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Mardi Gras 2013


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Fat Tuesday is known for plenty of festivities and fun on Bourbon Street.  That includes many outrageous costumes to get into the spirit.


Revelers Aren’t Scared of Rain

Revelers filled the French Quarter Lundi Gras.

Some say the wet weather made it a tougher to get to New Orleans for the festivities.

Many people in the French Quarter were also thinking about the quadruple shooting that happened on Bourbon Street over the weekend.

They said the does put them on alert but they aren’t overly concerned.

NEW ORLEANS – Monday afternoon, thousands of people gathered at stages along the Riverfront to wait for the arrivals of the Zulu King and Rex.

It’s a Lundi Gras tradition that usually goes on rain or shine.  This year, skies threatened, but the arrivals occurred with only a light rain falling.

This year’s Zulu King and Queen are Monica and Cedric Givens.  Both were thankful for the crowd that waited to see them despite the rain.

“It’s wonderful.  You can’t kill the spirit in the people of New Orleans and the visitors.  They want to share in this special time,” Monica Givens said shortly after arriving by Coast Guard ship.

Cedric Givens also expressed a similar sentiment for his ride and reign as Zulu King on Mardi Gras morning.

“We have the spirit right now.  We’re going to have an excellent ride tomorrow,” he said.  “Rain or shine, I will be there.”

About an hour after the Zulu arrival, the Krewe of Rex arrived just upriver at Spanish Plaza.  This year’s Rex is New Orleans attorney Bill Hines.

Hines compared his reign as Rex to other big events that New Orleanians love.

“Sitting in Miami watching the Saints win the Super Bowl, seeing the Hornets first game.  There are 4 or 5 things that give you goose bumps, and this certainly right now is at the top of that list,” Hines said.

The evening ended with a meeting of the Mardi Gras royalty on the Spanish Plaza stage and a fireworks show.

Both men are hoping for a glorious reign with as little rain as possible.


Thousands celebrated the final hours of carnival season Monday night at the Orpheus Ball.

Every year one of the perks for people attending the gala was seeing the Super Krewe’s celebrity riders.

This years list included, founder Harry Connick Jr., Gary Sinise, Mariska Hargitay, Nick Cannon, and Trombone Shorty.

We talked to ball-goers about the excitement.

“Harry Connick is going to be here, we’ve got several bands. It’s just a huge stage, lots of dancing, lots of partying,” Scruda Le Bourgeois said.

“What did you bring? We brought sandwiches, we brought veggie trays, we brought fruit trays, and a lot of alcohol,” Colt Plauche said.”

Orpheus is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

You can see Harry Connick’s interview with Susan Rosegen Wednesday on News With A Twist.

The forecast isn’t so great for last two days of Carnival, but folks in the French Quarter don’t mind pouring rain, as long as bars are still pouring drinks!

(News with a Twist – Tyler Wing reports – 2/11/13)

NEW ORLEANS – Once the party ends, many of us will want the detox to begin.

“Everything that would be a supplement for detox or hangover cure could be found in Whole Foods,” explains Joseph Stone at the Superfood Bar on Magazine Street.

When it comes to a healing your body through food, Joseph is an expert. He suggests cleansing your system with detoxifying food

“Anything high in vitamin C, greens, especially swiss chard, turnips radishes, fibrous foods,” are a good bet.

Stone says detox cure number one is coconut water. It’s been called mother nature’s Gatorade, and it’s chock full of electrolytes.”

“The one exceptional quality to young coconut water is that it’s isotonic,” Joseph says. “It has the perfect balance of minerals in relation to volume of liquid for your blood.”

That means your body doesn’t have to work hard to process it.

But there’s more to detoxifying than just your changing your diet.

“Something called dry skin brushing basically,” he says. “If you use a loofa in your shower before you get wet, that actually removes a lot of the dead cells.”

If you want to take it a step further, a coffee body wrap will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and rehydrated.

“The cafe au lait has caffeine so it promotes circulation and then it has lots of great essential oils, so that’s really what you’re trying to do is fix the dehydration,” according to Christy Rantz at the Ritz Carlton.

Their signature coffee scrub exfoliates dead skin while providing much needed antioxidants.

“Oh, it’s a great experience,” says Rantz. “It’s in our vichi shower so it’s 7 shower heads dumping warm water all over your body so you’re really going to feel good as you relax.”

If you’re not in the market for that, try at an at-home spa treatment: more affordable bath salts and body scrubs will also help release toxins.

After the fun and expected hangover, this will all help with a quick recovery.

News with a Twist

Meet the King & Queen of Carnival!

NEW ORLEANS – Before and after Mardi Gras, Bill Hines is a lawyer, businessman, and civic leader; Nina Sloss is a college student studying international affairs.

But on Mardi Gras day, the crown will come out and the hat will go on for this year’s royalty.

Nina’s family history is full of Rex royalty, but she says she never gave much thought to being queen herself.

Now she knows just how to wave the royal scepter, since it is traditionally the Queen – and not Rex – who directs the carefully choreographed movements at the Rex ball.

“It’s kinda funny how it’s 2013 and we still have people pretending to queens for a day,” Nina told WGNO News. “But that’s what’s so great about New Orleans. It’s really routed in the traditions, and I think it should continue. It’s a good way for debutants and other kids our age get to meet all the adults and really form relationships with people.”

For years, Bill has tirelessly supported local charities and he helped New Orleans land the Hornets. Now, he has the keys to the city on Mardi Gras.

“I’m a native,” Bill explains. “I went away for about eight years in the 70s and 80s and came back. Cutting through all the jokes, being King of Carnival is a serious position – it’s an honor – but it’s pure fun. It’s as good as it gets.”

One of the funny things about his majesty is that he knows he tends to talk a lot, so when the Rex leadership told him back in November that he would be king, they presented him with purple, green, and gold duct tape as a reminder to keep his mouth shut and keep the secret until the Saturday before Mardi Gras!

News with a Twist

King Cake Baby Jewelry

NEW ORLEANS – “My family has been in the jewelry business for over 100 years but they specialized in gold, platinum and diamonds, and I went the arts and crafts direction with it,” says Molly McNamara owner of Molly McNamara Jewelry Design.

In an attic overlooking Uptown McNamara creates one of a kind pieces inspired by her surroundings.

“Getting the idea is actually the hardest part, but I have a lot of inspiration around me. New Orleans is full of great ideas so when I get an idea I come up here and I work on the prototype, and then I get it all perfect and ready to send off to the castor.”

This time of year she’s focusing on her babies. McNamara has been handcrafting jewelry for the past 25 years and right now her king cake babies are her most affordable line. They create her latest collection. So far she has 32 different looks.

“It’s just a fun little icon that belongs to Mardi Gras and I have my little inspirations sitting up there, and they’ve been sitting up there for years, and my daughter, when she was two, started dressing up with wings and holding things and hats and crowns, and I thought, that’s it they need to be dressed up.”

McNamara hand makes bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, and voodoo babies, but her king cake babies sell best. It gives you the chance to wear a piece of Mardi Gras all year long.

The King Cake Baby pendants start at $32. For more information click here.

The Krewe of Endymion debuted the longest float in Mardi Gras history for their 2013 parade.

The “Pontchartrain Beach – Then and Now” float was 365 feet, but it was so big it couldn’t navigate the turns on the parade route!

In this video, crews separated the different sections of the float with a forklift at the intersection of North Carrollton and Orleans Avenues. (2/9/13)