Casserole Instituto Gastronomico. He was also from Chiapas, the southwestern most state in Mexico, known for its lush tropical beauty, abundant agriculture and poverty.

Ausel’s grandfather had developed a 20 acre coffee farm nearly a century before. Despite the fact that it grew to 120 acres, like many small farmers, his grandfather and father sold the beans wholesale to coffee dealers. Profits were meager.

La Fortuna, Chipas, Mexico

A regional outbreak of Coffee Leaf Rust five years ago led to a downturn in both coffee production and prices, which resulted in the loss of the family farm. Prospects for Ausel’s family were dire. Then Allan and Ausel met in Puerto Vallarta and a plan that would benefit all developed.

With Ausel’s knowledge of Chiapas, family ties and traditional organic farming methods used for centuries, Alan’s entrepreneurial logic saw a way to revitalize the family by reverting to tradition. In the process they created La Fortuna Organic Coffee by elevating common Arabica beans to premium status.

Securing title to 200 acres for the family simply started the process. The densely planted acreage thrived in the mineral rich tropical mountains of Chiapas. The chaff from the roasted coffee beans was the only enrichment added back to the soil.

Fresh harvested Arabica coffee cherries (ripe beans)

Planting, maintaining and harvesting coffee have always been hands-on tasks due to necessity. During harvest season in 2017 (November to March) demand for workers exceeded the local supply. La Fortuna employed four workers from Guatemala.

Alan and Ausel created a business plan for La Fortuna that relied on personal attention to every detail by those involved. Traditional hands-on techniques from sorting, roasting, packing and marketing have been essential to ensure premium quality. “It’s a labor of love,” quipped Alan, and he was correct, but not just in the common understanding of that phrase applied to business.

Coffee beans are food, and the cooking method has a major influence on flavor. Using a clay oven, the beans are hand roasted in small batches in a heavy iron bowl topping the wood fire of Indigenous pine and robles. The beans are stirred with a wooden spoon.

Roasting coffee beans over a wood fire at La Fortuna

Subtle chocolate and spice undertones were enhanced by the gentle roasting process while hints of smoke from the pine and robles wood complimented rich, earthy notes in the beans. The coffee was smooth, medium bodied and light on acidity.

Hand packaging of the beans minimizes breakage that releases essential oils, which trap flavors. The packaged beans are shipped to Puerto Vallarta where Ausel and Alan take over marketing. Yet that’s not the end of the Chiapas connection – there are peanuts.

Peanut brittle was a Southern United States invention from the late 19th century. The South was awash with peanuts and sugar so their combination was to be expected. The recipe Alan grew up on was from his grandmother, who like many gleaned knowledge from regional variations.

(right) Alan Mundy

Alan had the idea that once in Puerto Vallarta the peanut brittle recipe he had used the past thirty years could be turned into an enterprise that involved his mother. Unfortunately, her health soon made that an unrealistic expectation. Then culinary trained Ausel entered Alan’s life along with peanuts from Chiapas.

What makes the superlative “finest” believable was not just the taste but also the texture. Having grown up on Northern versions where the caramelized sugar was truly brittle – like breaking glass – PVs Finest was creamy. The tan brittle crumbled in the mouth becoming a smooth caramel counterpoint to the deep flavors of roasted peanuts.

Sponge peanut brittle was one variation in Louisiana that existed for well over a century. Alan and Ausel have taken note that Canadians liken it to English sponge toffee. Considering Puerto Vallarta’s popularity among Canadian tourist, that’s a good marketing connection.

Sorting fresh coffee beans (right) with Alan Mundy

Organic peanuts and small batch production are the hallmarks of PVs Finest Peanut Brittle. The peanuts are sourced from farms owned by Ausel’s extended family, which provide over 3,000 kilos (6,600 pounds) of roasted peanuts per season. No changes have been made to the recipe of Alan’s grandmother.

Enhancing the basic recipe though was always considered. Alan and Ausel are developing a recipe with the addition of coconut. Coating PVs Finest with chocolate would pair a Southern tradition with the birthplace of chocolate.

Made by Ausel in their climate-controlled kitchen, the week’s production sells out quickly. PVs Finest Peanut Brittle winter production coincides with the seasonal schedule of Puerto Vallarta farmer and craft markets. During the winter season Alan and Ausel work five major markets selling La Fortuna Organic Coffee and PVs Finest Peanut Brittle.

Riveria Market in Nuevo Vallarta (Tuesday)

Forever Spring Market in Bucerias, Puerto Vallarta (Wednesday)

Marina (Public Market) Puerto Vallarta (Thursday)

Marsol Market by the Pier (Los Muertos Pier –Friday)

Three Hens and a Rooster, Puerto Vallarta (Saturday)

Before meeting, Alan and Ausel had separate desires to make a difference in the lives of loved ones. Together they succeeded – a proud mother and a revitalized family – based on centuries of tradition. What they could not have foreseen was how candy and coffee would grow their own love.

(2nd from left) Ausel Diaz Arguello

 

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Cajun Maque Choux with Pork Chops

Cajun Maque Choux with Pork Chops
Cajun Maque Choux with Pork Chops

IMG_3261Cajun dishes rank among the most misunderstood regional cuisines in the United States. That’s not surprising since it is part of the melange of cultural influences that make up southern Louisiana – French, Spanish, Native American, African, Caribbean and Central America. Often confused with its spicier neighbor, Creole, true Cajun dishes share similarities but are less complex. IMG_3264Today’s Louisiana Cajuns are descendants of the survivors of the Grand Derangement – the British ethnic cleansing of Acadia, French Canada’s Maritime provinces, in the 1760s which resulted in the death of half the Acadian population. Given refuge by Spanish controlled Louisiana, they settled in undesirable disease ridden bayous and marshes. Liz Williams, Director of the New Orleans Southern Food and Beverage Museum stated, “It is very peasant food; a one pot food…it’s more the practices, the mindset rather than the ingredients” that determined Cajun recipes.

1/2" thick boneless pork chops
1/2″ thick boneless pork chops

Acclaimed New Orleans Chef Frank Brightsen commented, “The roots of Acadian culture are living off the land and that means hunting. The heart of Cajun culture around Lafayette is not coastal. Even in grocery stores you’ll find butchers. The pig is central to Cajun culture…”

pork chops with Cajun seasoning
pork chops with Cajun seasoning
diced salt pork
diced salt pork

Simple Acadian dishes such as salt cod cakes became impossible in the absence of potatoes and salt preserved fish. Rice became the starch and the abundance of fresh fish, game, alligator and seafood the additions. Rice, shrimp, and peppers replaced potatoes, cod and cabbage, but a basic Cajun meal is still one dish or simply prepared.

minced parsley
minced parsley

What else constitutes Cajun cuisine – and traditional Acadian fare? Anything deep fat fried – alligator and crawfish (not in Acadia) fish fillets, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, pork chops, rabbit, game, chicken, and shrimp. Crabs, shrimp and crawfish come steamed as well. Lots of carbohydrates accompany a Cajun meal – and an Acadian meal – with rice, potatoes and corn not uncommon on the same plate along with okra and beans.

blanch a tomato in boiling water
blanch a tomato in boiling water

The greatest difference separating Cajun and Acadian cooking is spices. Acadian rarely goes beyond salt and pepper although they do use pickled combinations such as chow chow to enliven a meal. Cajun uses spices borrowed from Creole cuisine – a different fusion altogether. Of course world famous Tabasco sauce made for the past century and a half on Avery Island has become a Cajun standard even though its origin is clearly West Indian.

skin easily peels away from blanched tomato
skin easily peels away from blanched tomato

Maque Choux is a classic Cajun side-dish that has elements of both Acadian and Cajun dishes. Most of the ingredients are Native North American – corn and peppers – with pork introduced by European colonists. If you visit Louisiana’s Cajun country you will experience variations including some that add sugar – a later 19th century addition.

diced peeled tomato
diced peeled tomato
Cajun seasoning mix
Cajun seasoning mix

There are many variations on “Cajun seasoning.” It’s basically a mixture of salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, onion and assorted spices. The “assorted spices” are best determined by an internet search. Especially important if you have a salt preference, packaged mixes have varying degrees of salt – both Cajun and Creole cooking love salt – but I prefer less  (more for taste and thirst than health reasons).

Maque Choux
Maque Choux

Cajun Maque Choux with Pork Chops Ingredients – 2 servings (simply multiply all ingredients for more servings)

for the pork:

  • 4 – 1/2 inch boneless pork chops
  • low-salt Cajun seasoning

for the Maque Choux

  • 1/4 cup small dice salt pork
  • 1-1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup diced bell pepper – green, yellow or red
  • 1 cup diced, peeled fresh tomato
  • 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 cups corn kernels – cut from the cob or frozen
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons low-salt Cajun seasoning
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Rub the pork chops with a thin layer of cajun seasoning and refrigerate while preparing the Maque Choux.
  2. To prepare the peeled tomato: bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Drop a large tomato into the boiling water for 30 seconds (small tomato) to 60 seconds (large tomato as pictured.) Remove the tomato to a cutting board. With a sharp knife make a thin cut around the tomato. The skin will easily slip off with your fingers or the blunt side of a dinner knife.
  3. In a heavy frying pan – preferably cast iron – sauté the salt pork until crispy and all the fat has been rendered. Remove the salt pork with a slotted spoon and discard.
  4. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the celery and sauté for an additional 2 minutes
  6. Add the peppers, tomato, parsley, corn and Cajun seasoning. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. In an oven proof baking dish spoon some of the Maque Choux to make a bed the size of a pork chop and place the chop to cover half. Overlap the corn and pork for the remaining chops.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Serve with rice, a green salad, cold beer or a nice red wine.

salt pork in cast iron pan
salt pork in cast iron pan
saute salt pork
saute salt pork
rendered fat (right) with crisp salt pork (left – discard)
rendered fat (right) with crisp salt pork (left – discard)
saute onions & celery
saute onions & celery
add peppers, tomatoes, parsley
add peppers, tomatoes, parsley, corn & seasoning
arrange in baking dish overlapping pork and Maque Choux, cover with foil and bake according to directions
arrange in baking dish overlapping pork and Maque Choux, cover with foil and bake according to directions

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Endymion: a New Orleans Mardi Gras Super Krewe

Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

The “super” Krewe of Endymion lived up to its hype. As one of New Orleans largest krewes, founded in 1967, Endymion created new traditions with mega floats using the latest technology of the day and featuring national celebrities from stage, screen and recording studio.

 

 

 

 

Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Endymion krewe member,  Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

The 30 plus mega float parade, interspersed with as many marching bands and other groups, is one of the season’s most anticipated. Making its way from City Park in Mid-City down Canal Street and through Uptown to the Mercedes Super Dome for Endymion’s Extravaganza, the estimated crowd was put at 35,000+ watching and participating in the three hour parade.

 

 

Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Endymion float Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
A house on Orleans Ave. getting ready for the Endymion parade Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
A house on Orleans Ave. getting ready for the Endymion parade Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

The Krewe of Endymion marches on Samedi Gras (Fat Saturday – 2016 date February 6) second only in importance to the season’s ultimate Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). But parades are only part of the spectacle that make the season (January 6 through Fat Tuesday – in 2016 February 9) New Orleans largest block party.

 

 

Campers and setting up for the Endymion parade Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans on the neutral ground of Orleans Ave.
Campers and reviliers setting up for the Endymion parade Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans on the neutral ground of Orleans Ave.
A U-Haul truck becomes a movable feast for an Endymion parade party, Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
A U-Haul truck becomes a movable feast for an Endymion parade party, Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

A full two days ahead intrepid groups of revelers staked out their territory on the wide neutral ground of Orleans Avenue in Mid-City near iconic City Park.  One of the city’s wide boulevards, the grass and often tree shaded middle-of-the-road “neutral ground”  becomes a focal point for a round-the-clock block party. Camping out and cooking  is allowed, porta potties are provided and as Saturday morning arrives every square inch of the long avenue’s neutral ground is a festival in itself. Children toss footballs, parents throw frisbees, barbecues send up aromatic aromas and long tables groan under the weight of such traditional fare as Louisiana crawfish boil and copious amounts of beer. The street and house parties spread throughout the neighborhoods that Endymion snakes through and continue for hours after it passes.

Louisiana crawfish boil
Louisiana crawfish boil

But once the parade rolls the thousands that line the long route have eyes only on the floats and catching the many “throws” from iconic strings of beads to frisbees and creations with flashing lights.

Krewe of Endymion float, Mardi Gras 2015, New Orleans
Krewe of Endymion float, Mardi Gras 2015, New Orleans

See a full list of Mardi Gras 2016 krewe and parade information and  get ready for Fat Tuesday!

 

 

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Mardi Gras New Orleans is a man in a pink tutu

 

 

Mardi Gras 2015
Mardi Gras 2015

Mardi Gras, or Carnival in other lands, is not a spectator sport; it’s participatory street theater for all ages. Babies to grandparents don ornamentation from elaborate costumes to strings of battery powered colored lights. As the countdown to Fat Tuesday approaches – Mardi Gras day – people can be as decorated as a house at Christmas.

 

Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

 

 

 

Krewe of Babylon, Mardi Gras 2015, New Orleans
Krewe of Babylon, Mardi Gras 2015, New Orleans

To debunk a myth, Mardi Gras is rarely licentious drunken debauchery.

The evening parades are famous yet  many daytime parades during the season cater to families with huge floats interspersed by impressive student marching bands.

Krewe of Carrollton, Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Krewe of Carrollton, Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

But it’s the evening parades that capture the imagination.

 

Mardi Gras is more than a carnival. It’s the bond among New Orleanians that even nature couldn’t change.

 

Krewe of Muses, Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Krewe of Muses, Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans: the only all-womens krewe!!

The flambeaux carrier originally served as a beacon for parade-goers to better enjoy the spectacle of night festivities. They were usually slaves or free men of color.

Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans flamboux carriers (gas fired torches)

The man in the pink tutu, carrying his yellow plastic Mardi Gras cup – the allowable open-container for drinks – is nonchalant as he talks with the Queen of Hearts and the gentleman dressed as a medieval plague doctor. They and hundreds more wait on the corner of Dauphine and Franklin in Bywater for the Krewe ‘tit Rəx to kick off the evening’s parades. They’re not krewe participants; they’re bystanders which means they’re participants.

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Mardi Gras season in New Orleans begins on the Twelfth Night of Christmas, January 6, with the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc’s parade through the French Quarter celebrating the birthday of the city’s patron saint, Joan of Arc. Winter is not the doldrums in this city justifiably known as the Big Easy. To debunk another myth, Mardi Gras is rarely licentious drunken debauchery.

There are 68 krewes (social clubs) in New Orleans. The granddaddy of Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Rex, invented the modern carnival in 1872. They took centuries old European pre-Lenten traditions and fused them with the polyglot cultural mix of America’s most unique city. From the first parade in honor of a Russian prince to today’s multi-week carnival of and for the people, all tastes are catered to – Krewe de Barkus featuring your pet dog to the unabashedly irreverent adult-themed Krewe de Vieux.

A post-Katrina influx of young professionals to fill New Orleans new burgeoning high-tech and medical sector has invigorated Mardi Gras with imaginative new krewes that stray from the mega floats of the more traditional and exclusive super krewes. The Krewe ‘tit Rəx, founded only seven years ago, is unique as New Orleans only micro krewe – their members create shoeboxes into full themed tiny floats. The krewe’s name comes from the Cajun abbreviation of petite (small).

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus followed ‘tit Rəx. They are a new krewe with a Sci-Fi themed Mardi Gras parade – a spoof on the seriousness of Comic-com and Star Trex conventions.  For over 90 minutes many dozens of fanciful floats in odd shapes, marching bands and brigades of aliens were pushed, pedaled or pulled through the streets. The krewe members make most of their throws and prized catches this year were purple painted penne pasta necklaces and bottle caps with arrangements of red beans and rice.

The 90 year-old Krewe of Carrollton, one of the many daytime parades during the season, is a family favorite of huge floats interspersed with impressive student marching bands. Running down elegant St. Charles Avenue there’s lots of opportunity to catch the iconic and colorful bead necklaces thrown by traditionally masked float riders.

From the generations that have called New Orleans home for nearly 300 years to the overheard comment of a young professional proclaiming, “Why would I live anywhere else?” Mardi Gras is more than a carnival. It’s the bond among New Orleanians that even nature couldn’t change. It’s a man in a pink tutu embracing the present.

 

Sargon kink of the Krewe of Babylon Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans
Sargon king of the Krewe of Babylon Mardi Gras 2015 New Orleans

 

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Krewe du Vieux opens New Orleans Mardi Gras

 

DSC07818

The opening parade January 31 for the 2015 New Orleans Mardi Gras season by the Krewe du Vieux maintained the traditional small scale donkey or man-power drawn floats but was LARGER THAN LIFE in political satire mixed with “adult themes.”

New Orleans: Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015
New Orleans: Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015

The Krewe du Vieux is the ONLY major parade that actually can go through the French Quarter.

traditional Donkey drawn floats, Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015
traditional Donkey drawn floats, Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015
Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015
Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015

As you’ll see over the next 2 weeks, the parades are “monumental.” BTW: some of pics in costume are just people viewing the parade, not participants – but in New Orleans, everyone’s a “participants”

 

 

 

 

Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015
Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras 2015

 

IMG_1951

DSC07783

DSC07780

Click for the complete New Orleans Mardi Gras 2015 schedule.

 

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Building New Orleans traditions: Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World is a living museum for an international festival as celebrated as it’s misunderstood. Daily public tours showcase a wide range of Mardi Gras themes from the ribald to down home family friendly. And while a guest is snapping photos and listening to the guide, Kern Studio artists are busy in the real work of creating Mardi Gras 2015.

painting a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
painting a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

 

Mardi Gras decoration on a French Quarter house mid-January 2015
Mardi Gras decoration on a French Quarter house mid-January 2015

Fat Tuesday falls on February 17th this year (2015)  but in New Orleans, Mardi Gras season  begins on the Twelfth Night of Christmas,  January 6,  which also happens to be the birthday of the city’s patron saint, Joan of Arc. History, legend and real life often create everyday activities in culturally diverse New Orleans. At Mardi Gras World that legacy keeps 50 artists busy year round.

 

a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

 

a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

 

 

 

 

 

a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

 

 

 

 

painting a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
painting a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Mardi Gras expresses the uniqueness of a region that’s been home and country to Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, the Americas and displaced populations (Cajuns, slaves). There are Mardi Gras parades from Mobile, Alabama to Galveston, Texas and in every parish in southern Louisiana. But New Orleans is the cultural center of Mardi Gras in North America.

 

a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Mardi Gras is the gumbo of festivals, a melange of cultural and social influences. It has traditions set by krewes – dozens of them – but it’s the individual themes chosen each year by the krewes that make  Mardi Gras parades unpredictable fun. Yet the evolution of Mardi Gras as we know it today is an 1870s invention of New Orleans businessmen to honor the visit of a Russian prince on Fat Tuesday. They created the Krewe of Rex and the good times have been rolling since.

the immense Smokey Mary train float, Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
the immense Smokey Mary train float, Krewe of Orpheus, Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Mardi Gras World is a family owned juggernaut of monumental float designs. Founded in the 1930s by New Orleans artist Blaine Kern (Kern Studios ) what started as painting random props for parade floats quickly blossomed into contracts with over a dozen of Mardi Gras most influential and historic krewes including Rex. Beyond parades, Kern Studios is the leader in creating “themed environments” for conventions, resorts and the media.

prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

The krewes own the massive float infrastructures – the actual moving machines – but the decorations, the props, are usually rented from Kern Studios since themes change annually. Many props today start with a base of styrofoam.

carving the styrofoam base of a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
carving the styrofoam base of a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Often props are repurposed several times and Kern Studio artists make magic with such standard mediums as paper mache to create features.

adding paper mache to a prop before painting at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
adding paper mache to a prop before painting at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

The larger than life demensions of most props dictate spray painting as an efficient method, although meticulous brush painting may still be necessary with elaborate detail.

spray painting a prop at Mardi Gras World
spray painting a prop at Mardi Gras World

 

brush painting a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
brush painting a prop at Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Appropriate to the city’s nickname, the Big Easy, after the tour guests are free to wander the massive warehouse admiring, photographing and watching the artists at work. One would never guess that the parades begin in a couple short weeks. By the end of January, Mardi Gras season will be in full swing with over two weeks of parades, many showcasing the grandeur and fun of Kern Studio’s Mardi Gras World artistry.

Mardi Gras World, New Orleans
Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Mardi Gras World, located on the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans, is open for tours seven days a week. Parking is available but a free shuttle runs from several hotels and tourist locations in the city.

Click  New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade for a complete 2015 schedule.

Watch Smokey Mary in action at the Krewe of Orpheus 2013 parade:

 

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Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Concert

 

United States Marine Corps Band New Orleans at St. Louis Cathedral
United States Marine Corps Band New Orleans at St. Louis Cathedral

 

Marine Corps Band New Orleans
Marine Corps Band New Orleans

Both the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France (c. 1793 & 1850) and the Marines are intimately tied to that seminal day in New Orleans history, January 8, 1815. It was an apt setting 200 years to the day for the United States Marine Corps Band to perform a concert in honor of the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans.

Fireworks lit the night sky following the concert, illuminating Jackson Square and trying to shed some light on the the little understood War of 1812.

 

Fireworks at Jackson Square, New Orleans
Fireworks at Jackson Square, New Orleans

Read about this historic concert in…

Marine Corps Band Battle of New Orleans concert

 

Clark Mills equestrian statue (1856) of General Andrew Jackson, Jackson Square, New Orleans
Clark Mills equestrian statue (1856) of General Andrew Jackson, Jackson Square, New Orleans

 

You can read all my articles at:

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