French Quarter’s Joan of Arc Parade Recently Kicked off Mardi Gras Season

In the heart of the lively French Quarter, the ‘sweet sixteenth’ Joan of Arc Mardi Gras parade unfolded with exuberance and grandeur on a memorable day in 2024, as per this article from This cultural extravaganza, a dazzling twofer celebrating both the commencement of the traditional Carnival season and the birth of the revered medieval teenage warrior, Joan of Arc, enchanted the packed streets of New Orleans.

Originally gracing the streets in 2008, the Joan of Arc parade is a moving Renaissance festival, a tapestry of kings, queens, knights, shepherds, monks, saints, and maidens. The ambiance is an amalgamation of historical fervor and contemporary revelry. Joan herself, if transported through time, would likely revel in the abundance of religious allusions and nods to French patriotism, mirroring her own devotion to faithfulness and fealty.

The parade’s eclectic mix unfolded before the spectators like a vivid dream, featuring jugglers, stilt walkers, a giant flying dragon puppet, and the resonant tunes of droning bagpipers. Medieval entertainment, with its whimsy and flair, would have undoubtedly resonated with Joan, prompting her to sheathe her sword and join in the applause.

Among the festivities, there were moments that might have prompted a blush behind Joan’s helmet visor. Young women dressed as her in various life stages, a four-tiered birthday cake in her honor, and an array of banners and flags would surely have overwhelmed her with attention. However, the “Flaming Heretics” marching group and their distribution of books of matches might not have been to Joan’s liking, a reminder she certainly would have preferred to avoid.

The parade, a colorful spectacle, featured elements that straddled the line between history and whimsy. Fake rolling sheep, tiny bars of soap distributed to wash away sins, miniature cocktail swords meant for cherries rather than English soldiers—all these surrealistic components added a touch of absurdity to the proceedings. Meanwhile, The Penguins’ “Earth Angel” played from a boom box as a troupe of silvery angels strolled by, creating a delightful anachronistic juxtaposition.

Joan’s historical persona might not have embraced the overall vaguely disrespectful tone of the affair, yet within the Carnival context, this irreverence is not a rejection but an affectionate embrace. It’s a way for New Orleans to express both reverence for its French cultural roots and the joy of letting loose during Carnival. It’s a night when Joan can momentarily descend from her golden horse on Decatur Street and revel in the spirit of celebration. For those familiar with the parade’s traditions, notable changes marked the 2024 edition. The Krewe des Fleurs showcased their innovative lighted floral costumes inspired by the clematis blossom, symbolizing the ability to overcome obstacles and reach new heights—a fitting tribute to Joan’s indomitable spirit.

While the absence of the real horse ridden by “Warrior Joan” was noticed, the rolling imitation white horse proved charming. Marley Marsalis, embodying “Warrior Joan, AKA The Maid of Orleans,” captivated the crowd with or without her equine companion, showcasing the parade’s adaptability.

However, the parade wasn’t without its unexpected twists. An NOPD motorcycle, leading the procession, caught fire on Chartres Street, briefly scattering the crowd. Concerns for safety arose, but thankfully, it appeared that everyone emerged unscathed from the incident. In conclusion, the ‘sweet sixteenth’ Joan of Arc Mardi Gras parade left an indelible mark on the French Quarter, seamlessly blending history, tradition, and contemporary revelry. As the echoes of celebration lingered in the air, the spirit of Joan’s legacy thrived in the hearts of those who participated and witnessed this unique manifestation of New Orleans’ cultural tapestry.

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8 Things to Add to your Louisiana Bucket List

Louisiana is a state filled to the brim with culture and history, and it’s without-a-doubt a place everyone should visit at least once in their life. A melting pot of French, African, and American culture, you can find a bit of history around every corner. It’s safe to say that you’ll never be bored in Louisiana. Below, we are sharing 8 things every person should add to their Louisiana bucket list.

Take a ghost tour through the New Orleans French Quarter

Learn Louisiana history in a spooky way – with a ghost tour, of course! Between African slaves, invasions from pirates, and plenty of battles, New Orleans is the most haunted place in the States (if you believe in that kind of thing). Whether you prefer a quirky tour or a more formal one, make sure to set an evening aside to get the inside scoop and a hefty dose of a melting pot of culture.

Stroll through Oak Alley Plantation

Located in Vacherie, Louisiana, this plantation is named for the double row of southern live oak trees that create a canopy that run between the home and Mississippi River. The property was designated a National Historical Landmark because of its architecture and landscaping and is a sight to see on anyone’s Louisiana bucket list.

Eat Po Boys

According to history, the Po-boy was invented by two brothers, Benny and Clovis Martin, in order to feed the streetcar drivers in New Orleans in 1929. The Po-by is a sandwich that consists of roast beef or fried seafood (like shrimp, crawfish, oysters, or crab). Make sure to head to Killer Po Boys to grab this Louisiana classic.

Listen to the music at the Festival International de Louisiane

A free music festival in Lafayette, the Festival International de Louisiane is the largest non-ticketed outdoor Francophone festival in the country. This five day festival includes hundreds of performing and visual artists from up to 15 different countries,

Ride the Steamboat Natchez on the Mississippi River

This two hour boat cruise on the Mississippi River showcases New Orlean’s beauty and French Quarter architecture. Make it a lunch date, and add on the optional Creole lunch for a true New Orleans experience. It’s a great way to see a different side of New Orleans and is perfect to add to your Louisiana bucket list.

See the Saints Play in the Superdome

A must-do if the Louisiana Saints are playing a home game, the superdome is the sports and concert arena of New Orleans. Cheer and chant alongside fellow fans, and don’t forget to deck out in black and gold.

Eat beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Beignets, a square piece of dough, fried and then covered with powdered sugar, are a french delicacy that made its way to Louisiana and stayed, forever embedding itself in the culture (and stomachs) of fellow Louisianians. Ask anyone, and they’ll point you to Cafe Du Monde for the best beignets around. Experiencing the music, the outdoor dining, and the fried goodness of beignets at Cafe Du Monde is something everyone must add to their Louisiana bucket list.

Ride the St. Charles Streetcar line

In operation since 1835, the St. Charles Streetcar is the oldest continually operating streetcar line in the world. Aside from being doused in history, the streetcar line is also an exceptionally easy way to navigate the city. They run late, so you can take you time perusing the streets and taking in the sights.

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New Orleans Tourism Musts

Louisiana is a beautiful bayou-filled state. When visiting New Orleans, most people wonder how to narrow down their list of “must dos”.  We’ve got you covered. Take a walk along the Mississippi River, or do any of the following, and your sure to enjoy yourself.

New Orleans, also known as “The Big Easy”, was originally founded as La Nouvelle-Orléans in the Spring of 1718 by the French Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. Previous to the establishment as a French port city, the land was inhabited by the indigenous Chitimacha people. Spanish moss hangs from the trees, swamp air floats on the breeze, and Cajun spices and dishes are plentiful. Today, New Orleans is a vibrant port city filled with culture. It has become a festival city, hosting events from the annual Mardi Gras celebration and parades to the annual Jazz Heritage Music Festival to Voodoo Music + Arts Festival to the Bloody Mary Festival. It’s always a party in New Orleans; laissez les bons temps rouler!

The French Quarter is a scenic must-see. This area is characterized by its historic buildings with their cast-iron balconies to their brick or stucco exteriors. The main architecture style of the shopfronts and homes of the French Quarter is that of the Creole cottage. Along the Quarter, you can visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, take a walk among the flowers of Jackson Square, catch musical street performances in front of the St. Louis Cathedral, stop in a Voodoo shop, or stop in one of the many bars to hear live music or grab a drink for your stroll down Bourbon Street. Take a guided ghost or vampire tour through the taverns, cemeteries, and alleyways of New Orleans, if you’re brave enough!

Book your stay at the Domio Baronne St., which is a wonderful apartment-style hotel that is perfect for large groups of families and friends. This hotel is found in the Warehouse District, minutes from the French Quarter and Convention Center. If you’re looking for a luxurious hotel experience, look no further than the Cambria Hotel & Suites New Orleans, also located in the Warehouse District. For a stay at an affordable price point, look to the Omni Riverfront Hotel, the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, or the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.

If you are a purveyor of history and art, there are gorgeous museums in the city from which to choose. For example, the National WWII Museum displays the various theatres of the war, showcasing industrial efforts at home to the combat experience of the American soldier abroad. For a more artistic museum experience, visit the New Orleans Museum of Art  (NOMA) in City Park. This is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution with a permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects. Outside of NOMA is the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. There are also plenty of galleries and antique shops to visit for several blocks in the French Quarter if you want a look at local artists’ works.

Take a walk through City Park or Frenchman Street for stylish exercise and views. Replenish yourself with a stop at Cafe du Monde for beignets and coffee, Angelo Brocato Ice Cream for Italian style treats, GW Fins for American cuisine, or Loretta’s Authentic Pralines for delicious pecans coated in brown sugar and butter.

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