Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party

City Park’s 26th Annual Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party was held November 16 and am I ever  glad that I decided to go.  This was my first year attending the preview party and I’m putting it on my “things to do every year” list for sure!

The party is a  3 1/2 hour cocktail attire affair,which benefits the New Orleans Botanical Garden.  It was so worth the $100 per person tickets.

Walking through the Celebration in the Oaks on any given day is a magical experience.  The adult preview party ups the ante by having fantastic food from restaurants such as Galatoire’s,Pascal Manale’s,Ralph’s on the Park and dozens of others. In addition, there’s all sorts of adult beverages (i.e. all the liquor you can handle) to  keep you going as you walk among millions of holiday twinkling lights.

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The bands were awesome! The Mixed Nuts and The Tip Tops brought the house down,

or rather, “the trees down” since it’s an outdoor event.

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It’s the perfect date night affair…food, drinks,music and a wonderland  type atmosphere.

They even had the Antique Carousel and Train operating for those of us who are nothing but big kids at heart.

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My only regret is that, I didn’t get to take a picture of Mr. Bingle while I was there.

My dogs were howling pretty bad for me to take those boots off. They just would not walk me to where Mr. Bingle was located.

That’s alright because, I’ll be there next year….with flat shoes on.

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If you only experience the preview party once, you should go…you will not regret it.

It’s a spectacular way to let your inner child come out  and play.

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A Unique Wake for a Unique Person

The City of New Orleans has lost one of its icons.

“Uncle” Lionel Batiste passed away July 8, 2012.

Mr. Batiste, or ” Unc”  as he was affectionately known, was a jazz and blues musician.

A member of the Treme Brass Band, he loved New Orleans

and New Orleans loved him right back.

I won’t write too much about his legacy.

Anyone wanting to know about this marvelous man can find some info here.

When Uncle Lionel was waked, he wasn’t exactly lying in state like most high-profile folks.

Mr. Batiste went out in quite a unique way…

even for a city that thrives on uniqueness.

Mr. Batiste was waked standing up while propped up against a faux street lamp.

musicians paying respect to Uncle Lionel.

Keith Spera of the Times-Picayune wrote:

In a send-off as unique as the man himself, Mr. Batiste wasn’t lying in his cypress casket. Instead, his body was propped against a faux street lamp, standing, decked out in his signature man-about-town finery.

He wore a cream sport coat, beige slacks, tasseled loafers, ornate necktie and matching pocket square, bowler hat and sunglasses. His bass drum and his Treme Brass Band uniform were positioned nearby.

His hands rested atop his omnipresent cane. The gold watch spanning his left palm was his trademark, representing his desire to always have “time on my hands.”

His head was cocked slightly to the left. He appeared ready to step from behind the velvet rope and saunter off to Frenchmen Street, where he reveled in dancing and drinking beer.

“He looks better today than when I saw him the Thursday before he died,” said Storyville Stompers tuba player Woody Penouilh.

“Heaven is agreeing with him.”

Rest In Peace Uncle Lionel.

Or better yet…

give’em one heck of a second line on the other side.