NEW ORLEANS – On Friday morning, Royal Sonesta New Orleans celebrated their 50th annual “Greasing of the Poles.”
This year’s greasing contestants included WGNO’s own Kenny Lopez, musician and actress Amanda Shaw, designer and founder of New Orleans-based Reagan Charleston Jewelry and cast member of Bravo TV’s Southern Charm Nola Reagan Charleston Thomas, and Miss New Orleans Pride 2020 Miss Lana Oday.
“Greasing of the Poles” has earned its place in Crescent City history as a landmark experience, and is considered by many as the French Quarter’s official kickoff to Mardi Gras weekend.
Royal Sonesta New Orleans originated the ritual of greasing the building’s support poles as a practical means to deter overzealous revelers from shimmying up to the coveted balcony space.
Five decades later, the practice has evolved into a star-studded and music-filled event, even spawning its own international fan club that faithfully hails from Switzerland each year to participate.