August 5, the 20th Annual Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame week of celebrations kicks off. Find out how to get involved and get the details on parties, panels and more.
Since 1998, the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame has aimed to preserve and positively perpetuate the authentic indigenous culture of all individuals who masquerade as Mardi Gras Indians. For its 20th anniversary, the organization will kick off a series of week-long events including a book signing, panel discussion, meals, parties and more.
On Sunday, August 5, the 20th Annual Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Kick-Off will get things started at the Donald Harrison, Sr. Museum (1930 Independence St.). This event is free and open to the public and encourages a BYOC policy (Bring Your Own Chair). The Kick-Off kicks off at 6 p.m. and lasts approximately 90 minutes.
A panel discussion and book signing will follow on Monday, August 6, at Three Keys at the Ace Hotel. There, featured authors Dianne “Gumbo Marie” Honoré (Living the Black Storyville Baby Doll Life), Al Kennedy (Chief of Chiefs: Robert Nathaniel Lee and the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans), David Kunian and Eric Waters (Freedom’s Dance: Social and Pleasure Clubs in New Orleans) will sign their works and engage in a panel discussion moderated by Cara Harrison Daniels. This event is also free and open to the public, and the first 20 Indians get a free drink ticket. This runs from 6-8 p.m.
On Friday, August 10, the Mardi Gras/Black Masking Indian Honors Breakfast will be housed at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center from 9:30-11 p.m. There, Efforts of Grace will host the Mardi Gras Indians and 2018 honorees.
Of special note this year is a renaming ceremony for the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, which takes place on Sunday, August 12 from 3-4:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available by request to Queenreesie@aol.com or 504-214-6630.