mardi gras

This week on The Reading Life: Kim Vaz-Deville , editor of "Walking Raddy: The Baby Dolls of New Orleans," a glorious celebration of the women's masking and marching tradition. Vaz-Deville is also the author of "The Baby Dolls: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition." She is professor of education and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. And we'll hear some special audio of producer George Ingmire's interview with Baby Doll Tee-Eva Perry.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a look at the once secret history of Gay  Carnival Krewes.  Note: this episode contains a racially insensitive word that may offend some listeners. We have included it for context.

Barrett Delong Church is showing me a giant flamingo Mardi Gras float that his husband will be riding on in the Krewe of Armenius den. Armenius is an all male, gay krewe, and it celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. I met Barrett, this year’s krewe captain, at their den the day before their big ball. This year’s theme?

The Reading Life celebrates Mardi Gras with Howard Philips Smith, author of the gorgeous new book, Unveiling the Muse: The Lost History of Gay Carnival in New Orleans, and we’ll hear from Al Kennedy, whose new book is Chief of Chiefs: Robert Nathaniel Lee and the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, 1915-2001.

Carver senior and drum major Mytrell Allen leads the band during Muses.
Natalie Yahr

High school marching bands spend months preparing to entertain Carnival revelers along parade routes and compete for prime spots near the front of the parade. One school with a rich marching tradition is George Washington Carver High School in the Ninth Ward. But the school was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, and it took several years for Carver to restart a marching band. 

American Routes Shortcuts: Monk Boudreaux

Feb 9, 2018
Monk Boudreaux
American Routes

Each year Mardi Gras Indians greet the day on the city streets to sing and strut. This has been going on since the late 19th century. The call and response sounds of the Indians often carry the Congo beat, fundamental in New Orleans' musical fabric. The beloved Indian chief Monk Boudreaux has been masking Indian for more than 70 years. We visited him at home where he quietly sewed his new suit.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Countries across the world are starting to ban some microplastics. Like microbeads — the tiny pieces of plastic used in soap and face washes.

 

This time of year in New Orleans, it’s almost raining plastic, from beads to glitter. Lots of glitter. But what happens to all that sparkly stuff after it washes away? WWNO’s Travis Lux took a look at the environmental consequences of glitter.

Beads are sorted and resold at ARC of Greater New Orleans.
Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Although Mardi Gras is all about excess, the piles of abandoned beads, cups and recyclable trash left in a parade's wake are nothing to celebrate. In fact, a staggering statistic emerged a few weeks ago — city workers found 93,000 pounds of Mardi Gras beads clogging New Orleans catch basins. 

Kim Welsh

Carnival season in New Orleans kicks off on January 6th with Twelfth Night celebrations across the city - including the 10th ride of the Krewe of Joan of Arc. WWNO's Jessica Rosgaard sat down with the Krewe's president and founder, Amy Kirk Duvoisin, to talk about why the Krewe celebrates the Maid of Orléans, France.

The Krewe of Joan of Arc parade walks through the French Quarter on Saturday night starting at 6pm. A Tricentennial fireworks celebration follows at 9pm along the riverfront.

The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection / The Historic New Orleans Collection

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a retrospective look at Mardi Gras, and the year that carnival took place in the dark. Hear the TriPod Xtras extended interview with Rien Fertel. 

Right now, you might not be itching for Mardi Gras, since it just happened and everything, but imagine what it will feel like six months from now when you haven’t caught any beads, or a shoe, or a light up clicky thing, and still have another six months to go. It can be rough.

The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection / The Historic New Orleans Collection

Tripod Xtras feature one on one interviews with special guests. This week’s TriPod episode focuses on Mardi Gras 1946 and the strike of the flambeaux carriers that left the major parades rolling with little to no light at all. This is an extended interview with Rien Fertel, writer, teacher, and historian from Louisiana. Rien just

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