carnival

National Archives

The French Market may seem like one big urban flea market — with everything from tee-shirts to Mardi Gras masks, alligator heads to shot glasses. And tourists… lots of tourists. But upon closer inspection, you discover that this outdoor shopping plaza is full of individuals who couldn’t be more different from one another.

NolaVie's Laine Kaplan-Levenson and Renée Peck met some of these local vendors who make the French Market another unique corner of the city.

Ian McNulty

As the king cake joins a long line of New Orleans food traditions up for reinterpretation, bakers and shoppers alike have decisions to make.

King cakes used to be easy. You waited — usually — until the start of Carnival season to get one, you argued about your favorites through the season and eventually you’d groan when yet another cake materialized in the office break room. You had one last slice on Fat Tuesday and that was that.

This week on Inside the Arts: New Year's Eve suggestions. We look at photos of years gone by at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Then, we talk with arts leader William Pittman Andrews, and we gear up for Joan of Arc's birthday on Twelfth Night.

Inside the Arts airs Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and Thursdays at 8:35 a.m.

Eugenia Uhl

High school marching bands have two main seasons: football and Carnival. But unlike football season, where bands briefly entertain sports fans during half time shows, Carnival season is a marathon of long songs, marching, and discipline. It’s also a time when the musicians, not the athletes, compete.

Eve Abrams visited two of New Orleans’ rival high school marching bands: MacDonough 35 and Warren Easton.

The Krewe of Claude has canceled its ball and parade for the 2013 Carnival season, citing a shortage of members.

Krewe officials tell The Times-Picayune the Slidell organization was down to 12 members.

Organization president Mary Ann Hicks blamed bad economic times, and said the krewe will focus on rebounding for the 2014 Carnival season.

Organizers of the new Krewe of Freret are pushing ahead with plans to roll their first parade during the coming Carnival season, remaining optimistic even though a recently-approved 2013 parade calendar does not yet include them.

Lundi Gras in Metairie is poised for a makeover, thanks to a new all-female krewe set to parade before the Krewe of Zeus on the night before Fat Tuesday.

The Times-Picayune reports little information is being shared about the Krewe of Hera.

But Brian Landry, spokesman for the krewe, said it will have "cool elements that Metairie hasn't seen before."

Hera is the first group to join the Jefferson Parish parade lineup since Hurricane Katrina and one of only two female krewes parading in East Jefferson. The other is the Krewe of Isis.

The first big parade weekend of the 2013 Carnival season is being moved up a weekend to avoid parades rolling during the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played on Feb. 3 in New Orleans — right when the Carnival season starts getting into high gear.

The Times-Picayune reports that the City Council unanimously approved the change Thursday.

New Orleans is marking Fat Tuesday with traditional parades and parties in the French Quarter. Tourism officials are estimating a million people are attending the annual celebration.

Hundreds of thousands of people are jamming the streets of New Orleans as Mardi Gras builds to Fat Tuesday celebrations. Rainy conditions haven’t stopped the party.

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