It's Fat Tuesday, the final day of indulgence before the fasting and penance of Lent begins. While the revelry in New Orleans tends to grab the spotlight, you can find some fascinating Mardi Gras traditions elsewhere.
From chasing chickens in Cajun Country to catching MoonPies in Mobile, communities all along the Gulf Coast have their own way of marking Carnival season.
Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 8:18 am
In less than an hour, the McDonogh 35 High School marching band — including the flag girls, the dance team, the majorettes, the color guard and the actual band — needs to be on the parade route five miles away. It's the peak of Carnival season in New Orleans, and high school marching bands form the backbeat of Mardi Gras.
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 Superdome began as a public referendum in 1966, and shines today as New Orleans gets ready to celebrate Super Bowl XLVII.
Built atop the bulldozed Back o' Town neighborhood, the Superdome is the site of ecstasy and tragedy, of countless celebrations and memories, historical agonies and post-K clichés. The Dome is a temple to our Saints and our city, and — love it or hate it — you can't ignore it.
Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:53 am
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:07 pm
The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.
Deep inside the Convention Center, well away from the throngs of journalists that have descended on the city and behind a false wall protected by a security guard, is a group of tech-savvy people manning the Super Bowl Host Committee's social media command center.
The job of the social media command center is to keep a close eye on the social space for trends and any problems that might arise, to promote the Super Bowl and the city, and to respond to people who have sent questions out into the ether on anything from sports-related inquiries to where they should eat dinner.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 2:28 pm
It's hard to imagine a day when the Super Bowl wasn't a spectacle of all things over the top.
It's harder still to imagine that the first-ever Super Bowl really wasn't that super. It wasn't even called the Super Bowl. It was known as the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Played in Los Angeles in January 1967, the Green Bay Packers versus the Kansas City Chiefs, it remains the only Super Bowl that did not sell out. The most expensive ticket, according to the NFL, sold for a mere $12.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:09 pm
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
The San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but the Baltimore Ravens have a special source of fuel. Raven Jacoby Jones is from New Orleans, where the game will be played, and his mom made the team 150 plates of food. Jones describes the feast as, quote, "gumbo, jambalaya, potato salad, bread pudding, macaroni - the whole nine yards."
Finally, somebody used that cliche in a sport where it makes sense.