A New Orleans Celebration
of Life, Arts, and Culture
ROYAL KREWE PARTY
Crowning King & Queen
Ladies receive concealed roses and men receive concealed Mardi Gras doubloons (coins). After an announcement, everyone unwraps them to reveal who is crowned to lead the parade as the ‘Royal Court of the Krewe’. This is a tradition from Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs and Mardi Gras Krewes of New Orleans.
The event showcases the talents of local musicians, singers, dancers, and visual artists. Galleries of artwork that captures the landscape, architecture, and culture of the host city are on display and sold to benefit the NOLA Kid At Heart Foundation.
In Southern Louisiana, ‘Lagniappe’ (LAN-yap) is a term for an unexpected small gift or bonus given to a customer as a compliment for their loyalty. Local Lagniappe Sponsors of the Jazz Crawl allow us to collect donations from the purchase of items like food, drink, and fashion accessories.
Takin’ It To The Streets!
The main attraction of the Jazz Crawl is the second-line parade, the most iconic tradition of New Orleans culture. The procession starts with a gospel dirge to recognize the event’s memorial tributes and the second-line’s roots as part of a Jazz Funeral. The band then kicks it up a notch as the moving block party of drums, horns, and second liners dancing with their parasols and handkerchiefs contagiously inspires bystanders to join in the celebration.
The parade is lead by the fancy footwork of costumed street dancers, a brass band, the newly crowned Royal Court of the Krewe, and a distinguished Grand Marshal. This represents the ‘first-line’. Everyone else that joins in behind them is traditionally known as the ‘second-line’. This is a nod to the modern day second-line traditions held by Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs of New Orleans.
The parade route is approximately 1 mile and designed to highlight the beauty of the host city. The downtown spectacle of a traditional New Orleans style second-line creates a unique photo-opportunity as the vibrantly colored group passes by iconic landmarks and backdrops energetically dancing, waving handkerchiefs, and twirling parasols.
AFRICAN DRUM CIRCLE
Roots Of Jazz Music
The parade leads everyone to a centrally located square or park to present the history and cultural significance of Congo Square. In the late 18th Century, New Orleans’ Congo Square was where enslaved Africans were permitted to gather on Sundays – enabling them to carry on their ancestral traditions of drumming and dance. Many historians consider this to be the birthplace of American music.
Historically, the gatherers of Congo Square would bring drums, bells, and other instruments to entertain themselves with tribal music, songs, and dance. As a reflection, everyone at the Jazz Crawl is encouraged to grab one of the many percussion instruments available and follow a demonstration to create a unified rhythm that moves people to dance in the circle.
One of New Orleans’ most colorful and mysterious cultural traditions is that of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes that parade on undisclosed routes and times. Countless hours and thousands of dollars are spent handcrafting their remarkable suits and headdresses with beads, feathers, and patches. The beauty, history, and song of the Mardi Gras Indian will be shared at the drum circle if sponsorships and/or reasonable logistics allow for it.
Let The Good Times Keep Rolling!
A limited number of tickets are sold for the VIP After-Party that follows the African drum circle. The members of the Krewe that close out the festivities with us will enjoy an open bar with unlimited featured cocktails and a buffet style sampling of different Creole and Cajun dishes.
Just as the starting location showcases local artists, the ending location highlights the talents of New Orleans artists. The live music, dancing, and vibrant display of artwork will make you feel like you have transported to Frenchmen Street in the BIG Easy.
Artwork, unique experiences, and other items from local and New Orleans donors will be offered up through a silent auction to close out the fundraising efforts for the NOLA Kid at Heart Foundation.