NOLA-ing: New Orleans Tricentennial festivities

This year is a big one for New Orleans, as it officially marks the Tricentennial. The Big Easy’s 300th birthday is a year long celebration and this week has some extra-special happenings. We hope to attend a few of these occurrences over the course of the weekend.

NOLA Navy Week: The Tall Ships are coming! To help celebrate the Tricentennial, NOLA Navy Week is bringing up tall ships from not just the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, but from Great Britain and Canada as well.  VIP FastPass tickets available here. Here’s a schedule below of how to see them.

Thursday, April 19
12:00pm Tall ships arrive into downtown New Orleans. All times approximate. Ships will dock at Woldenberg Riverfront Park at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. (No public boarding day on day of arrival.
Friday, April 20
10:00am – 12:00pm Pre-arranged school and social groups
12:00pm – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Saturday, April 21
10:00am – 12:00pm Pre-arranged school and social groups
12:00pm – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Sunday, April 22
10:00am – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Saturday, April 21
6:45pm – 12:00am Tall Ships® Tricentennial Gala – Tall Ships celebrate NOLA’s 300th! On-deck and dock-side black-tie gala in Woldenberg Park. Tickets include drinks, food, dancing and fireworks over the River. Download the Gala invitation (PDF)
Monday, April 23
9:00am Tall ships depart New Orleans. Please note: Navy ships maintain a separate schedule. Visit: NOLA Navy Week for more information.

Tricentennial Dog Parade: The Saints’ mascot Gumbo will lead those “lucky dogs” that call New Orleans home down the streets around City Bark on Sunday, April 22. If you want your dog to participate, check-in is at 10am and the parade starts at 11am. There is also a costume contest for your cute pooch. Registration is $40/dog or $45/dog on site. According to the website:

Dress your dogs up to compete in the following costume contest categories: Best NOLA-centric Attire, Most “Fest”ive Pet, Funniest Costume, and Best Pet Duo (dog and owner). Prizes include tickets to Zoo-to-Do, a membership to NOLA City Bark, a $100 gift certificate to Metairie Small Animal Hospital, a 5-day pass to Dogtopia, a gift basket from Magazine Street Animal Clinic and more.

Tricentennial Citywide Family Reunion: On Sunday, April 22, a celebration of jazz music will occur with music, food, and a nighttime fireworks display at 9pm at City Park’s Big Lake at 9 p.m. In Armstrong Park, there will be performances by Mia Borders, Ivan Neville and Friends, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers and other local acts. A jazz stage in Congo Square (starting at 2 p.m.) will feature Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, Ledisi and other guests. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, drinks, blankets, and chairs to enjoy the festivities. If you cannot make it, they are filming the performances to be shown online as part of International Jazz Day on April 30.

If these festivities weren’t exciting enough, there is also Kenner’s Italian Heritage Festival.

Located at: 400 Blk of Williams Blvd. (from the River to the railroad tracks)

Italian Fest Lineup 2018 for website.jpg
With so many activities going on during this beautiful weekend, there is no reason to stay indoors!

 

ComicCon-ing: My Top Two Guests at Wizard World New Orleans

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple will create a blog for her top guests soon at Wizard World New Orleans, so I figured I would strike first with mine.

Far and away, the top guest for me is Charisma Carpenter. When I started collecting autographs, it was because of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The first New Orleans Wizard World had quite a few Buffy guests, and yes I met almost all of them. The one I did not meet I met later in Houston.  In fact, in cleaning out the nursery, we realized we have to relocate my photo-op with James Marsters. Every single Buffy guest we have met has been fantastic.  At Star Wars Celebration, we even got to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was someone we never thought I would get to meet.  Charisma Carpenter has attended a lot of cons, just not ones near me. Cordelia is by far one of my favorite characters, and no, not only because she is gorgeous. Over the course of both Buffy and Angel, her role had one of the best and most satisfying arcs of growth on the show(s).  So far so, the writers did not know where to take her character anymore.  That is not a bad thing; in fact, I would argue that she went from a one-note role to a complete character.

Howard Chaykin is next on my list. Yes, meeting a comic book creator is at the top of my list. Why not? We met him at Wizard World Philly, and he put himself at the top of the list for the most entertaining guest of any category at any con. This time I just want to purchase some sketches from him so I can hang up at the Nola Nerd Lounge or, if appropriate, Nursery.

Now, there are plenty of other people I want to meet at the con.  We already have a photo op with Stan Lee (and I am seriously thinking about bringing the weeks until baby sign).  The other people on my list are also on the Mrs.’s list. I let her fangirl about those, but don’t think for a second I am not fanboying about them as well.

Wizard World New Orleans will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Center at 900 Convention Center Boulevard.  There is plenty of parking nearby, but we always opt to park at the far end of the convention center, under the bridge, because it is usually the best deal. The con will be Jan 5 from 4-9pm, Jan 6 from 10-7, and Jan 7 from 10-4. You can buy VIP packages, photo ops, and autograph tickets now!

NOLA-ing: Bayou Boogaloo This Weekend

The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival is this weekend along the banks of Bayou St. John.  There will music to be heard, food to be consumed, and art to be purchased.  The art side will have over 60 arts and crafts vendors. The menu looks fantastic.  In fact, if you are an outsider, please realize that most Louisiana festivals do have better food than most major cities have at their best restaurants. There will also be a marketplace for local businesses to set up shop. Plus, there will be tons of activities for the whole family.

The music lineup is lead by Cupid, John Cleary, and Cracker.  Of course, there will be tons of local artists for you enjoy as well.

We have never been to Bayou Boogaloo. We will try to make it this year.  If we can’t, leave us a comment on how your experience was there!

Episode 32: Star Wars, Comic Conventions, Zelda, and Hogs for the Cause

The Nola Nerd Couple is back with another episode covering quite a few topics.  First, we discuss the newest guests added to Celebration, and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple tells the story of how excited the Mr. was to hear that Sarah Michelle Gellar was going to be there.  We then talk about rebels and how our jobs as teachers really make us like Ezra Bridger, a character that’s hard to like.  We go through the latest guest announcements to Comicpalooza and MegaCon.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple gives her first impressions of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Finally, we didn’t think we would be able to go to our favorite festival in New Orleans, Hogs for the Cause, but with a stroke of luck, we will be able to go with VIP tickets!

Show Notes:

Star Wars Celebration (and our coverage here)

Google search of “Ezra Bridger Annoying”

Comicpalooza (and our coverage here)

MegaCon (and our coverage here)

Hogs for the Cause 

ComicCon-ing: Panels about New Orleans at Wizard World New Orleans

For the next two weeks, most of our blogs will be about Wizard World New Orleans. The Convention is held at the Morial Convention Center on January 6,7, and 8th.  This week we will be previewing the event, and next week reviewing the event. 

Few cities are as tailor made for a comic con as New Orleans.  Have you ever seen a Saints game? It’s one large cosplay contest.  Plus the city’s rich history allows for some great panel discussions!

On Friday, from 8 to 8:45 in room 238, there will be a panel entitled Paranormal City: New Orleans. The panel will discuss the many “haunts” of the city and try to separate fact from folklore.  On Saturday from 3:30 to 4:15 at the cosplay stage, will be The Cosplay of Mardi Gras – Baby Dolls of New Orleans.  Kim Vaz Deville and Merline Kimble will discuss the tradition of the Baby Dolls. This is a fascinating look at one of New Orleans oldest Mardi Gras traditions.

For a full listing of the contests and entertainment at Wizard World New Orleans, click here.

Reading: Nerd Links

Our school is on a 4×4 block schedule which means midterm is actually the end of the year for the fall students.  This also means most of my free time was taken up with grading and all that fun stuff.  This is the first time in a while I got to look up some nerd links.

Comic Con inspires East Middle School students: A Missouri school puts on its own comic con complete with student work.  This is a fantastic idea.

Hispanic Cultural Center hold first ever Indigenous Comic-Con:  This con was a showcase for Indigenous artists, writers, creators, and fans. Long time victims of racial stereotypes in comics and other fictional media, this con allowed for Native Americans a chance to tell their owns stories in their own styles.

Bid for Star Wars Religion is Shot Down:  Ok, but can we all agree that Dudeism is one?

The 12 Days of Blake: your New Orleans holiday questions, answered:  This article is very New Orleans-centric.  However, it is fascinating for locals and I think tourists to the city in December as well.  Advent season is my favorite time in New Orleans, even beating out Mardi Gras and football season.

Blogging: Learning Photography

As we try to grow Nola Nerd Couple, we realized that we needed to improve our photography.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has a great eye for the type of shots that we want to feature on our blog, but often we have been regulated to our iPhones and six-year-old Sony point and shoot. While that Sony has served us well, we decided it’s time to buy a DSLR.

We choose a Nikon D5300 after reading tons of reviews of the best cameras for the price on Black Friday. This one came with an 18-55mm lens and a 70-300mm lens. It also can shoot video and has a microphone port.  This will allow us to do a better job with our unboxing videos.

However, buying a camera doesn’t make one a photographer.  Being a photographer takes years of study and being a great one often takes a lifetime. I see far too many people get a nice camera and set-up shop.  While we would like to start doing cosplay portraits, we know that is a long time away.  First, we need to understand how to work this particular camera.  We need to know how to set shutter speed and aperture correctly. We need to learn to work with different lighting.  Then after all that, we need to work on composing better shots.

Right now we are reading websites about cameras, blogs from photographers (you should follow this one), and watching lots of Lynda.com.  We have taken our camera out for some test drives. We experimented with manual settings. That’s when I realized how steep the learning curve is.  I took a few photos that I thought were composed well, but I didn’t have it on the right settings so they came out poorly.  However, experience is always the best teacher.

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